The answer is simple “DON’T HIDE…PROVIDE”, because Spokane like almost every other City these days is made up of four distinct groups similar to the groups associated with political issues and voting.
- Group Number ONE, the largest group, is made up of folks who are concerned about the various news reports identifying misconduct and mismanagement of the people who have the responsibility of protecting them but are at the same time not willing to believe that things are really as bad, or for that matter as good as, they are portrayed in the press.
- Group Number TWO, is made up of folks who feel strongly that Police Officers no matter the situation can do little or no wrong.
- Group Number THREE, is made up of folks who feel strongly that Police Officers no matter the situation can do little or no right.
- Group Number FOUR, is made up of folks who just don’t give a damn one way or the other.
*(There is a fifth group but they are the ones that just hope cops are real lousy at catching them, so they don’t count)
Since gaining the TRUST of the Community is of paramount importance to my old organization (SPD) I am going to suggest that they and Mayor Condon approach the battle like a political campaign and target the largest group, which I am convinced is Group #1. SPD already has #2 in their pockets, there will be a few converts from #3 but the diehards will remain, and people that don’t give a damn will just continue not to give a damn.
Political campaigns always hire political strategists to run campaigns and I know they always target the biggest voting block which is the Independents who are somewhat analogous to Group #1 in this battle. Having worked as a hired gun, so to speak, in both Republican and Democrat campaigns I quickly learned there are primarily two types, the dishonest and dirty campaign that each side accuses the other of being, and the honest and upfront campaign that each side maintains they are running. My recommendation, as it always was to political campaigns, to SPD, the Mayor, and City Council is to run a campaign that for a change is “honest and upfront” because it will have the greatest impact in drawing the most folks from Group #1 into the fold, and will also help to bring in some converts from Group #3. Just forget about Group #4, it is what it is.
Unfortunately, here in Spokane citizens are at a disadvantage in this campaign because we just don’t have the fact checkers you ordinarily see during big political campaigns where fact checkers are hired by both sides and media outlets actually bring in fact checkers to research the facts. A perfect example is Mayor Condon’s false claim that crime has gone down during his administration when in fact it has gone up considerably. That falsehood I time and again pointed out but the Spokesman Review never bothered to do any fact checking as the lies were fed to them time and time again. Sure Nick Deshais wrote a fact checking piece three days before the election which has to make people wonder just how concerned some of the media is in doing their job as fact checkers and overseers of government.
Here is a short list of a few suggestions for beginning a New Honest and Upfront Campaign.
- Quit lying about the fact that there isn’t a big problem with the SPD the extent of which you have tried to hide.
- Quit lying about crime data, caseload data, manpower allocation, and Golden Goose money.
- Quit lying about the OPO and the OPOC having independent investigative authority as well as it being the best thing since sliced bread.
- Quit lying about not giving the Guild control of body cameras.
- Quit lying about the Cotton/Straub, Cortright/Straub issue.
- Quit lying about the need for Straub’s “Precinct Model”.
- Quit lying about all the dollars that have been wasted by ill-conceived programs at SPD.
- Quit lying about the problems associated with a Culture Audit (COPS/DOJ even gave you the methodology).
- Start implementing the UOFC and COPS/DOJ recommendations instead of trying to find a way around them and with all the recent OISs start implementing the recommendation to make the Deadly Force Review Board’s findings public.
- Bring back non-manipulated AIM data so the public can see what you aren’t doing but should be.
- Release the number of, and names of “Brady Cops” currently on the job that have been provided to the Prosecutor.
- Adhere to the Attorney General’s Opinion regarding body cameras and start a legitimate process for recommending changes to RCW 9.73.
- Ask Jim McDevitt to resign from the new Police Chief search committee based on his past history with Straub and Smith.
- Start accepting responsibility instead of blaming everyone from Obama to Bush and beyond.
- DON’T HIDE… PROVIDE!
Great campaign strategy…right? I can’t wait to see what the Las Vegas Odds Makers come up with for odds of this strategy being implemented. My guess is around 10/1.