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Chief Anne, we hardly knew ye

It’s official. Anne Kirkpatrick is attempting to take a wedge shot out of this law enforcement sand trap we call the SPD.

True, I urged her to flee back in 2006, when she was applying for the job of Spokane’s top cop.

Some people are slow learners, alas. They must charbroil their behinds several times before wising up enough to scoot away from the wood stove.

The news broke last week. Kirkpatrick has stopped with the equivocating. She has now informed everyone – the mayor, the City Council and SPD’s visiting gun safety expert, Dick Cheney – that she WILL seek the position as Seattle’s police chief.

I know. Many of you are thinking: “There she goes again.”

It was just last fall when Kirkpatrick was caught trying to become chief of the streets of San Francisco.

The chief actually tried to sell the public on believing she wasn’t really looking for a new job even though she filled out and submitted an application.

I may have been the only one in Spokane not put off by such pretzel logic.

Which shouldn’t too be surprising. Twisting logic is how I earn a paycheck, after all.

But I also knew what she meant. Heck, I’ve claimed many times that I’m on a diet even though I keep ordering Snickers Blizzards at the Dairy Queen drive-through.

Anne’s seriousness is apparent this time, although I think the story has lost its luster for our news editors.

For example: Anne’s San Francisco job hunt appeared on the front page under a headline size that was only slightly smaller than the monster font we keep in reserve for the Lord’s return or Bob Apple winning the presidency.

What sort of play did the Anne “Yes, I’m looking” story receive?

A short one-column blip on page A7. It appeared in the “In Brief” section that is usually home to stories about school closures, car vandals and South Hill window peepers.

Okay, we did publish a sizable story about the Kirkpatrick job quest a day earlier.

But I don’t think that one counts. In that story Anne was quoted telling the Seattle Times, “right now I serve Spokane,” and that Spokane had her “complete devotion.”

Sure, Anne. And the inmates are wild about “Shutter Island,” too.

But I don’t blame her. The chief is blessed with a good heart and a wonderful sense of humor.

I doubt anyone with her soul could spend four or five years trying to remake the scandal-prone SPD without looking for a new job or a psychiatrist.

Despite its brevity, the Kirkpatrick Seattle search did contain some comedy gold.

I laughed hard at the part where an SPD mouthpiece said that Kirkpatrick wanted to be completely transparent, which is why she won’t be granting any interviews or making any comments about her latest attempt to get the hell outta here.

Look at the chief, all grown up and parsing words like a pro.

Anne voyage, little dove. And don’t forget – you can always use me as a reference.

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