The Spokane City Council recently unanimously rejected the proposed contract with the Police Guild because it does not include the independent review of departmental actions for which the people overwhelmingly voted. Other noncontroversial sections of the proposed contract laudably provide for officers to take courses and earn degrees for which they will receive permanent raises. Certainly a well-educated police force is an asset to any community.
Sadly, the Internet is filled with diploma mills that provide bogus credits and degrees with little or no academic or vocational merit. Therefore, the selection of courses and programs should also have an independent reviewing agency, such as a committee with ample police representation but consisting primarily of academics and others capable of assessing the educational programs officers plan to pursue. Such reviews would insure that the officers follow academic programs and earn degrees valuable to them and to the city and that the taxpayer dollars are well spent.
I strongly urge that such a provision be added to the proposed contract.