Letters to the Editor

Upgrade police force

Spokane will soon hire 25 new applicants for the next police academy class. We cannot afford any more mediocrity; just too many lawsuits, too many public failures. Chief Frank Straub should use this once-in-a-great-while opportunity to upgrade the quality of his officers. Don’t even think about hiring anyone with less than a legitimate college degree, the new gold standard for law enforcement.

California State University, Sacramento has a nationally acclaimed criminal justice program. The FBI, Secret Service, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, etc., travel to California to recruit. There are many other outstanding college programs.

Spokane salaries and benefits are competitive nationally. He will find many qualified applicants. He should get on a plane and find the best possible candidates.

This is his chance to change the culture and standards of his department. This academy class will provide the supervisors and administrators for years to come. They, and the officers that will follow, will eventually become the nucleus of the department. He should put together a cadre of dedicated, intelligent, educated professionals, become their mentor, and take responsibility for their success.

Do it. Own it. Anything less is unacceptable to the people of Spokane.

Gary Webbenhurst

Spokane



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