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Volunteers needed to review cases where officers use deadly force

Volunteers needed to review cases where officers use deadly force

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The Cowlitz Association of Sheriff and Police Chiefs is seeking volunteers to serve on the Independent Investigative Team, which reviews cases where officers use deadly force.

According to a press release from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, the team would be called together when an officer uses “deadly force that results in death, substantial bodily harm, or great bodily harm.” It would then investigate the case, according to the press release.

The team is made of up certified peace officer investigators, civilian crime scene specialists and at least two non-law enforcement community representatives. Those community volunteers would “have credibility with and ties to communities impacted by police use of deadly force,” according to the state law that established the teams.

Volunteers would be expected to help choose other team investigators, review conflict of interest statements, attend briefings, review completed investigation files and all press releases before they are released and sign a binding confidentiality agreement at the beginning of each investigation, the press release said. There is no compensation, and volunteers may be asked to work weekends, holidays or overnight hours.

Community members interesting in serving would be interviewed and attend an orientation meeting, the press release said. To apply, send a letter of interest to sheriff@co.cowlitz .wa.us or to the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office at 312 SW First Street, Kelso by March 16, 2020.

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