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Washington Voices

Police chief wants top aide

Thu., Feb. 4, 2010

Spokane Valley Police Chief Rick Van Leuven discussed his need for a precinct commander to be his second in command.

The position was recommended in the law enforcement study performed by the city in 2009 and there is a documented need for such a person, Van Leuven said.

He outlined a lengthy list of duties a precinct commander would perform, relieving some of the burden Van Leuven now shoulders alone. “It’s simply impossible for me to be in two or three places at one time,” he said. “It’s more than one person can handle. There is certainly the work available for this type of position.”

Van Leuven and acting City Manager Mike Jackson said they are still exploring options to fund the $152,000 annual cost without pulling additional money from the city’s general fund. The position could also be added to the city’s contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office the next time it comes up for negotiations. “If we are going to do this in the near future, it would result in a direct expense by the city,” Jackson said.

“I really think we need this position,” Mayor Tom Towey said. “It’s a position that’s almost a must.”

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