Culture, Policies & Accountability

Community Policing

The Pullman Police Department embraces the Community-Oriented Policing philosophy of active community engagement and cooperation. We work in partnership with our community, recognizing the value of engagement and collaboration toward improving public safety.

Body-Worn Cameras

Pullman PD was an early adopter of body-worn cameras (BWC), mandating their use by Pullman Police and Code Enforcement officers since March 2013, well before the national movement to deploy law enforcement BWC’s. We mention this only to point out that we proactively deployed BWC’s as a way to be transparent with our community, rather than reactionary. All Pullman patrol cars are equipped with in-car cameras.

In addition to use in criminal cases, body-worn camera video helps to hold officers accountable for their interactions with the public.


Anyone can make a complaint about a contact they had with any member of Pullman PD staff. The complaint will be thoroughly investigated by a supervisor or member of our command staff. If the investigation reveals a policy violation, disciplinary action will be imposed. The severity of the disciplinary action will be proportional to the seriousness of the policy violation, also taking into consideration any prior similar misconduct. We also review complaints to determine if there is a need for specific training, or a policy change or addition.

Chief Opgenorth takes personnel complaints seriously. If there is misconduct, it is in his best interest to know about and have an opportunity to correct it. If the interaction involved a Patrol or Code Enforcement Officer, it would likely be captured on body-worn camera video.

21st Century Policing

The Pullman Police Department has used President Obama’s President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report as a guide and reference for policing with procedural justice. Procedural Justice is the practice of fair and impartial policing built on understanding and acknowledging human biases, both explicit and implicit. Procedurally-just behavior is based on four central principles:

               1. Treating people with dignity and respect

2. Giving individuals ‘voice’ during encounters

3. Being neutral and transparent in decision making

4. Conveying trustworthy motives 

Sue Rahr, Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, was one of the eleven appointed task force members who authored the Report. Much of what is in the report reflects Director Rahr’s contributions, and consequently is reflected in Washington State’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) in philosophy and training (more details below).

Impact on Police Officer Conduct

It is important to train our officers not only about what they are expected to do, but also the manner in which they are expected to do it. When it comes to officers making appropriate decisions, and how they treat others without deference to race, ethnicity, or standing in the community, Chief Jenkins personally believes we can make the most difference through:

 ·       Hiring standards that emphasize a proven history of ethics and integrity

·       Internal reward/evaluation/discipline systems that reinforce appropriate conduct and values

·       An organizational culture of exceptional behavior with no tolerance for misconduct

Police Advisory Committee (PAC)

The PAC serves as a liaison between the community and the Police Department. The Committee members represent a wide cross-section of our community. There are Committee member primary and alternate position that consist of the following constituency representation:

 ·       Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU)

·       Business Community

·       College Hill

·       Military Hill

·       Multicultural

·       Pioneer Hill

·       Pullman At-Large

·       Pullman High School Students

·       Pullman School District

·       Pullman School District Parents

·       Sunnyside Hill

·       WSU Black Faculty & Staff Association

·       WSU Black Men Making a Difference (BMMAD)

·       WSU Faculty/Staff

·       WSU Graduate & Professional Student Association


The PAC meets on the second Monday of every month at 5:30 pm in the Pullman City Council Chambers. The meetings are open to the public and are recorded and posted on the Pullman Police Department YouTube channel. You are always welcome to attend.

Multicultural Student Leaders

Chief Jenkins attends a regularly scheduled meeting with leaders from multicultural student groups at Washington State University. The officer assigned to College Hill attends this meeting with him. We strive to develop trust that facilitates honest communication and a positive working relationship.

Collaboration with the ACLU

When updating our Immigration Enforcement policy, we collaborated with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). We collaborated on policy development that was subsequently implemented with their approval.

Social Media

Pullman residents receive their news and information in a variety of ways. We utilize a number of methods in an attempt to engage as much of our community as possible in the following ways:

 ·       Facebook (@PullmanPD)

·       Instagram (@pullmanpolice)

·       MyPD Mobile App

·       NextDoor

·       Twitter (@PullmanPolice)

·       Website

·       YouTube

Chief Jenkins invites all community members, 16 years of age and older, to sign up for a ride-along. Get an unfiltered, front row seat to see what our officers do and why they do it!

Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA); 18 weeks (720 hours)

Washington State is one of only a few states that not only establishes training standards, but also provides Basic Training for Peace Officers. 

Under the guidance of Sue Rahr, the Executive Director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, the BLEA is a national leader in training that transitioned from a “warrior” to a “guardian” mentality. BLEA training emphasizes partnerships with citizens in a community and stresses cooperation, inclusion, and caring for all members of the community. The result is police officers who can build relationships, solve problems with community members, and police with compassion. The BLEA’s motto is “Training the Guardians of Democracy”.


BLEA: De-Escalation Training

BLEA is a leader in providing, and requiring, de-escalation training. Students receive 200 hours of violence de-escalation, mental health, and patrol tactics training. The patrol tactics course includes rendering care/first aid to anyone injured in an altercation with police, and cultural competency and implicit bias training. After the academy, officers are required to receive 40 hours of de-escalation refresher training every 3 years. BLEA De-Escalation Training includes:

 ·       People in Crisis

·       Verbal Skills

·       Introduction to Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

·       Crisis Management

·       Patrol De-Escalation

·       CIT Intervention

·       Crisis Referral Services

  • BLEA: Cultural Competency & Implicit Bias Training

    BLEA students receive training on understanding perception and bias, professional ethics, and a patrol tactics course that includes rendering care/first aid to anyone injured in an altercation with police, history of race & policing, alternatives to booking, implicit and explicit bias, building relationships, and understanding local cultures.

    Post-BLEA: Advanced Officer Training

    Washington State requires every law enforcement officer in the State of Washington to receive a minimum of 24 hours of annual advanced officer training. In 2019, each Pullman Police Officer averaged 94 hours of advanced officer training.

    Advanced Officer De-escalation Training

    All Pullman Police officers have been receiving de-escalation training over the past decade. There has been a renewed focus on de-escalation training as the result of tragic incidents involving those in a mental health crisis and members of minority communities. Here is a partial list of training officers receive in this area (not all officers have attended all of the listed training):

     ·       Communication Skills

    ·       Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

    ·       Crisis Management Tactics & Scene Management

    ·       De-Escalation & Conflict Resolution

    ·       De-Escalating Conversations

    ·       De-Escalation & Minimizing Use of Force

    ·       De-Escalation & Smarter Policing

    ·       De-Escalation Techniques

    ·       Emotional Intelligence

    ·       Identification of Mental Health Behaviors

    ·       Mental Health First Aid

  • Advanced Officer: Implicit Bias / Cultural Competency Training

    Officers are required to receive 40 hours of Patrol Tactics training every 3 years. This training includes historical intersection of race & policing, alternatives to booking, implicit and explicit bias, building respectful relationships with people, and understanding local cultures. In addition to the patrol tactics training, here is a partial list of other related training officers receive in this area (not all officers have attended all of the listed training): 

    ·       Balancing Our Bias

    ·       Cultural Competency / Cultural Awareness

    ·       Ethical Decision Making

    ·       Ethics in Law Enforcement

    ·       Hard Truths: Law Enforcement & Race

    ·       Implicit Bias: The Hidden Bias of Good People

    ·       Inclusive Community Building

    ·       Racial Profiling

    ·       Understanding Perceptions & Bias

    ·       Understanding the Threat: Hate Crimes

  • Advanced Officer: Other Critical Training

    While de-escalation and implicit bias / cultural competency training are important, there is other training required of police officers. Critical skills require frequent training to maintain competency. Here is a list of some of that training: 

    ·       40mm Less-Lethal (similar to bean-bag system, but more accurate and less chance of causing serious injury)

    ·       Critical Policy Review (such as use of force, vehicle pursuit, etc.)

    ·       Crowd/Riot Control

    ·       Defensive Tactics

    ·       Emergency Vehicle Operations

    ·       Firearms (handgun & rifle)

    ·       Taser

Training Expenses

Training does cost money. We have a finite amount of resources available, and we sometimes have to make hard choices between them, such as adding more training, or adding more staff at a time that our police staffing is falling behind in relation to population growth. Training has always been a priority of Chief Jenkins. When cuts are necessary, training is typically the last item on the chopping block, second only to staffing.

Use of Force (UOF)

Pullman PD Use of Force Policy

Pullman PD documents and reviews all officer use of force. We classify use of force at a very low level, beginning with just a hold to physically move someone. Officers are required to document specific details every time that force is used, including the reason for the use of force. All use of force instances are reviewed by the Operations Commander to ensure policy compliance. If use of force is suspected to be non-compliant with policy, a formal investigation is conducted by a supervisor. If a policy violation is affirmed, disciplinary action follows. The level of discipline is commensurate with the seriousness of the violation, and may result in discipline up to termination. The use of force review process includes a review of police reports written by officers at the scene, all available photographs, and body-worn camera video and in-car camera video from officers at the scene. If use of force appears to be a criminal violation, an independent investigation is conducted by an outside agency and then forwarded to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney for a charging decision.

UOF: National Use-of-Force Data Collection

The Pullman Police Department has voluntarily provided use of force data to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection program since January 2018. National Data Collection users can view use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement from a nationwide perspective. 

UOF: Pullman PD Specific Research

Criminal Justice researchers from Washington State University have unlimited access to all Pullman Police officer body-worn camera (BWC) video footage for the purpose of research. Research involving over 4,600 hours of Pullman officers’ videos concluded that there was no evidence that Pullman police officers were more likely to use force, use force more quickly, at higher levels, or for longer durations in situations involving minority suspects.