The ongoing soap opera that is Spokane law enfarcement has had more twists and turns lately than a Ringling Bros. trapeze act.
Fortunately, Cpl. Clark has returned to help guide us through this briar patch in blue.
So let the unraveling begin …
Q: What do you make of Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Assistant Chief Jim Nicks both abandoning ship at practically the same time?
Cpl. Clark: It’s poor time management. Even Nixon and Agnew had the decency to keep their departures separate.
Q: Chief Kirkpatrick has had a pretty rough go of it, huh?
Cpl. Clark: “SPD” doesn’t stand for Schemes, Prevaricators and Debauchery for nothing.
Q: Do you know what Chief Kirkpatrick will do after she leaves the department?
Cpl. Clark: First up is a long, hot, soapy shower.
Q: To relax?
Cpl. Clark: To wash the stink off.
Q: And then?
Cpl. Clark: As luck would have it, she’s found police work in a far happier and less stressful place.
Q: You mean like Palm Springs?
Cpl. Clark: No. Libya.
Q: Did the Nicks retirement surprise you?
Cpl. Clark: Not really. Nicks, as we all know, was the SPD’s minister of disinformation in the smear against Otto Zehm, the innocent and mentally ill janitor who died following a violent encounter with thug police.
Q: That’s right. But then Nicks flip-flopped his story to implicate Karl Thompson Jr., the officer facing a federal trial over what he did to Zehm. Did Nicks have a sincere change of heart?
Cpl. Clark: More like a sincere fear of committing perjury.
Q: Will there be much political fallout from the Kirkpatrick/Nicks exit?
Cpl. Clark: Rumor has it that Spokane Mayor Mary Starshine is planning another ragtag, impromptu news conference.
Q: To address the police leadership vacuum?
Cpl. Clark: To scold us for overwatering our lawns.
Q: And what about David Condon?
Cpl. Clark: Who?
Q: You know, Condon. The wannabe mayor who got his ass kicked by Mary in the primary.
Cpl. Clark: Oh, him. Condon’s been in round-the-clock meetings with his campaign advisers.
Q: Looking for ways to turn around our police department?
Cpl. Clark: No, looking for ways to turn our police scandals into votes.
Q: Condon’s interest in Otto Zehm does seem shamelessly opportunistic, huh?
Cpl. Clark: Condon couldn’t even spell Otto Zehm three weeks ago.
Q: Has the Spokane Police Guild reacted to the news about Kirkpatrick and Nicks?
Cpl. Clark: The guild is already planning a big “Nice Knowing You, Anne & Jim” party.
Q: Sounds festive.
Cpl. Clark: Guild officials plan to present Chief Kirkpatrick with a ceremonial SPD dagger.
Q: Why a dagger?
Cpl. Clark: It’s the same one they stuck in her back when she applied for the chief’s job in Seattle.
Q: What are they giving Nicks?
Cpl. Clark: A ceremonial dead fish wrapped in newspaper.
Q: Isn’t that a Mafia symbol of doom?
Cpl. Clark: What’s your point?
Q: That’s cold.
Cpl. Clark: Not as cold as the parting gift proposed by a reader who left a message on my voice mail.
Q: What would he give Nicks?
Cpl. Clark: A 21-Taser salute.
Q: Pretty soon we’ll have to go through the long, ugly process of selecting a new Spokane police chief. Do you have advice for any candidates who might be considering the job?
Cpl. Clark: Run for your bloody lives.