April 26, 2009 in City

Doug Clark: To protect and serve themselves

By The Spokesman-Review

Spokane police agencies have been more scandal-ridden than Perez Hilton’s blog.

To help clear the air, I have been asked to turn over today’s column to Cpl. Marvin Whitewash. He will now address your police concerns and hopefully prevent a mob from storming the Public Safety Building with pitchforks like the peasants in that romantic comedy, “Frankenstein.”

Let the questioning begin.

Q: Boy, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was really cheesed the other day during that Public Safety Committee meeting, huh?

Cpl. Whitewash: She was ornerier than a grizzly with a snootfulla pepper spray.

Q: Why was Annie so hacked off?

Cpl. Whitewash: She doesn’t like certain smart alecks in the media and others saying that cops can get away with anything just because they get to carry badges and guns and thump the bejeebers out of an innocent janitor now and then.

Q: The chief said she wasn’t going to put up with any reckless talk of her agency. What’d she mean by “reckless talk”?

Cpl. Whitewash: The usual. Stuff like, “Please don’t Tase me, officer. Please don’t aaaahhhhhrrrrrggg!!!”

Q: I don’t think Anne Kirkpatrick likes the newspaper, does she?

Cpl. Whitewash: Nonsense. In fact, she actually looks forward to one section of the newspaper.

Q: Really. Which one?

Cpl. Whitewash: That section that says, “Doug Clark is on vacation.”

Q: City Council President Joe Shogan said the police just have a public relations problem.

Cpl. Whitewash: That’s true. Like when that off-duty cop had public relations in a car with some woman he picked up in a bar.

Q: Isn’t that what you’d call an internal affairs investigation?

Cpl. Whitewash: I was going for pubic relations. I’ll handle the punch lines, thank you very much.

Q: Shouldn’t the public be steaming over what happened to the case against Pete Bunch?

Cpl. Whitewash: You mean Peter Peter Window Peeper, the sheriff’s sergeant who was supposedly prowling around a woman’s South Hill yard and resisted arrest?

Q: Yes. No charges were filed. And City Prosecutor Jim Bledsoe was quoted in a report saying that it was his job to pursue criminals, “not law enforcement officers demonstrating a temporary lapse in judgment.” Come on, Cpl. Whitewash, don’t you think that stinks worse than roadkill on a July day?

Cpl. Whitewash: It certainly does. Whoever released that report to the press should be transferred to highway litter control.

Q: Has the Spokane Police Department made any policy changes following the Jay Olsen scandal?

Cpl. Whitewash: Absolutely. The SPD is not afraid of change.

Q: So what’ll be different?

Cpl. Whitewash: From now on, booze-soaked, off-duty cops can fire only two shots at a fleeing unarmed civilian.

Q: Olsen fired five times at Shonto Pete, didn’t he?

Cpl. Whitewash: He sure did. And in these tight economic times that is an egregious waste of ammunition.

Q: Speaking of a bad economy, I see two new Spokane police officers will be let go after just 10 days on the job. Will they get any severance?

Cpl. Whitewash: Yes. Each departing officer gets one free pick from the evidence locker.

Q: Isn’t that stealing?

Cpl. Whitewash: There you go with the reckless talk again.

Q: Spokane cops aren’t the only ones who get in trouble, are they?

Cpl. Whitewash: Far from it. Why just the other day a Medical Lake police sergeant pleaded guilty to touching a female co-worker’s breast.

Q: Is that a felony?

Cpl. Whitewash: No. That’s a grope misdemeanor.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at dougc@spokesman.com.

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