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Good morning, Netizens…
It depends upon where you hear it, but Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick may be leaving our fair city after all.
The continuation of this story began yesterday when Sacramento, Calif. Police Chief Rick Braziel, one of the three finalists for the position of the Police Chief of Seattle bowed out of the race for the position, citing that he wanted to remain in California. According to KXLY TV-4, citing a report by KCPQ-TV in Seattle, Chief Kirkpatrick sent an e-mail to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn asking to be reconsidered for job in Seattle.
Although the City of Seattle confirmed they had received an e-mail message from Kirkpatrick, they would not comment further, citing this was a personnel matter. Kirkpatrick’s spokesperson, Police Officer Jennifer DeRuwe, provided a tersely-written, one-sentence statement that read, “Chief Kirkpatrick is committed to her role as Chief of Police for Spokane; her status has not changed.”
McGinn, however, did conclude his statement Wednesday on Braziel’s withdrawal from consideration by saying that “the Police Chief Search Committee did an excellent job and we have two strong candidates for consideration.” Those two candidates are Ron Davis, Chief of Police for East Palo Alto, California and the Seattle Police Department’s interim chief, Jon Diaz.
Does Chief Kirkpatrick really want to move to Seattle? She owns a house there, and is familiar with that jurisdiction, having already served as Police Chief of Federal Way. More to the issue, given the contentious relationship between Chief Kirkpatrick and other high-ranking officers and the Police Guild, does the City of Spokane want her to remain here as Chief of Police?
OLYMPIA — Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was among law enforcement brass who told said they should be allowed to fire an officer who lies without fear of being overruled by an arbitrator.
Kirkpatrick joined sheriffs from King and Chelan counties who supported SB 6590, which was drafted to clarify a problem with state law raised in by a recent state Supreme Court ruling. The ruling overturned the firing of an officer for lying, saying the there was no explicit state policy that requires an officer to be truthful, so firing him was arbitrary.
An officer would have to be lying about a “material fact” in a case, Kirkpatrick said. An arbitrator should be able to rule on whether the department meets all the standards set down in the disciplinary process, she added; but if that’s done, the decision to fire or not fire shouldn’t be overturned by the arbitrator.
“I am the one who makes policy in my department on truthfulness,” Kirkpatrick said. When she first arrived in Spokane, Kirkpatrick said one of her rules was “you lie, you die.”
Representatives of police, deputies and state troopers said they don’t disagree with the position that officers must tell the truth. But they said rules for arbitration are covered by union contracts and should be negotiated at the bargaining table, not unilaterally changed by legislation.
Sheriffs are held to the same standards by voters, and appointed department heads like Kirkpatrick are answerable to their mayors or councils and could be investigated for lying by an outside agency.
As the panel of law enforcement officials left the witness table, Senate Judiciary Chairman Adam Kline, D-Seattle, stopped Kirpatrick to ask: “What part of the South are you from?”
Memphis, she replied.