Editor's Note: The following is from the staff of state Rep. Roger Goodman.
OLYMPIA – Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) has been picked to chair the House Public Safety Committee.
"In a heartbeat, a violent crime or a natural disaster can take away everything -- your home, your family, your life," Goodman said. "Our state laws must do whatever is possible to prevent crime and respond to floods, wildfires and earthquakes, because lives are literally at stake."
Goodman, an attorney and criminal justice expert, has served as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee for the last six years, which handles non-criminal issues involving the law and courts.
"It's important to protect citizens from crime while safeguarding individual liberties," Goodman said.
When he first arrived in the House of Representatives and got assigned to the Public Safety Committee, Goodman asked policy staff and police officers what two issues consumed most of their time and resources. They said drunk driving and domestic violence. Since then he's worked with police, prosecutors, crime victim advocates and other lawmakers on ways to prevent domestic violence and drunk driving, and he’s won national awards for his work in this area.
"Criminals should be punished, but if that's all you focus on, you're missing the point," Goodman said. "The best way to tackle crime is to prevent it from happening at all. Police officers and prosecutors like solving a case -- but they like it better when they can prevent a bad situation, actually stop crime before it happens, so there's no crime victim who got hurt or killed."