State patrol union asks Inslee for new chief

OLYMPIA — The union for Washington State Patrol troopers and sergeants wants Gov.-elect Jay Inslee to replace Chief John Batiste.

Washington State Patrol Troopers Association President Tommie Pillow told The Olympian the chief is out of touch.

A spokesman for Batiste says he’s not talking about his future plans at this point. And, a spokesman for Inslee says he’s still considering suggestions for cabinet positions.

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Batiste in 2005. The patrol has more than 2,400 employees and the union represents about 1,000.

Pillow already has a replacement in mind for the chief’s job. The union likes Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar, who has recruited 10 troopers to work for the city. Farrar says he’s interested but has not been contacted by Inslee’s transition team.

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