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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: David Condon

Book ‘em Davo

Spokane Mayor David Condon fired the first shots today on the Spokane Police Academy's new rifle range.

The new range, described as a first-class facility, was built primarily with free student labor as part of a carpentry apprenticeship program, the police department said. The police academy serves as a regional training site for more than 40 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, as well as U.S. military active duty, reservists and ROTC cadets.

Condon, a U.S. Army veteran, was on hand as part of an official dedication ceremony.

Straub promises innovation for SPD

Spokane Mayor David Condon made it official Wednesday, naming former Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub as his choice to take over leadership of the city's scandal-scarred police force. The appointment requires City Council confirmation, which could take up to a month to bring to a vote, but a majority already have indicated their support for the pick.

Straub brings an interesting background to Spokane. He's served in a various law enforcement capacities at the federal, state and local levels. His experience includes spearheading corruption investigations as a special agent with the U.S. Justice Department to helping craft strategies for improving community trust in law enforcement while overseeing public safety services in the upscale New York City suburb of White Plains. And while he held a key role in developing anti-terrorism training for the New York Police Department in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and has led dignitary protection teams for the U.S. foreign service, Straub has never worked as a patrol officer in a local law enforcement agency.

The lack of street cop experience is a common criticism among Straub's detractors, of which he has many. An article on the Indianapolis Star newspaper's online site about Condon's announcement Wednesday quickly filled up with comments from readers happy to see him go.

In case you missed The SR's coverage of Straub's selection, you can find Wednesday's print edition version of the story here.

Spokane losing first police ombudsman

Spokane’s first police ombudsman will soon be out of a job, and the city may be without a permanent replacement for several months.

Mayor David Condon has decided not to renew Ombudsman Tim Burns’ three-year contract that expires Aug. 24, said City Administrator Theresa Sanders. He will keep his job, however, until Oct. 31.

Sanders said Condon was uncomfortable extending Burns’ stay for the long term because the position is likely to change. The city’s Use of Force Commission is due to release its final recommendations for a reformed police oversight model next month. Condon also has said he will select a new police chief by the end of this month.

Read the rest of SR reporter Jonathan Brunt's article here.

Police chief candidates down to two

Mayor David Condon said Wednesday that he is “very confident” one of two remaining finalists will be the next Spokane police chief, despite a law enforcement panel’s recommendation that he restart the search.

Either Daniel Mahoney, the commanding officer of the Ingleside Police Station within the San Francisco Police Department, or Frank Straub, director of public safety in Indianapolis, will be the city’s next top cop.

Read the rest of my story here.

July 26: Read a summary of the candidates' interviews last week here.

SPD ombudsman dispute going to mayor

A disagreement between the interim Spokane police chief and the police ombudsman about the handling of a recent complaint is getting the mayor’s attention.

 Ombudsman Tim Burns is asking Mayor David Condon to force the Spokane Police Department to investigate a complaint that arose when officers responded to a report of possible domestic violence at a home in the city.

Read the rest of my story here.

Public comments invited on police chief

Anyone with opinions on the qualities they would like to see in the new Spokane police chief is invited to attend a committee meeting on Thursday.

Spokane's Police Advisory Committee will hear comments Thursday at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt St.

The Spokane Police Department and the Officer of Neighborhood Services hopes to provide a second public comment opportunity in April. Citizens can also email comments to the City of Spokane at  policechiefsearch@spokanecity.org.

The City plans to advertise for the police chief position again by the end of this month.

Applications were collected between November and mid-February, but Mayor David Condon said Wednesday that he would like “a larger and more diverse pool” from which to select.

Condon encourages citizens to express their views.

“Restoring public confidence in the Spokane Police Department is my highest priority, and I want to ensure that citizens have an opportunity to tell us what they think is important as we continue with the hiring process,” Condon said in a prepared statement.

Stephens named interim police chief

(Top) Scott Stephens takes questions after Mayor David Condon names him the interim police chief at a press conference Tuesday. (Bottom right) Former Spokane police Chief Roger Bragdon, right, and Lt. Joe Walker, center, listen during a press conference where Condon, far left, appointed Stephens. (SRphotos/Christopher Anderson)

A 26-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department will lead the troubled agency, at least for the next few months.

On his first business day as Spokane’s mayor, David Condon appointed Major Scott Stephens interim police chief, and announced plans to review the department’s use-of-force policies and training.

Stephens replaces Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, who retired effective Monday, at a time of low morale and deep division within the department.

Read the rest of Jon Brunt's story here.

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