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Sirens & Gavels

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 7, 2009, 7:34 P.M.

Chief responds to Center for Justice story

Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick just fired off a fierce e-mail responding to this story by BIll Morlin for the Center for Justice.

The article states that Kirkpatrick confirmed "widely circulated rumors that she has been looking for a job elsewhere, including a recent opening in San Francisco."

Though Kirkpatrick denied in the e-mail that she's "looking" for another job, she did say she applied - and didn't get - the job in San Francisco.

Read Jonathan Brunt's story here.

Read Kirkpatrick's full e-mail, which was sent to the Spokane City Council, Mayor Mary Verner, City Administrator Ted Danek and all police department employees, then forwarded to media, by clicking the link below.


"Bill Morlin wrote an exclusive article for the Center of Justice’s website, which was published today. The title of the article is “Despite Being Criminally Indicted in Zehm Case, Officer Karl Thompson Lands a “Lead” Training Role for Spokane Police. Mr. Morlin quoted me several times throughout the article and I would like to put those quotes in the correct context for you.

There has been a lot of discussion about the Seattle Police Chief position and whether or not I have applied. The job is NOT OPEN; thus you cannot apply for a job that is not open. Mr. Morlin asked me about the opening for San Francisco Chief of Police. I was recruited for that position and did apply. I was not selected. The person selected was the former Chief of Police of Mesa, Arizona, and I understand that he had been the number 2 ranked officer in the Los Angeles Police Department before he became the Chief of Police of Mesa. San Francisco is a world class City, it has 3,000 employees in the department, and the salary was around $280,000. I was honored to be recruited and so, yes, I applied.

Now, am I “looking” for a new job? The reality is that there are approximately 800,000 law enforcement officers in our entire country and only 212 of those are women police chiefs. Of the 212 there are only 3 women who are Chiefs in a Major City – Portland, Washington DC and Orlando. There are only 57 or 56 major cities (as recognized by the IACP) and Spokane is not one of them.

So the bottom line is that I am recruited for almost every opening in the country because I am a minority and every recruiter wants a minority in the application pool. I would love to be judged on my abilities as a leader, but, nevertheless, the reality is that I am a minority so I am recruited for everything.

That is not the same as “looking” for a new job.

Now, let me try to un-spin the spin in the article. Karl Thompson does not train or write the policy. The policy was written by a company called Lexipol and reflects “Best Police Practices” in the country. So, the policy is in place with only a few individual policies that have to be negotiated with the Guild. Negotiations are going on right now.

Because Lexipol recommends policies that are “Best Practices” in our country, we had to work with Lexipol when their “Best Pactices” did not apply in our state. For example, what is legal in one state is not legal in our state. A simple illustration is the “one-party consent rule”. In California, only one party has to give consent to be recorded so people can be recorded without their knowledge in California. That is not so in the State of Washington. It is illegal (with some exceptions) to be recorded without your knowledge. So a policy on what is the “Best Practice” for recording people that applies in California had to be modified for our policy manual to meet our State law.

So how does this fit in with Karl’s assignment? Karl Thompson has been assigned to the Police Planning office. This position is a non-commissioned position with no police authority. Karl has been assigned to review the training module we purchased from Lexipol.

What is the training module? The training Module is a Daily Training Bulletin that Lexipol sends out to all its clients. Remember, Lexipol is writing policy that reflects “Best Practices” in the country. Not everything will apply in our State. That Bulletin showcases a policy for that day. The goal is that the Training Bulletin reflects the Policy Manual and is to be reviewed daily at role calls. In essence, every day becomes a training day on the new policy for the department.

That Daily Training Manual is basically a boiler plate policy that is sent out to all Lexipol’s clients around the country. So the Bulletin has to be reviewed by the individual agencies in their perspective states to make sure that it is in compliance with their existing new Lexipol policy manual. That is Karl’s job. To review the Training Bulletin to make sure it matches our policy. The key word here is match the policy. He has no authority to change the policy. Then he forwards it electronically. The entire department is currently having three hour in-service training on the entire new policy manual. So there are many eyes overseeing that the Daily Training Bulletin matches the policy manual.

Remember, facts not in context do not lead to truth. Chief K"

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