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Clark: Interim vortex will engulf chief

In like a lioness. Out like a mugging victim.

Can’t say I was too shocked to read that Anne Kirkpatrick has already told the mayor to start trolling the asylums for another Spokane police chief.

September will mark five years since Kirkpatrick jumped off the ledge and into the job as the Lilac City’s top law enforcer.

Wow. Five long years.

Stress studies have shown that running the Spokane Police Department for five years can cause the same psychic damage as a 20-year stretch in a Turkish prison.

Look how the job has affected Chief Anne.

Shortly after being sworn in, Kirkpatrick was the portrait of perky optimism. She was often in the news, promoting her latest attempt to drag the department out of the Testosterone Age.

Kirkpatrick validated her tough “If you lie, you die” policy right off the bat by canning a rookie officer.

Five years later the poor woman can’t be around loud noises and takes her meals through plastic bendy straws.

Pressured by the Blue Mafia (aka Spokane Police Guild), her “you lie” edict has been reworded to …

“Well, at least try not to shoot any civilians.”

I tried to tell her, of course.

History will show me to be the only pundit who cared enough to warn Kirkpatrick about the Venus flytrap she was getting herself into.

“Run for your life!” I told her.

If only she had listened.

Chief Anne now wants out of the SPD worse than CBS wanted out of Charlie Sheen.

Kirkpatrick has photocopied her resume so many times that downtown Kinko’s named her Customer of the Year.

Unfortunately, extricating herself from the thin blue tar pit may not be as easy as she hopes.

Granted, our mayor and council aren’t the brightest bulbs in our civic refrigerator. But they do know how difficult it will be to find another badge-wearing Quixote like Kirkpatrick.

The chief is a fine person with impeccable standards and high moral values.

Our leaders know that this can be exploited to our advantage.

See, Kirkpatrick promised to keep serving as chief during the interim search for another pigeon. But she forgot to stipulate just how long that interim period might be.

So look for the Kirkpatrick replacement search to take …

Oh, maybe forever.

Sorry, Anne. But you’re the creepy punch line to this “Twilight Zone” episode.

Or, to quote the Eagles:

“You can check out any time you like, but you can NEVER LEAVE!!!”

• Some of you noticed my absence for the last couple of weeks.

My lovely wife, Sherry, took me on a trip to New York City to celebrate my landmark birthday.

(Let’s say LX and leave it at that.)

But as I was enjoying all the big-city wonders, I got to realizing that Manhattan really isn’t so different from our Spohattan.

New York has Central Park. We’ve got Central Pre-Mix.

Big whoop.

And I’m also betting New York officials are as shifty as Spokane officials.

They just get to deceive the public in grander buildings.

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

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