Division in the Spokane Police Department has been made clear by the March no confidence vote held by the Spokane Police Guild.
Some supporters of Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick within the department responded by printing and wearing the button pictured above, and it appears she has the support of smaller groups within the department that are members of other unions.
"The chief has always been more than fair," said Mike Smith, staff representative of Local 270 of the Washington State Council of City and County Employees. Smith said Local 270 opted not to hold a confidence vote in response to the Guild's decision because "this is totally their issue."
Smith said Local 270 represents about 60 police records specialists, radio operators and other clerical workers in the department.
Two other unions in the department, the Lieutenants and Captains Association and the police employees of the Managerial and Professional Association, wrote Kirkpatrick letters of support.
"The Lt's and Capt's Association is supportive of our administration," wrote Capt. Steve Braun in an e-mail to Kirkpatrick on March 18. "We believe in the agreed upon mission, vision and values of the Spokane Police Department."
Kirkpatrick, who is one of 11 finalists for the top job in the Seattle Police Department, said she also has enjoyed union support in other towns where she's been chief.
Detective Quincy Burns of the Eastern Washington University Police Department, agrees. He was the guild president for two years in Federal Way when Kirkpatrick was chief. He said although he sometimes disagreed with her, she and the Federal Way union enjoyed a "great relationship."
"There isn't any underlying motiive or evil spiritedness or agenda to understand what is right and just and good with Anne Kirkpatrick," Burns said. "I'd put my life on that."