The legislature finds that:
In 2021, the total Washington state patrol workforce was 84 percent white and 67 percent male, the field force workforce was 86 percent white and 86 percent male, and the managerial staff was as high as 93 percent white;
A strong diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic recruitment and retention plan is necessary to:
Provide the state patrol with the benefits of a diverse workforce, improving service to the public, increasing employee productivity, and providing new perspectives and innovative approaches to achieving the agency's mission of enhancing the safety and security of all people and communities; and
Fulfill the enormous recruiting effort to reduce vacancies at the agency;
Public employment opportunities at the Washington state patrol, as either commissioned or noncommissioned staff, offer careers that should be equally accessible to all people in the labor force; and
The transition to a culture that fosters workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion requires steadfast commitment over the long term.
Therefore, the legislature intends to:
Challenge the state patrol to change and adapt its culture to attract and retain a more diverse workforce, which is representative of the labor force as a whole;
Establish more effective legislative and executive oversight mechanisms for the state patrol's efforts to increase workforce diversity;
Increase accountability and transparency relating to the state patrol's progress in increasing workforce diversity; and
Provide technical assistance and support for the state patrol's diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts over the long term.
The Washington state patrol shall work with the department of enterprise services, which will run and oversee a competitive procurement process to select and hire an independent, expert consultant to:
Collect benchmark data on the demographic composition of the current Washington state patrol workforce and applicants in the recruitment process, including trooper academy classes and new hires across positions in the agency. In addition, this task must include comparative demographic data for other law enforcement training classes within the state;
Conduct a study of the labor force available for the commissioned and noncommissioned staff of the state patrol, with a focus on the availability of black, indigenous, Latino, Asian, and other groups currently underrepresented in the state patrol workforce;
Using the results of the labor force availability study, establish benchmark goals for the demographic composition of the state patrol workforce;
Evaluate progress in the implementation of the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic recruitment and retention plan developed for the Washington state patrol in 2021;
Provide technical assistance regarding best practices to effectively foster a diverse workforce;
Annually update the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic recruitment and retention plan to reflect activities completed, new strategies, and next steps;
Report quarterly to the governor and appropriate committees of the legislature on the composition of the current workforce compared to established benchmarks and goals; and
Report annually to the governor and appropriate committees of the legislature on the results of the evaluation of progress in implementing the diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic recruitment and retention plan.
This section expires June 30, 2032.