Two Clark County community members have been appointed to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, which helps set training standards and oversees the certification and decertification of law enforcement officers.
Vancouver police Officer Jeff Anaya, of Brush Prairie, and Nickeia Hunter, an activist with the Vancouver branch of the NAACP, were selected to join the 16-member commission. The panel includes working police officers, community members, tribal representatives, attorneys and others.
Anaya has been a police officer for 13 years, first with the Oakland Police Department in California before joining the Vancouver Police Department in 2011. He has worked a variety of positions at the department, including as a patrol officer, a field training officer and now a member of the traffic unit. He is also the vice president of the Vancouver Police Officers’ Guild.
Anaya said he hopes to expand on the conversations he’s already having with community members through his involvement with the state commission.
“I’m very confident that with transparency and communication, that will be a betterment, both for law enforcement and for our community,” he said of the commission. “I think that this is a step in that direction, where we are able to grow the profession, alongside our community members — and hopefully with positive input from law enforcement as well.”
Anaya said he was shocked and humbled by his appointment to the commission.
“It’s a big honor,” he said. “It carries a lot of weight, and I take it very seriously.”
Hunter is the chair of the NAACP’s Legal Redress Committee. She is also the sister of Carlos Hunter, who was fatally shot by Vancouver police officers in March 2019 in Hazel Dell.
Nickeia Hunter was a part of the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, a group of community members and family of those impacted by police violence. The coalition advocated for police reform laws, including those that expanded the role of the Criminal Justice Training Commission.
“The community must be involved in making policy that affects their lives,” Hunter said in an NAACP news release. “It’s especially critical that families directly impacted by police violence have a significant place at the table in addressing prevention, equity, training and police accountability.
“This appointment is a tremendous responsibility that I’m honored to take on,” she said in the news release. “It aligns with key values that deeply matter, including fairness, accountability, and transparency in government.”
Anaya is hopeful that, in being part of the commission, he can help law enforcement and its critics reach meaningful solutions.
“A commission like this is important because we’re able to all come to a table and just have conversations and communicate with each other — good, bad and ugly — and grow the profession so that we are serving the way our society needs us and wants us to serve them.”