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The Police Ombudsman Commission is arguing that members of the department are withholding certain information needed to perform civilian oversight of law enforcement. The complaint comes in the midst of contract talks with the union representing Spokane’s uniformed police officers, who have been working under a contract that expired in 2016.
Following the recommendation of Spokane Police Ombudsman Bart Logue, a civilian panel voted unanimously Tuesday night for a deeper look into the actions of an officer responding to a protester near the Spokane Club for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
SNAP, which runs the Eastern Washington Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, says it needs to bolster the number of volunteers who advocate for seniors in assisted-living care facilities. The program usually has between 36 and 42 people, but is down to about 29 ombudsmen, so more volunteers are needed to help residents who might have issues while living in various long-term care facilities across a five-county area. Training starts Oct. 12.
Spokane City Councilman Breean Beggs wants to give those requesting records on police misconduct the option of having the information posted publicly. The Spokane Police Department has voiced concerns the law could violate the privacy of citizens making complaints.
Last year saw the highest number of officer-involved shootings in more than two decades. Eight people were shot by county law enforcement officers in 2017, and seven were shot by Spokane police officers – the most for the department since at least 1995, according to department data.
Spokane, unlike other municipalities, is vague in its application of less-than-lethal tactics as laid out in the police department’s Use of Force Policy, Logue said. Specifically, there’s little clarity in the department’s treatment of what Logue calls the “sanctity of life.”
The scandal at DOC exposed serious management flaws. Lawmakers are right to step in and hold the agency accountable with independent oversight.
Bart Logue, the city’s police ombudsman, said he was not given access to nearly a dozen Internal Affairs investigations that he participated in last year for certification. At Logue’s request, Police Chief Craig Meidl said the department will audit IA cases over the past two years to ensure compliance with city laws moving forward.
March 25. Headline on primary endorsement editorial was “Kasich and Clinton only moderates left standing.”
A longtime Phoenix police officer who impressed community members as a finalist for Spokane’s police ombudsman job will now oversee Internal Affairs.
Contracts with the unions representing police officers and supervisors are up for renewal at the end of the year. At the same time, the City Council is set to consider revisions to the authority of the police department’s civilian oversight body. The discussion will once again bring into conflict state labor laws and the public’s desire for law enforcement scrutiny.
Bart Logue, a former diplomat and Marine Corps provost marshal, the equivalent of a police chief, will work under a three-year contract as permanent ombudsman.
More than 100 volunteers are needed as advocates in the Eastern Washington Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, and training starts Sept. 15.
The bad news regarding police reform in Spokane is that three years after voters demanded “independent investigations” of police misconduct, we’re still debating the meaning of “independent,” as if it is a puzzling and difficult notion. The good news is that there are signs of a re-energized push for more independence in the city’s ombudsman’s office. Part of this comes from a proposal that may be on its way toward the City Council that would attempt to untangel the ombudsman from the department’s internal affairs process. And part of it comes from the guy who is filling the ombudsman’s job right now, Bart Logue.
The independence of Spokane’s police ombudsman dominated discussion at a Tuesday forum where community members questioned finalists for the job. Bart Logue, who’s been serving as the city’s interim ombudsman since February, answered questions at West Central Community Center alongside the other finalist, Jacquelyn MacConnell, a former Phoenix police officer.
The Spokane Police Guild and Interim Police Ombudsman Bart Logue have come to an agreement expanding access to officers’ body camera footage. Logue’s assistant will have access to digitally stored body camera footage turned over to the Office of the Police Ombudsman for review in specific cases. However, only Logue will be allowed to critically view the footage to offer suggestions and recommendations to police.
Bart Logue, Spokane’s interim police ombudsman, wants his assistant to be able to access body camera footage captured by officers in the field. But the union representing officers argue the city’s laws prohibit that access and want to negotiate.
Police ombudsman Bart Logue wants Spokane residents to give him a goal. Speaking to about 15 people at a Tuesday night forum, Logue said he wanted to hear ideas about what an independent police ombudsman should accomplish on the job.
Spokane must start over on finding a new police ombudsman. Raheel Humayun, the Canadian citizen who was offered the job of Spokane Ombudsman in November, was denied a visa, according to the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission.
Spokane’s police ombudsman could be in a much stronger position to conduct independent investigations by the end of the year if City Councilman Breean Beggs has his way. Beggs says small changes to the city ordinance laying out the ombudsman’s powers and duties could effectively cut the city’s two police unions out of having a say in the ombudsman’s role and hiring, opening the door for more robust independent investigations.