The Spokane City Council will consider a resolution Monday to appoint Frank Straub as director of law enforcement, not chief of police.
To become police chief, Straub needs to be commissioned in Washington by attending a police academy or receiving a waiver, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. Straub and Mayor David Condon are hopeful the state Criminal Justice Training Commission will grant him a waiver based on his background so he doesn’t have to attend a five-month training course.
“He actually was a commissioned officer in other locations in his career,” Feist said. “He has lots of experience in the law enforcement field, so we think it’s appropriate for him to seek this waiver as he becomes our new chief.”
Straub will meet with the commission next week; Feist said the city has sent the commission information on Straub’s background and training. Until Straub gets a decision from that commission, however, the city will use the title of director of law enforcement for the potential new hire. Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said that title “has the same duties as the police chief. It’s just a matter of wording.”
Straub comes to Spokane from Indianapolis, where he was hired in January 2010 after serving as public safety commissioner in White Plains, N.Y., starting in 2002. He has served as deputy commissioner of training for the New York Police Department and as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The city would prefer he not have to go through a five-month process, and if you look at Frank’s resume, if they don’t give him a waiver, I don’t know who they would give a waiver to,” Stuckart said. “He’s got a really strong background.”
Councilman Mike Fagan said the title is not a concern to him, but it would have been if it was “something to the effect of director of public safety.”
“Then we’re talking about … our emergency operations center, our EMS operations, our fire department, paramedics, you know, everybody else that is under the public-safety umbrella,” Fagan said. “I think just by virtue of the looming question that we have with regard to certification, director of law enforcement is appropriate.”