Archive for 'Spokane Police Department'

Photo Credit: Center for Justice

(By guest contributor Tim Connor) It has now been almost five months since voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 in Spokane, the city charter amendment that requires the City to have an independent police ombudsman. And, yet, we still don’t. Ombudsman Tim Burns’s continues to be shackled by the terms of a 2008 “interim” agreement negotiated behind closed doors between former Mayor Mary Verner and the Spokane Police Guild. He cannot conduct the independent investigations that are now required by the city charter, nor can he issue the independent reports that Proposition 1 requires.

And the question is: Why not? Read the rest of this entry

Pin It

(Editorial) Police are allowed to investigate themselves.  Really, that is the current ludicrous situation. That is now what happens when a citizen files a complaint about the Spokane Police Department.  There are no checks and balances. No real oversight.  No Transparency.  Prop 1 on the Spokane Ballot for the February 12 election would change that.

Prop 1 in Spokane  mandates independent investigations of complaints of police misconduct.   It also gives average citizens a voice by creating a citizen oversight committee.  We need this to prevent another citizen like Otto Zehm from being killed.  Here is a video and transcript of Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref asking us to vote “yes” for Prop 1 to support our Spokane Office of Police Ombudsman and giving him or her the authority to independently conduct real investigations.  According to Spokane City Councilwomen Amber Waldref,
Read the rest of this entry

Pin It

(Editorial) Spokane Public Libraries play a vital role in our communities to provide grade school children with a safe, educational environment outside of school and in the summer.  This is particularly true in low-income neighborhoods where educational materials are often not available at home.  To the right is a video of Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart asking you to vote “yes” on Prop 3, and below is a transcript of the video.

I am asking you to support Proposition 3 on the February ballot.   The election is February 12th.   Prop  3 is the Library Levy.  The Library Levy will keep branches open, because next year we are facing a five hundred thousand dollar  deficit in the library system and we will have to close branches unless something is done.

Read the rest of this entry

Pin It

(Letter to the Editor) It seems the Spokane City Council has moved a large leap forward in affording the citizens adequate police oversight. The Office of Police Ombudsman has never had the authority to effect adequate independent review of excessive use of force complaints. To be effective and respected that must be part of the job description of the Ombudsman.

Serious, deadly serious at times, excessive use of force is still rampant in our Nation. The Council has placed on an early February ballot (Ballots to be mailed beginning January 25th) a measure to change the Charter of the City of Spokane to include effective independent review of complaints by our Office of Police Ombudsman for the City of Spokane. I would urge you to consider casting your vote in favor of this long needed independent review. (Links and video added by editor.)

John A. Olsen, Spokane, WA

(updated May 31, 2013)

Pin It

(Letter-to-the-Editor  from Bart Haggin) Mayor Condon seems to want to want to appeal to his base by picking Frank Straub for “Police Chief” but that could make his re-election less than iffy.

David Condon’s ideology and his past political experience might tempt him to pick a promoter of the privatization of public services but this guy would be a bad choice. Read the rest of this entry

Pin It