I pick up my local paper and read police problems, more police problems. Déjà vu, and plenty of fodder for editors and columnists! Most citizen focus is directed to the immediate problems. Now the Brad Thoma case, with community unrest hyped by The Spokesman-Review. Before that we had the unresolved Otto Zehm case, firehouse sex case, resurrection of a detective’s drug use, and other items from the archives too numerous to mention.
There are two common themes: First, city government denial and efforts to risk-manage the problem, generally resulting in blowback. Second, the minions at The Spokesman-Review tower publicize the problem beyond reasonable reporting. There is no in-depth investigative reporting. If the city image is tarnished, the Review’s hounds are unleashed and the wild-hair syndrome governs.
In addition to the above problems is the claim of no resources to investigate property crimes, with the third theme being the alleged failure to manage limited resources. The solution is clear: First, recognize the problem; second, direct limited resources; and third, hold people accountable.
In short, hire a police chief who is allowed to run his or her department without overriding interference from City Hall.
Retired police officer