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Community Comment

Thu., Aug. 23, 2012, 8:34 p.m.

Could he be the one?

Good evening,  Netizens...


I believe our Mayor, the Boy Wonder of Spokane, has spoken, and other than a ditched effort on the part of the Spokane City Council (which seems unlikely at this point in time) Dr. Frank Straub is now our new Chief of Police. Having read extensively about Straub's history, for good and ill, and having compared him nose-to-nose with Spokane's history where law enforcement is concerned, I still did not feel I had gotten all the story about what changes Straub will bring when he takes control of our Police Department, for there is a lot of unspoken baggage hanging in the racks of our Police Department.


Dare I say it, there is still the ghost of Otto Zehm hanging over the entire city, and the odious stench of the salutes of police officers for Karl Thompson (AKA, the Klubber), a convicted felon?


One of the online voices I have been listening most closely to during the selection process and now the choice of our new Chief of Police is Detective Ron Wright, AKA Ron the Cop, for I admit having little in the way of criteria by which to judge Dr. Straub. My overwhelming question throughout the process has been, could Dr. Straub actually be the person who could lead the police department into new and more positive directions than we have endured under his lackluster predecessors? Or, will the Police Guild and the whacked-out politics of City Hall overwhelm him before he even gets started? To my way of thinking, given Wright's advanced college degree and extensive law enforcement experience at the command level, he might be a person who best would give insight into this process.


As certain of my “handlers” will quickly tell, there is this culture in our Spokane Police Department that cries out to me for cultural cleansing, if anything does. Will Dr. Straub be the person who can lead our dysfunctional and divisive Police Department to a better and more functional future?


When I put this question to Ron Wright this morning, I received the answer which I suspected I might receive, that being, “Only time will tell.”


Unfortunately, the future of our city is hanging in the eaves while I wait. Of course, your opinions may differ.



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.