Safe Communities

Part of our role as public servants is to keep Washingtonians safe. Our state already leads the nation in innovative and effective criminal and juvenile justice policy but we work hard to continue to improve public safety in our communities while also ensuring that we have a fair and equitable system of justice.

Current Work

  • Results Washington. Goal 4: Healthy and Safe Communities
  • Justice Reinvestment Initiative. As part of Washington’s commitment to continuous improvement in state government, Gov. Inslee, with the support of bipartisan legislative leadership and the courts, convened the Justice Reinvestment Task Force. The task force analyzed current criminal justice trends in Washington and examined ways to reduce crime and recidivism, effectively leveraging our public safety dollars and increasing public safety in our communities.
  • Oil transportation safety. An unprecedented amount of oil is now moving along our rail lines and we’re working to keep our communities safe and provide the best tools to prevent and respond to oil spills.
  • Safe implementation of I-502. Gov. Inslee is working with state agencies to educate the public about marijuana and most importantly, encourage parents to talk with their kids about making healthy choices. 
  • Emergency Preparedness. Gov. Inslee is taking steps to protect lives and help communities in the aftermath of a large-scale earthquake or tsunami. Washington's proximity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone — a major fault line off the Pacific Coast of North America — puts the region at significant risk for major earthquakes and tsunamis. Recently the Resilient Washington Subcabinet has convened to better prepare our state for earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, drought, storms and flooding.
  • Results Washington. Gov. Inslee’s goals for increasing employment of former offenders, decreasing violent infractions in prison and speeding up adult abuse and neglect investigations are all on track to meet or exceed targets.

Key Successes


  • Reduce firearm fatalities and suicides. In January 2016, Gov. Inslee announced an executive order launching a statewide public health initiative to reduce and prevent gun-related fatalities and injuries. The order also implements the Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan. 
  • Safe and strong communities through successful reentry Gov. Inslee issued an executive order that removes barriers for people reentering society after a term of incarceration to better help them become working, contributing members of society. Successful reentry helps reduce recidivism and improve community safety.


  • Crisis Intervention. Gov. Inslee championed SB 5311, legislation that ensures police officers get crisis intervention and de-escalation training.
  • Medical marijuana. Gov. Inslee worked with legislators to pass SB 5052 which regulates medical marijuana, ensures a safe product and keeps marijuana out of the hands of kids. This is an important, related part of the governor’s efforts to implement I-502 and create a system that works for patients. 
  • Safer oil transportation. When it comes to oil moving along our rail lines, Gov. Inslee’s top priority is keeping our communities safe. HB 1449 will improve safety, spill response and preparedness for oil transportation in our state. 
  • Sexual assault. The governor’s office helped pass HB 1068, legislation that helps identify perpetrators of sexual assault by creating a process to catalog and test thousands of untested rape kits in our state. 


  • SR 530 slide response. Gov. Inslee and Snohomish County Exec. Lovick formed a joint commission in response to the SR 530 landslide of March 2014. The commission’s recommendations were the basis of policy changes and legislation to improve preparation and response to similar events in the future. Gov. Inslee led numerous other efforts to help the community recover and rebuild.
  • Death penalty moratorium. In February 2014, Gov. Inslee announced a moratorium on capital punishment in Washington. This action does not commute the sentences of those on death row or issue any pardons, but allows for a debate on the merits of the continued application of capital punishment in this state.
  • Marijuana regulation. In 2014, the state implemented a three-tier regulatory system for the legal production, processing and sale of marijuana. This structure includes extensive requirements which ensure that safe and tested products are available for responsible adult consumption while providing safeguards to minimize youth access and accidental ingestion.


  • Stronger DUI laws. The governor worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to enact strong new DUI laws with a focus on repeat offenders. (SB 5912)


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