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Follow criteria in search

What do Spokane’s citizens, the mayor and the establishment want in a police chief; a reformer, a water carrier, or someone who will kowtow? If these candidates are the best, then vetting has gone awry. The Spokesman-Review editorial of July 22 lists good criteria.

Let me summarize a short history of Spokane chiefs: patrol officer made chief as a political appointee; sergeant made chief who kept hitting parked cars; a good chief beaten down by a budget-killing councilman; a chief who didn’t want to offend anyone; a chief too independent; one who manipulated the budget crisis to the detriment of the department; one over her head who tried to bully the rank and file.

A former deputy chief was quoted as saying you will be asked to do things you do not like to do – that implies covering problems up.

If the mayor were smart, he would extend the search to find a leader who could meet the editorial’s criteria. Three things could happen: The mayor would fire him or her. He or she would stand their ground on reform or quit. Or, it could result in a mutual lovefest.

Bob Allen

Retired police captain



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.