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L&I cites DOC for safety violations in officer’s murder

TUKWILA — After a 6-month investigation into the tragic murder of Officer Jayme Biendl in the chapel of the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC) on January 29, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has cited the DOC for “serious” and “repeat serious” violations for its failure to provide line staff with adequate training, a failure to enforce policies with respect to post orders, and a failure to develop and implement policies designed to protect its employees.

L & I has issued a fine of $26,000 to the DOC for these violations and is requiring that the DOC implement changes to protect its employees by August 4.

L & I’s Citation and Notice following its investigation draws starkly different conclusions than the DOC’s own Critical Incident Review, which was released on July 22.  While the DOC’s internal investigation implicates the officers who were on duty on the night of Officer Biendl’s murder, L & I exposes a culture of complacency and neglect on the part of DOC management with respect to its own policies and procedures.

“L & I’s investigation into the death of Officer Biendl demonstrates that the DOC failed to create a safe work environment for its employees.  The organization must be held accountable and safety measures must be put into place immediately to protect all correctional employees,” said Tracey A. Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117.

See L&I’s news release regarding the violations.

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