It just continues to be HSS (Hilarious Spokane Stuff)!
The Police Leadership Advisory Committee was never intended to be anything other than a sound good, feel good attempt at placating the public after the Mayor Condon’s political decision to hire Frank Straub. If it takes a committee to figure out what qualities are necessary for a new Chief of the Spokane Police Department what does that really say about how are City is being run?
It was this case that was the impetus for the Regional Center for Child Abuse & Neglect where Mary Ann Murphy got her start.
The Regional Center for Child Abuse & Neglect eventually ended up as it is currently, its history and some facts are linked below.
I had quite a bit of involvement back in my day with both Mary Ann Murphy and the gal that was from the beginning, and continues to be the forensic interviewer, Karen Winston. I respected both women and always believed their hearts were in the right place. We did of course have disagreements but they were the typical Cop vs CPS worker type of disagreements, the Cop wanting the kid’s placed and out of the home and the CPS workers disagreeing. Needless to say I didn’t really enjoy the “Staffing’s” involving some of my cases.
I think the biggest disagreement we had was when the Spokane County Prosecutor got beat really bad in a child abuse case because of a videotaped interview conducted by Karen Winston that was presented in court, so the prosecutor put pressure on Murphy and Winston to stop recording the Forensic Interviews. My position was of course BS; the video recordings offer the best evidence of what transpired in the Forensic Interview. At that time, and I don’t know if it is true today the RCCAN stopped recording the Forensic Interviews. I should add that the recording of the interview showed that Karen Winston actually did a very good job in the interview.
The idea of having an independent Forensic Interview of a child done was based primarily on the mistaken concept that Cops are too intimidating, and lousy child interviewers, which like everything else completely depends on the Cop. Don’t get me wrong I was all in favor of the RCCAN and gave them some strokes when I wrote SPD’s Investigation Manual. I always enjoyed giving Karen Winston a hard time about her growing up in comparison to mine. If she reads this she will know exactly what I’m talking about.
So there is some Background that will hopefully add some perspective.
Mary Ann Murphy is right on target regarding the appointment of James A. McDevitt, for a number of reasons. People should be asking just exactly what is McDevitt’s job, what is his job description, did civil service provide a waiver, can the City Council stop the appointment and are they willing to…and on, and on.
This Story ran in the SR back on February 12th, 2016. Ever wonder where the follow-up story is?
“McDevitt’s appointment has also raised some more logistical questions from the City Council. Council president Ben Stuckart submitted a letter to Condon following a Public Safety Committee meeting Monday with seven questions about how the role will work.”
This is about the extent of what we know at this point, which isn’t much and we need to hear from the City Council.
I’ll see what I can do;
Mary Ann Murphy was quite wrong about having Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich take over SPD, but that is attributable to a lack of understanding that many of the same problems SPD is facing also are being faced by the SCSO, and media popularity doesn’t a leader make.
This comment to the SR story is partially correct;
Mary Ann Murphy has been an asset to the Community, and she was/is totally out of this arena. There is wide spread speculation that Tim Schwering will be Condon’s choice for the new Police Chief, however I’m not so sure, since there is quite a bit of background available regarding Schwering including some that James McDevitt must have knowledge of from his time as the local US Attorney, and Schwering’s time at SPD as head of IA speaks for itself. I doubt Condon would take the risk but who knows.
Most people, like Mary Ann Murphy, are not familiar with the background of the idea of a Metro PD, well here are some facts for you:
“Condon acknowledges he is already moving forward with parts of his own consolidation plan. He told The Inlander that he has directed the police department to begin figuring out how to merge its dispatch services, training academies and drug units with the county.”
“Mielke added, “We are encouraged regarding Mr. Straub’s background in serving a community with a regional law enforcement effort. We believe his experience and perspective will be vital in our ongoing discussions about how best to provide law enforcement services to the citizens of this region.”
Condon said that among the key elements he was looking for in a new chief was someone with a background in “metro policing models,” something that Straub implemented during his tenure as public safety director in Indianapolis.
So where did the idea come from? Well not David Condon I assure you his comments were more of a justification rather than reality. The idea of a Regional/ Metro PD has been around for years. It really got hot and heavy in 1971 when we moved from the Downtown Police Station at 242 West Riverside to the Public Safety Building. It hasn’t happened and likely won’t in my lifetime primarily because of all the politics involved.
So there are some FACTS for you folks, there is considerably more of course!
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!