City and Police Guild Have Tentative Agreement on Police

By Paige Browning/Steve Jackson

Friday, Spokane Mayor David Condon announced a “tentative agreement” on a police contract between the city and police guild.
 
Condon characterized the agreement as strengthening independent citizen oversight of the police department. But noticeably absent from the agreement is specific wording to give the police ombudsman independent investigation power. Police chief Frank Straub said it is important not to rush the process.
 
Straub: “One of the things that we have to do is put out not just a charter amendment, but an ordinance that is consistent with Washington state law and brings in the collective opinion of all those parties and ultimately this community. So to rush to judgment, to rush to create something, because it feels good that’s it’s out there, is an error.”
 
But advocates for more police oversight say that the public vote last February that mandates independent oversight language needs to be included in the contract.
 
Center for Justice attorney Rick Eichstadt says the city could draft an ordinance.
 
Eichstadt: “Our hope though that process we actually come up with an ordinance that the Guild will agree not to challenge, so that the tentative agreement and ordinance will be passed. I that doesn’t happen, were gonna urge the council to reject the agreement, and send this back to the bargaining table”
 
Eichastadt says the wording of the city charter specifically states that the city does not have authority to sign an agreement that does not meet the requirements of Proposition One, the measure voters approved in February.

Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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