The recent Public Records Document Dump supplies some information in that regard but not enough to really know for sure.
Let me start by explaining what Criminal Intelligence Units are, or at least should be, and then go from there. Criminal Intelligence Units are common in mid-size to large police departments. Their purpose is to utilize the “Intelligence Process” which consists of planning and direction, collection, processing/collation, analysis, evaluation, dissemination, and reevaluation, to collect all types of information on criminal activity and utilize the information to make cases and protect citizens.
The first SPD Criminal Intelligence Unit was established in 1973 by Police Chief Wayne Hendren in anticipation of the influx of criminals during EXPO 74. The Unit was staffed by one Detective (me) who had to start from square one to get the unit up and running.
According to the documents I received the current SPD Criminal Intelligence Unit has grown considerably and is an odd mixture of staffing, some of which I question;
1 SPD Sargent
2 SPD Detectives
1 Spokane Public Schools SRO
1 Border Patrol Agent
1 National Guard Analyst
1 Specialist (former SPD Detective)
1 Civilian SPD Crime and Intelligence Analyst
2 Senior Volunteers
Keeping in mind that the type of information a Criminal Intelligence Unit collects is in most cases very sensitive and confidential. Any legitimate Police Chief will tell you that the three law enforcement units most susceptible to corruption and abuse are Criminal Intelligence Units, Drug Units, and Vice Units, so I am at a complete loss as to why a Detective with a long well publicized IA history which includes some “Brady Cop” problems and was one of the cops who was tipping Karl Thompson off would be assigned to CIU…it doesn’t make sense to me. Nor does it make any sense to me to have Senior Volunteers accessing very sensitive information.
So what is the big deal Breen?? Perhaps there isn’t a big deal and the SPD CIU is collecting and maintaining Intelligence Information consistent with the Federal Privacy Act, and established national standards…but who knows as there has never been an audit, nor is there a City Ordinance covering the collection and retention of Intelligence Information similar to what Seattle was forced to do when their intelligence unit was caught illegally collecting and maintaining files on a lot of people, including politicians, legitimate business owners, religious groups…and all that kind of stuff. I just wonder if my file is as big as Doug Clark’s…seriously though who knows?
One thing I noticed back in April was that the City and the County entered into to a Memorandum of Understanding transferring the CIU Database to the Sheriff’s Office
Most law enforcement agencies have policies governing Intelligence Information, and I’m sure SPD does as well, but the question I have had and expressed for a long time is “Are they followed, and if not how would we know?”
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!