Washington State Patrol

The recent police shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota have reignited the debate over use of deadly force. That was on the mind of a black community leader in Washington state as she strapped on a gun belt and took aim inside a state-of-the-art training simulator for police.

At the Washington State Patrol Academy in Shelton, Corporal Lori Hinds guides a pair of visitors into what looks like a walk-in video game. Inside five, large video screens form a 300-degree computer-generated environment.

Traffic accident fatalities are rising at a faster rate in Northwest states than anywhere else in the country according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drug-impaired drivers and distracted drivers appear to be factors involved in the increase.

Drivers on Interstate 90 through eastern Washington won’t be able to legally go 75 miles per hour. That was the announcement Wednesday from the Washington Department of Transportation, the State Patrol and the state’s Traffic Safety Commission.

The Washington State Patrol is reminding drivers to move over -- or at least slow down -- when approaching an emergency vehicle that’s stopped with its lights flashing. The Patrol will begin a three-day crackdown Tuesday on drivers who don’t give troopers some space.

Consultants leading a study on why dozens of troopers have recently left the Washington State Patrol warned Thursday that the agency is in “dire straits.”

The Washington State Patrol is recruiting. But in this case it’s not for troopers. It’s for military veterans who applied to be troopers and weren’t hired.

The Washington State Patrol has a warning for drivers: it’s now illegal to have an open container of marijuana in the passenger compartments of vehicles.

He was willing to take a bullet for three governors. Now, a decorated Washington State Patrol trooper is accused of tampering with evidence to protect his teenage son.

National Transportation Safety Board

The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013.

The State Patrol announced the $550 fine Monday and released its final report into the bridge collapse. The report concluded the oversize load was two inches over legal height.

The investigation concluded that a pole on the pilot car leading the oversize load did hit the bridge. But instead of moving to the center lane where there was enough clearance, the truck’s driver stayed in the right lane.

Morten Gade / Flickr

After four years of testing and assessment, the Washington State Patrol rolled out its new breathalyzer machines Tuesday.

Trooper Mel Sterkel was running the new Draeger Alcotest 95-10 through its paces.

"And now the second sample," Sterkel says.

A tone in the background is the machine taking the breath sample as the media's cameras click and whirr. He breathes into a tube for about 5 seconds. That's enough to provide 1.5 liters of air, the minimum needed for a valid sample.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

It doesn’t rise to the level of the Watergate break-in. But the Washington State Patrol Friday released surveillance video of a recent burglary in Governor Jay Inslee’s office. Instead of political skullduggery, this appears to be a crime of opportunity.

Washington State Patrol

The summer driving season is approaching. That means road trips and family adventures. But also the chance of getting pulled over by the police for speeding or some other moving violation. The Washington State Patrol is reminding drivers what to do and not do if you’re stopped.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington’s troubled State Patrol radio system is getting fresh scrutiny from state lawmakers. The Joint Transportation Committee got an update Wednesday on the $40 million conversion to digital technology.  

The Northwest’s deep freeze is over for most of the region, but snow remains in some areas and winter is just arriving. That means more cold temperatures and potentially icy commutes in the months ahead.

Chmee2 / Wikimedia Commons

Officials with the Washington State Patrol say they don’t expect the initiative legalizing marijuana to alter their work very much. While the law contains a new limit on marijuana in a driver’s bloodstream, state troopers will continue to look at a driver’s behavior to see who is impaired.

Oregon State Police

The Washington and Oregon state capitols have been the scenes of two bizarre incidents in recent days. Both involved apparently mentally unstable men. One had a gallon of gasoline, the other wielded a samurai sword.

Photo credit: Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Just like the rest of us, police officers use cell phones and smart phones. But in an emergency, they still rely on old-fashioned two-way radios to communicate. In Washington, the State Patrol is about to upgrade that radio system to meet new federal standards. The $26 million contract went to Motorola with no opportunity for other companies to bid. Now the project is under fierce criticism from a tech-savvy Washington state lawmaker.