On a recent morning, Ross Preston and Josh Dossett watched the cadets of Basic Law Enforcement Academy Class 868 practice firing their weapons. The soon-to-be officers were working on tactical reloads and close-quarters defense: Two to the chest. An oblique step. Two to the head.
Preston and Dossett stand out. For one thing, they’re older than their fellow cadets, most in their 20s. They aren’t in uniform. They aren’t armed. They are, however, observing and learning how Washington police officers are trained, so one day — soon — they can investigate them.
Preston, Dossett, and another man, Eric Pitts, are the vanguard class of investigators hired by a new statewide law enforcement agency created to examine police use of deadly force. The Office of Independent Investigations is a first-ever attempt by a state to erase — or at least diminish — the “thin blue line” controversy and conflict that arises when police are left to investigate themselves.
Full story: No guns, no uniforms: Meet WA’s new investigators of police force | The Seattle Times