Fey bill aims to retain experienced Washington State Patrol troopers

OLYMPIA—Over the past several years, the Washington State Patrol has struggled with maintaining its authorized level of 683 field force troopers. Its current workforce is nearly 25 percent shy of where it should be—and the WSP faces more than 100 potential retirements in the next few years. 

That’s why Rep. Jake Fey (D-Tacoma) has introduced House Bill 2357, which would establish a state patrol longevity bonus. 

“During the 2023 Legislative Session, I sponsored House Bill 1638. This bill passed both chambers and became law this past May,” said Fey. “This created an accelerated training program for lateral hires from other law enforcement agencies within the state and across the country and provides bonuses to cadets and lateral hires. Yet, I knew this alone wouldn’t suffice to get WSP staffing back to appropriate staffing levels and that more would need to be done to increase the WSP capacity.” 

The bipartisan bill will incentivize retaining senior, experienced commissioned WSP staff with the establishment of a state patrol longevity bonus pilot program. There are currently 122 retirement-eligible staff within WSP’s ranks, and the pilot program would offer troopers the following bonuses, effective July 1, if enacted into law: 

  • 25 years or more of service: $7,500 on trooper’s anniversary date of hire 
  • 26 years or more of service: $15,000 on trooper’s anniversary date of hire 

HB 2357 is scheduled for public testimony on Monday, Jan. 22, in the House Transportation Committee and can be watched here on TVW.