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Cops Criticize Mangan’s Trips Police Chief Often Leaves Town To Give Lectures, Attend Meetings

Sun., Jan. 28, 1996

From For the record (Wednesday, January 31, 1996): Sixteen of the 20 sick days taken last year by Spokane Police Chief Terry Mangan were for a condition requiring vascular surgery. That fact was omitted from a Sunday story.

A popular children’s book asks, “Where’s Waldo?”

At the Spokane Police Department, some officers ask, “Where’s the chief?”

Chief Terry Mangan spent 105 of last year’s 252 work days somewhere other than police headquarters, prompting some of his officers to call him the “frequent flier.”

Mangan spent 58 workdays traveling for the city or lecturing for other agencies, and 47 days on vacation or sick leave.

His absences are so common that some officers make jokes during roll call about who’s acting chief that day. They complain that promotions, discipline and personal-leave requests are delayed while Mangan is gone.

His attendance record leads some to question why Spokane taxpayers should pay $82,500 for a full-time chief who’s around less than two-thirds of the time.

“I don’t think I’ve seen him enough to say two words to him since he shook my hand at the academy,” said one young officer.

Mangan said he’s “always concerned” about the effect his travel has on the 286-officer department. But he disputes claims that his absences delay personnel matters.

“I have a very, very good staff here,” he said. “And, I’m always available” by pager or telephone.

Mangan is an expert on terrorism and police administration. A frequent lecturer for the FBI Academy and other police agencies that sometimes pay his travel costs, Mangan brings the Spokane department national recognition, said City Manager Roger Crum.

Most importantly, Crum and Mangan say, it brings money.

A national reputation reaps federal and state taxpayer cash, which goes to hire more officers and expand programs such as community-oriented policing, they said.

“You can’t quantify” the value of Mangan’s travel, Crum said.

But some patrol officers think Mangan’s time would be better spent in Spokane managing his department.

Officers who talked to The Spokesman-Review requested anonymity, saying they feared retribution. Nine of 12 were critical of Mangan’s frequent absences.

Final decisions on everything from promotions and assignment changes to retirements and personal leave are stalled repeatedly to accommodate the chief’s travel schedule, some said.

Complaints that are filed against officers remain unsettled until Mangan finds time to address them. Officers said this usually takes months, leaving them worrying about the grievance and waiting longer than necessary to settle the issue.

“When you get a complaint, it hovers all around you … you think about it all the time,” one officer said. “And even when (Internal Affairs) gets through, you don’t know the outcome until they talk to the chief. Then he gets to review their findings.”

Mangan said he’s not holding things up.

Pending promotions can be approved by the acting chief, he said. Delays on grievances are due to the arduous disciplinary process.

Mangan said he’s rarely gone more than a week at a stretch, so “a few days here and there” do not derail the outcome.

Even when the chief is in town, his appointment book overflows, some officers said.

“You don’t just ‘check in’ with our boss,” said one young officer, who recently transferred to Spokane from another city. “He doesn’t have time for that stuff.”

Other officers said Mangan’s absences leave the department disjointed. The chief’s hands-on management style leaves supervisors unwilling to make decisions he may change when he returns, they said.

There also is confusion about who’s in charge when Mangan’s gone. On one trip, the top cop is deputy police chief Larry Hersom. The next, it’s Dave Peffer, assistant chief.

During Mangan’s absence one day last fall, two secretaries referred callers to two different acting chiefs in the span of 10 minutes.

One secretary said Hersom was in charge; the other Peffer.

“It’s a huge power struggle over there,” one officer said.

“If all three of their pictures weren’t on the wall, we might forget who’s running the place,” said another.

One officer called it the department’s own “Who’s the Boss?” sitcom, co-starring Peffer and Hersom. “With a surprise, special-guest appearance by Mangan himself,” he added.

Even supervisors join in the jokes. During a recent roll call, a sergeant told patrol officers about a fugitive the chief wanted them to find.

“The chief - whoever that is this week,” the sergeant said to a roomful of laughter.

When asked later about his comment, the sergeant said many of the 150 patrol officers complain about Mangan’s absences. He said he worries about morale.

Patrol officers may not need the chief’s daily presence because they don’t often deal with him directly, “but they do deal with their sergeants and lieutenants,” he said. “And those are the guys who have to leave business unfinished because (Mangan’s) never around to sign off on anything.

“It leaves the troops unsettled. It’s not good.”

Deputy Chief Hersom said he and Assistant Chief Peffer are largely to blame if Mangan’s absences cause problems. “It’s our responsibility for keeping the day-to-day operations going,” he said.

One sergeant defended Mangan’s travel record because his involvement with national agencies “puts Spokane, and our department, on the map.”

Mangan said talking to other law agencies helps him gather invaluable knowledge about gangs, drugs and youth violence he shares with his officers.

Also, Mangan said, he’s on a first-name basis with top cops in other cities and at other agencies, which guarantees that his officers get spots in competitive training centers that other chiefs only dream about.

Crum and Mangan credit the chief’s reputation for helping bring in about $4 million over the last several years in federal and state taxpayer money. That includes $2 million for more cops, $200,000 for community-oriented policing, and $500,000 to fight youth and gang violence.

In 1994, Mangan also spent 58 days traveling outside Spokane. Combined with 37 days for vacation and sick leave, that was about 38 percent of that year’s 252 workdays.

“There’s so much going on,” he said. “When I was younger, traveling was fun. It’s not that fun anymore.”

Some agencies reimburse the city for the cost of the chief’s travel. In 1994, Spokane taxpayers paid $6,813 for Mangan’s trips. In 1995, they paid $9,388.

If he’s being paid for consulting work, the chief takes vacation.

Then-City Manager Terry Novak knew - and accepted - that Mangan would spend days on the road for other agencies when he hired the chief away from Bellingham in 1987.

“He was very active when he was hired,” Novak said. “I encouraged him to continue with that once he got his feet on the ground.”

Don Pierce, who took over as chief when Mangan left Bellingham, keeps a busy travel schedule himself.

“Those communities who believe the role of the police chief is limited to the city become short-sighted,” Pierce said. “An awful lot has come to the city of Spokane because of the chief’s involvement outside the city.”

Some chiefs, like Ronald Palmer of Tulsa, Okla., don’t think travel is the only way to attract cash.

“To me, the most important thing I can do as police chief is make Tulsa the safest city it can be,” Palmer said. “If I’m doing that well, the national reputation may or may not follow.”

Palmer said he’s away on city time fewer than 20 days a year because he’d rather spend his time in Tulsa than chasing taxpayer dollars in Washington, D.C.

Still, Tulsa manages to get federal money.

In 1994, Tulsa received $2 million in federal taxpayer money for 26 cops. Spokane got the same, something Mangan and Crum point to as one of the chief’s networking coups.

Springfield, Mo., Police Chief Lynn Rowe said Spokane residents “should feel good about” Mangan’s national reputation. “There really are too few leaders in our profession.”

Asked if he traveled at Mangan’s pace, Rowe said, “Oh, God, no,” adding his growing, 250-officer police force needs his undivided attention.

Mangan defends his time away by saying that when he is in town he works hours that stretch long past a regular work day.

Those hours don’t show up on any time card, City Manager Crum said.

At least one city councilman isn’t impressed by Mangan’s long hours.

“He’s an exempt (non-union) salaried employee,” said Chris Anderson, the only City Council member openly critical of Mangan’s travel. “I’m not aware of anybody who’s exempt who doesn’t work beyond contracted hours.”

Anderson added the chief’s absences might mean he has to work some hours beyond a normal 40-hour week just to catch up.

“Anytime you’re the chief executive officer of an organization, it takes as much time as it takes to get the job done,” said Independence, Mo., Police Chief Don Carey.

Carey, who was away a record 29 days in 1995 including vacation, said he took a class from Mangan last year and considers him one of the most “innovative” chiefs in the nation.

No matter how dynamic a lecturer Mangan is, Anderson said, Spokane needs the chief in town.

“At a time when we see certain elements of crime increasing, it’s imperative we have a chief that’s on-board and on-duty,” he said.

Mayor Jack Geraghty said he isn’t concerned about Mangan’s management style or travel schedule. If there are problems, that’s for the city manager to solve, Geraghty said.

The City Council’s chief concern is the crime rate, he said.

“Our responsibility is to look at the overall situation with respect to law enforcement in this community,” Geraghty said. “Under Chief Mangan’s leadership, I think they’re doing a pretty good job.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo; 2 Graphics: “How the chief spent his time”, “The chief’s affiliations”

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: 1. WHERE’S THE CHIEF? Here’s a look at Chief Mangan’s schedule last year.

Jan. 5: Seattle, Command College, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar briefing (No reimbursement listed) Jan. 10-12: Quantico, Va. (FBI headquarters); Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (FBI bought airplane ticket, city paid rental car, some meals) Jan. 14-18: Rochester, N.Y. (vacation) Jan. 23-25: Detroit, Mich., International Association of Chiefs of Police (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Feb. 4-6: California, vacation Feb. 22-23: Seattle, Washington State Institute of Community Oriented Policing Policy Council (city paid lodging, meals, airline and rental car) March 13: Seattle, Community Oriented Policing Consortium Grant Project (city paid airline, rental car) March 17-24: Port Ludlow, Wash., Command College (city paid lodging, meals) April 1-4: Quantico, Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (city paid meals, registration fee, airline fare and rental car) April 4-8: Rochester (vacation) May 3-4: Seattle, Command College, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (city paid lodging, meals, airline, rental car) May 22-26: Vancouver, Wash., Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference (city paid loding, meals, registration fee) May 31-June 2: New Orleans, Foreign Student Advisor Presentation (city paid $1,078 plane fare, meals and lodging) June 3-11: Sun Valley, National Executive Institute and Major City Chiefs Conference (city paid lodging of $995 and meals) July 3-10: Rochester, N.Y. (vacation) July 11-14: Quantico, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (FBI reimbursed plane fare, city paid car rental, some meals) July 31-Aug. 1: Seattle, WSICOP Policy Council (city paid lodging, meals, air fare and rental car) Aug. 10-11: Seattle, WSICOP Policy Board Grant Proposal (city paid lodging, meals, airline fare, rental car) Aug. 18: Yakima, Explorer Academy Aug. 25-Sept. 1: Newport, R.I., Department of Defense Terrorism Conference (city paid lodging of $600, meals, airline fare and rental car) Sept. 13-16: Alexandria, Va., International Association of Chiefs of Police Instruction (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Sept. 19-20: Chicago, Police Executive Research Forum, Process Mapping Project (city paid airline fare of $1199) Sept. 21: Seattle, FBI meeting (FBI reimbursed costs) Sept. 27-28: Portland, National Community Policing Conference (Department of Justice reimbursed costs) October 28-31: Nebraska, Police Officers Association of Nebraska Nov. 13-16: Olympia, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference Nov. 28-Dec. 1: St. Louis, International Association of Chiefs of Police (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Dec. 26-Dec. 29 - vacation

Total cost of travel to city taxpayers: $9,388 NOTE: When the chief travels from FBI headquarters at Quantico to visit his family in Rochester, he reimburses the city for the cost of airfare.

2. CITY RESPONSE While state law requires agencies to respond quickly to public records requests, the city of Spokane and its police department took nearly 3-1/2 months to turn over Chief Terry Mangan’s travel records. The Spokesman-Review asked for the material Oct. 7. After repeated calls to City Manager Roger Crum by a reporter and an editor, those records were made public Dec. 5. They included the last four months of 1994 through Dec. 1, 1995. “Responses to requests for public records shall be made promptly by agencies,” state law says. The newspaper updated its request Dec. 27, asking for December’s records as soon as possible. They were made available Jan. 22. That same day, Crum and Mangan detailed the records in a report to the City Council. Kristina Johnson

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Kristina Johnson Staff writer Staff writer Bonnie Harris contributed to this report.

This sidebar appeared with the story: 1. WHERE’S THE CHIEF? Here’s a look at Chief Mangan’s schedule last year.

Jan. 5: Seattle, Command College, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar briefing (No reimbursement listed) Jan. 10-12: Quantico, Va. (FBI headquarters); Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (FBI bought airplane ticket, city paid rental car, some meals) Jan. 14-18: Rochester, N.Y. (vacation) Jan. 23-25: Detroit, Mich., International Association of Chiefs of Police (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Feb. 4-6: California, vacation Feb. 22-23: Seattle, Washington State Institute of Community Oriented Policing Policy Council (city paid lodging, meals, airline and rental car) March 13: Seattle, Community Oriented Policing Consortium Grant Project (city paid airline, rental car) March 17-24: Port Ludlow, Wash., Command College (city paid lodging, meals) April 1-4: Quantico, Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (city paid meals, registration fee, airline fare and rental car) April 4-8: Rochester (vacation) May 3-4: Seattle, Command College, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (city paid lodging, meals, airline, rental car) May 22-26: Vancouver, Wash., Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference (city paid loding, meals, registration fee) May 31-June 2: New Orleans, Foreign Student Advisor Presentation (city paid $1,078 plane fare, meals and lodging) June 3-11: Sun Valley, National Executive Institute and Major City Chiefs Conference (city paid lodging of $995 and meals) July 3-10: Rochester, N.Y. (vacation) July 11-14: Quantico, Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (FBI reimbursed plane fare, city paid car rental, some meals) July 31-Aug. 1: Seattle, WSICOP Policy Council (city paid lodging, meals, air fare and rental car) Aug. 10-11: Seattle, WSICOP Policy Board Grant Proposal (city paid lodging, meals, airline fare, rental car) Aug. 18: Yakima, Explorer Academy Aug. 25-Sept. 1: Newport, R.I., Department of Defense Terrorism Conference (city paid lodging of $600, meals, airline fare and rental car) Sept. 13-16: Alexandria, Va., International Association of Chiefs of Police Instruction (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Sept. 19-20: Chicago, Police Executive Research Forum, Process Mapping Project (city paid airline fare of $1199) Sept. 21: Seattle, FBI meeting (FBI reimbursed costs) Sept. 27-28: Portland, National Community Policing Conference (Department of Justice reimbursed costs) October 28-31: Nebraska, Police Officers Association of Nebraska Nov. 13-16: Olympia, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Conference Nov. 28-Dec. 1: St. Louis, International Association of Chiefs of Police (vacation time used due to outside compensation) Dec. 26-Dec. 29 - vacation

Total cost of travel to city taxpayers: $9,388 NOTE: When the chief travels from FBI headquarters at Quantico to visit his family in Rochester, he reimburses the city for the cost of airfare.

2. CITY RESPONSE While state law requires agencies to respond quickly to public records requests, the city of Spokane and its police department took nearly 3-1/2 months to turn over Chief Terry Mangan’s travel records. The Spokesman-Review asked for the material Oct. 7. After repeated calls to City Manager Roger Crum by a reporter and an editor, those records were made public Dec. 5. They included the last four months of 1994 through Dec. 1, 1995. “Responses to requests for public records shall be made promptly by agencies,” state law says. The newspaper updated its request Dec. 27, asking for December’s records as soon as possible. They were made available Jan. 22. That same day, Crum and Mangan detailed the records in a report to the City Council. Kristina Johnson

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Kristina Johnson Staff writer Staff writer Bonnie Harris contributed to this report.


 
Tags: ethics

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