Volunteer - Non-Law Enforcement Community Rep.

WHATCOM COUNTY

LEMART

Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative

Date Posted:                          February 17, 2021

Date Closing:                          March 5, 2021

Opening:                                City of Blaine residents

This posting is for the position(s) of LEMART (Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Response Team) Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative to assist in the Independent Investigation Team’s (IIT) response to law enforcement use of force incidents in Whatcom County and its jurisdictions to include: Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Lummi Nation, Nooksack, Nooksack Tribal and Sumas.

Position(s) Overview and Summary:

With the passage of Washington State Initiative 940 in November of 2018, and SHB 1064 in 2019, incidents where the use of deadly force by a peace officer results in the death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm require an independent investigation.  The independent investigation is conducted in the same manner as a criminal investigation and state law now requires an “independent investigation” completely independent of the involved agency.

The goal of this requirement is to enhance accountability and increase trust between law enforcement and the community, to improve the legitimacy of policing and for an increase in safety for everyone.

Whatcom County’s IIT is called LEMART and consists of a team of qualified and certified peace officer investigators (Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators) as well as a pool of Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives who operate completely independent of any involved agency to conduct investigations of police deadly force incidents.

The LEMART Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives should have credibility with, and ties to, the communities impacted by the police use of deadly force.   Representatives selected will participate directly in the vetting, interviewing and/or selection of LEMART certified law enforcement investigators, media communications and use of involved agency equipment requests.

The position will require the community representative to pass a department/agency background check and attend identified training that is relevant to officer involved deadly force incidents and use of force.  The LEMART Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative must sign a binding confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each investigation.

This is a non-paid volunteer position.  A minimum of two (2) Non-Law Enforcement Community Representatives will be assigned to each LEMART investigation.

Responsibilities of the Position(s) Include:

  • Participate directly in the vetting, interviewing and/or selection of LEMART Investigators
  • Review conflict of interest statements submitted within 72 hours of the commencement of each investigation by the LEMART investigators
  • Review notification of equipment use of the involved agency
  • Be present at the briefings with the involved agency(s) chief or sheriff, if available
  • Be provided a copy of all press releases and communication to the media, prior to release
  • Have access to the investigation file when it is completed
  • May act as liaison with impacted community or tribal government
  • Understand and be knowledgeable of statewide best practices involving the investigation of law enforcement use of lethal force investigations and applicable laws as they relate to the use of force and officer involved deadly force incidents

Community Representative Training:

Upon appointment, the LEMART Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative will receive orientation training that reviews relevant RCW’s and WAC’s, discuss the lawful authority and responsibility of the Community Representative and reviews the role of the Community Representative in a LEMART activation. Training will include discussion on the responsibility of LEMART in a criminal investigation and include a review of LEMART protocols and guidelines. Community Representatives will receive training that familiarizes them with the scientific work conducted by Force Science Institute as it relates to the working of the brain during critical events, the dynamics of eyewitness observations and sensory deprivation that may occur during critical events. This training will be provided at no expense to the Community Rep.

How to Apply:

Interested qualified applicants may submit the application materials listed below, electronically to Chief Tank. Application materials must be received by March 5, 2021.  Applicant materials received after the deadline will not be considered.

Application materials must consist of:

  1. The applicant’s full and complete name, date of birth, residential address, contact phone number(s) and email address.
  2. A letter of interest including a narrative identifying what the applicant believes his/her particular strengths and challenges would be in the position of LEMART Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative and how their life experience in the community would allow them to perform the responsibilities of the position in an unbiased, neutral and effective manner.  Letters of interest should be no longer than two pages.

Selection Process:

Following the closing date for this recruitment, a selection process will be administered. Final selection of the applicants from each region (municipality, tribal nation, unincorporated areas of Whatcom County) will be made by the designated government official from that region in concert with the LEMART Executive Board.