(Central Square) — Restrictions on law enforcement pursuing criminals are set to go into effect June 6 after Congress passes the state, which will buy law enforcement agencies equipment that allows them to pursue suspects without using firearms. We are offering a second funding opportunity to

The request for proposals issued by the Washington State Department of Commerce's Bureau of Firearms Safety and Violence Prevention/Community Safety Division allows law enforcement agencies to purchase “specific vehicle tracking technology” such as Global Positioning System tracking devices and automatic licenses. There is. Plate inspection technology, aircraft, and drones. The Commerce Department will award a total of $1.4 million to multiple government agencies to purchase equipment, but the amount will be determined by the number of agency employees.

The grant funding is included in Congress' 2023 operating budget, and $1.5 million was allocated for the first round of grants last year. The agency receiving the most funding was the Spokane Sheriff's Office, which received $204,600 for a thermal imaging camera for the Spokane Area Air Support Unit. The Spokane Regional Air Support Unit owns and operates four helicopters used for vehicle tracking.

Steve Strachan, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, said in a statement to Center Square that the association appreciates funding for tracking technology because tracking suspects should never be the only option. ” But there is still work to be done. While Congress agreed to I-2113, it did not pass a bipartisan bill (SB 6200) that would address fleeing suspects through other measures such as stiffening penalties, seizing vehicles and increasing the use of technology. As law enforcement agencies continue to make greater use of these tools, we hope to send a message to criminals that the days of “get out of jail free” and run them off at large are over. There is. ”

Established in 2020, the Division of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention/Community Safety states its goal is “to better understand and reduce firearm violence in communities across Washington.”

The RFP question and answer period runs from April 16th to May 8th. A pre-proposal conference will be held May 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Proposals must be submitted by May 28, with initial funding to be raised between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.

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