Arrow-right Camera


Doug Clark: Bottle babies in blue make news again

Sun., Jan. 10, 2010

Corporal Clark is back by popular demand to answer your law enfarcement questions.

Q: We’re barely into the New Year and another local cop has made the news for possible boozy bad behavior. Can you believe it?

Cpl. Clark: I prefer to look at the bright side.

Q: What bright side?

Cpl. Clark: At least it wasn’t the Spokane Police Department again.

Q: That is something, I guess.

Cpl. Clark: Spokane County sheriff’s Lt. Stephen P. Jones was arrested during the wee hours Friday after rolling his Lincoln Navigator and knocking down a power pole.

Q: Was it bad?

Cpl. Clark: The last Lincoln that got this abused was at Ford’s Theatre.

Q: That joke is despicable, Cpl. Clark.

Cpl. Clark: Despicable situations call for despicable humor.

Q: By that do you mean that Lt. Jones, a veteran peace officer, is suspected of driving drunk?

Cpl. Clark: Yes. But it will take about a month before the results from Jones’ blood test come back.

Q: A month? Why so long?

Cpl. Clark: That’ll give Jones enough time to shop for a skilled lawyer.

Q: What’s a skilled lawyer?

Cpl. Clark: One who can keep a straight face while uttering outrageous crap.

Q: Are you talking about the “I thought his pinky was a gun” defense used to explain why off-duty Spokane cop Jay Olsen shot an unarmed fleeing civilian?

Cpl. Clark: Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Q: How about the lawyer who recently filed a $4 million lawsuit against the city? He claimed Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick’s firing of Sgt. Bradley Thoma in the wake of his off-duty drunken hit-and-run crash is almost as unfair as canning someone for having cancer.

Cpl. Clark: That works for me.

Q: But why do we keep having so much trouble with cops misbehaving?

Cpl. Clark That’s the zillion-dollar question, my friend.

Q: I mean, the taxpayers pay Lt. Jones $108,000 a year. He oversees important programs like Explorers and school resource deputies. We need our law enforcement officers to be role models, not roll models.

Cpl. Clark: Hey, I’ll do the bad jokes here.

Q: Sorry. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich called Jones “a pretty rock-solid employee.” Are you surprised?

Cpl. Clark: Not at all. Anyone who winds up with just a gashed head after knocking down a 45-foot power pole has to be rock solid.

Q: It’s a mess, isn’t it?

Cpl. Clark: You’re not kidding. The pole is owned by Avista. That’s like crossing the Mafia.

Q: Are you saying there will be reprisals against Lt. Jones?

Cpl. Clark: At the very least a spike in his monthly comfort billing.

Q: By the way, what were those placard-waving protesters doing in downtown Spokane this week?

Cpl. Clark: They were trying to get Thoma’s lawyer, Robert Dunn, to drop that $4 million lawsuit against Spokane.

Q: Think they have a chance?

Cpl. Clark: Absolutely. They have the same exact chance as Cpl. Clark being the next keynote speaker at the Police Academy.

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

There is one comment on this story »