Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1996 NO. 7 >

RCW 35.13.360 through .400 do not entitle sheriff's employees to transfer to the police department of a city which, having incorporated prior to the effective date of those statutes, but having contracted with the county for law enforcement services for several years, then (subsequent to the enactment of the statutes) forms its own police department.

AGLO 1981 NO. 7 >

(1) Monies in a prior municipal firemen's pension fund may now lawfully be used for the payment of service retirement, disability retirement and other pension benefits to qualified members of the former paid firemen's pension system and, as well, for the payment of hospitalization costs and other medical expenses incurred by firefighters covered by the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' System Plan I.

AGO 1974 NO. 7 >

A municipal peace officer may not execute a warrant issued by a municipal court under RCW 3.50.180 outside of the territorial boundaries of the peace officer's municipality.

AGO 1977 NO. 7 >

(1) RCW 41.26.040(3) does not prohibit a city or town from using property tax revenues obtained under RCW 41.16.060 for municipal purposes other than the funding of firemen's pensions in those cases where such other uses are permitted by the terms of the latter statute.  (2) A municipality which first created a full time, paid fire department after March 1, 1970, the date upon which the LEOFF system became operative, is not authorized to levy the additional property tax provided for in RCW 41.16.060.

AGO 2001 NO. 8 >

When a law enforcement officer prepares and files a vehicle accident report pursuant to RCW 46.52.030 and/or .070, such a report is not rendered automatically confidential by RCW 46.52.080 and is subject to public inspection and copying, except to the extent some other exemption wholly or partially applies to the record in question.

AGO 1986 NO. 9 >

A police civil service commission does not have statutory authority under chapter 41.12 RCW to investigate allegations of misconduct in the performance of police duties made by a citizen against an individual police officer. 

AGO 1986 NO. 13 >

A city civil service system for city police provided by charter does not substantially accomplish the purpose of chapter 41.12 RCW if it does not provide for any appeal in the case of an employee suspended for less than five days.

AGO 1968 NO. 15 >

(1) The proviso contained in the second paragraph of § 1, chapter 140, Laws of 1961 (RCW 41.20.085), which requires certain police widows' pensions to be reduced by the amount being received by the recipient "under social security or any other pension grant" applies only against the special pension of $150 per month for those surviving spouses not otherwise qualified for a pension under § 2, chapter 78, Laws of 1959, and does not require offsetting social security or any other pension grant against the general pension provided for by the 1959 act, as amended. (2) In the case of a surviving spouse who is in receipt of a pension to which the "offset" proviso is applicable, all social security and all other pension benefits that the surviving spouse is receiving, whether in her own right or as a survivor, must be offset against the amount of the pension.

AGO 1961 NO. 15 >

(1) An officer of the Seattle police department may not arrest a person within another city under authority of an arrest warrant issued by the Seattle city municipal court charging violation of Seattle ordinances (parking violations).(2) Such officer may not accept bail either in cash or by check in lieu of returning the person named in the warrant to Seattle.(3) A sheriff or his deputy from one county, without a warrant, may not enter another county and arrest a person for a felony offense previously committed in his county except where specifically authorized by statute, unless he is exercising the authority of a private individual in effecting such an arrest.

AGLO 1977 NO. 16 >

(1) Mere sounds, as distinguished from verbal conversation, occurring in connection with an event where a police officer is issuing a citation to a citizen on a public street do not constitute "private conversations" within the meaning of RCW 9.73.030(2).

(2) Verbal conversations occurring in connection with such an event may fall within the scope of a "private conversation" depending upon whether the factual circumstances are such as to indicate that at least one of the conversants reasonably intended that the conversation was to be for the ears of the participants only.

(3) The fact that the parties to a "private conversation" are aware that such conversation is being recorded does not constitute "consent" for the purposes of RCW 9.73.030(2) except to the limited extent provided for therein with respect to certain recordings by the news media.