Equity and Diversity
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are top priorities at the Washington State Office of Independent Investigations (OII). When OII was created in 2021, it was in response to the public's outcry of frustration, anger, and demand for change following the deaths of people of color during police encounters.
The statute that governs OII (RCW 43.102) directs it to conduct thorough, transparent, and unbiased investigations of cases that involve police deadly use of force.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism
At the heart of OII’s mandate is a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. We are actualizing this commitment by:
- Engaging with community organizations, stakeholders, and impacted families to understand their perspectives and needs and incorporating their feedback into agency decision-making processes.
- Developing policies and procedures that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the agency's operations and activities.
- Instituting a rigorous, ongoing training program for all agency staff.
The training required under RCW 43.102 must be taken by all OII staff, including the director, so they understand the impact and effect of racism in the investigations and use an anti-racist lens to conduct their work.
This includes training on:
- History of racism in policing, including tribal sovereignty and the history of Native Americans within the justice system.
- Implicit and explicit bias training.
- Intercultural competency.
- The use of a racial equity lens in conducting the work of the office.
- Anti-racism training and undoing institutional racism.
Outside of OII’s rigorous training program, the agency works with partners to ensure it is effective in operating in an anti-racist manner. OII is a member of the Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE), a national network of governments working to achieve racial equity. Visit racialequityalliance.org for more information about GARE.
Pro-Equity Anti-Racism (PEAR) Planning Process
OII is currently working with the Washington State Office of Equity to ensure everyone in our state can access the opportunities, power, and resources they need to flourish and achieve their full potential.