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Opinion >  Column

Doug Clark: Test your knowledge on the quest to appoint a new Spokane police chief

Doug Clark
Doug Clark

Choosing a new and hopefully sane police chief has become Spokane’s biggest quest for 2016. Today you can test your knowledge on this complicated subject by taking the following multiple-choice quiz.

Just circle your answers in crayon, preferably Vivid Tangerine or Radical Red, and we’ll score the numbers at the end.

1. According to former Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, cops outside the area consider our chief’s job to be a …

A. Career killer. (1 search warrant)

B. Buzz killer. (3 search warrants)

C. Journey into the heart of darkness. (6 search warrants)

2. Mayor David Condon has vowed that he will hire a new Spokane police chief …

A. By next July. (1 search warrant)

B. At least by next Oktoberfest. (3 search warrants)

C. Hopefully before the city pays legal damages for the way the mayor axed the last police chief. (6 search warrants)

3. Mayor Condon’s biggest regret in the police chief scandal is …

A. Having to can his ex-BFF, Chief Frank Straub. (1 search warrant)

B. Being accused of backroom sleazy politics. (3 search warrants)

C. Winning a second term and having to man the helm while the ship goes down. (6 search warrants)

4. Ideally, the next Spokane police chief should come …

A. From within the department. (1 search warrant)

B. From within the state of Washington. (3 search warrants)

C. From within a state of ignorance over just how dysfunctional the SPD really is. (6 search warrants)

5. The son of interim Spokane police Chief Rick Dobrow, who announced his retirement, complained in a letter to the mayor about the next chief having to …

A. Have a bachelor’s degree. (1 search warrant)

B. Pay for his badge and bullets. (3 search warrants)

C. Promise in writing that, no matter what happens, he will not sue the city. (6 search warrants)

6. Though Jim McDevitt has never been a cop, the mayor picked him to temporarily lead the Spokane Police Department because …

A. McDevitt’s a former U.S. attorney. (1 search warrant)

B. McDevitt’s a born leader. (3 search warrants)

C. McDevitt’s the most qualified campaign donor the mayor could find. (6 search warrants)

7. For his four months as law enforcement director, Jim McDevitt will …

A. Earn just under 70 grand. (1 search warrant)

B. Earn the mayor’s undying love. (3 search warrants)

C. Lose three years off his life from aggravation. (6 search warrants)

8. In law-enforcement terms, former City Council President Joe Shogan’s withdrawn ethics complaint against the mayor is an example of …

A. Firing blanks. (1 search warrant)

B. A toothless watchdog. (3 search warrants)

C. Assault with a dead weapon. (6 search warrants)

D. All the above. (10 search warrants)

9. The real reason Rick Dobrow is quitting his interim chief’s post and retiring from the SPD is …

A. He doesn’t have a college degree. (1 search warrant)

B. He really does want to spend more time with his family. (3 search warrants)

C. He’s a whole lot smarter than anyone gave him credit for. (6 search warrants)

10. The bottom line is that Mayor Condon wants a new chief who …

A. Has extensive police experience. (1 search warrant)

B. Comes with strong recommendations. (3 search warrants)

C. Will pack up and get the hell out of Spokane at the first sign of trouble. (6 search warrants)

OK, let’s tally the numbers and see how well-versed you are on SPD leadership problems.

Out of 64 possible search warrants, if you scored 12 or less you are as meaningless on this subject as a Joe Shogan ethics complaint.

A score of 30 or less shows that like Rick Dobrow, you should be spending more time with your family.

Scoring 60 or better proves you have what it takes to select the next Spokane police chief. Send your nominations to “Next Sucker,” in care of Mayor David Condon, seventh floor, City Hall.

For verification purposes, don’t forget to add the code words: “Clark made me do it.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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