Post-incident privileged communications

Community Corrections members ask for privileged communications protections after critical incident responses

AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) Community Corrections members are often involved in dangerous situations that may involve use of force.

They’re asking for a bill (HB 2611) that would give them the same post-incident privileged communications protections as other law enforcement officers when talking to peer support counselors.

It’s like the attorney-client privilege.

John Tulloch, a Community Corrections specialist and member of Olympia Local 443, said HB 2611 is a “fair and necessary” solution.

He told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday (Jan. 30) that other law enforcement officers in those critical incidents can talk to peer support counselors who “are not compelled to testify about any communications to the counselors by the officers.

“Community Corrections officers and specialists do not have the same privilege even though we are held to the same standard during use-of-force incidents.”

“Our officers need to have a sounding board during these difficult times,” Tulloch added.

“We should be able to talk with the counselors as soon as possible and help get us through these incidents and those statements should be protected.”

A committee vote is set for Thursday (Feb. 1).