What better place to roll out the second time Chief of Police Craig Meidl then at OUR sparkling new Hillyard Precinct to not only pump Meidl’s tires but also attempt to pump the tires of the Condon, Straub, and now City Council costly “Precinct Model” by announcing the old news that C.O.P.S will be moving into the building. Old news because it was first reported here.
“ Here is something you will read here first! An agreement has been made between COPS and SPD to move the COPS Shop which was across the street from the North Precinct into the Precinct, which in my view is just one element of proof Condon and Straub’s highly touted “Precinct Model” is a failure.”
Here is another piece of news for you! Not only is C.O.P.S moving in, so are Department of Corrections Officers. Now that sounds like a great idea right… right? Well it is but that idea didn’t come from anyone in the Condon Administration or from any cop. It actually came many years ago when there was real Community Oriented Policing at SPD and we set up the Policing Model that became a National Model. The idea for including DOC people in our Community Oriented Policing model, which by the way has been practiced on and off here in Spokane since then was the “Brain Child”, and a good one, of a guy by the name of Jack Brucick who is now the Chairman of the Board at C.O.P.S., and back in the day was a Supervisor at DOC.
Many of us retired SPD folks are watching with interest as we watch the Condon Administration trying to get out of the whole they dug, and continue to dig for themselves as they attempt to revert back to the proper way to do things while at the same time try and cover all of the obvious mistakes they have made since 2012, in all honesty it is somewhat fun, but also very sad.
So what do you do with a building you purchased from a retired cop to go along with your dumb precinct plan that you have spent a ton of OUR money on? It is pretty simple really… you just fill it with tenants that have a law enforcement focus at no or little cost to them and pretend like everything is going just swell.
Don’t get me wrong this is great for C.O.P.S. they are saving $600 bucks a month rent which they were paying at the building across the street, and that is a good thing, but it won’t be if the Mayor and City Council cut what they get from the City in the next budget by an equal amount.
Something else we learned back in the day was that when you “decentralize” in an effort to accomplish true Community Oriented Policing perhaps the most critical aspect is proper supervision and strict accountability something SPD has had, and still does have, a serious problem with. Some cops take the freedom associated with decentralization and run with it actually taking pride and ownership of their little piece of the Community they are responsible for, on the other hand some cops will take advantage of it and simply play the game, so the onus is one first line Supervisors to watch the light weights like hawks.
How do I know? Because I lived it as the East Central Neighborhood Investigative Resource Officer. It took me a while to rebuild the trust, and the politics I had to deal with because Arturo was a minority working in a basically minority community, as well as me being an Irish White Guy, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
If anyone ever read the IA Cases that used to be posted on now Patrol Officer Tim Schwering’s IA Website, which are no longer available, it would be pretty easy for anyone to determine that a lot of the problems outlined in those cases reflect not only on supervision problems but also the fact that SPD is spread out in offices all over the City.
It is the time of the year after the FBI Data comes out that we see stories like this in the media, which primarily show that overall crime has been on a downward trend for a number of years. The AP usually takes the lead and local media follow.
I liked the way Daniel Walters handled his story in the Inlander including using his own graph going back to 1985 and includes the period of time we developed an Operational and Case Management System at SPD to handle the high case flow with limited staffing. That was back in times past when Property Crimes Detectives carried a caseload of 25-30 cases per month rather than the 6-7 cases per month the most recent SPD data shows (2012)
“You might wonder why I went through the exercise above again…well it has to do with a response by Craig Meidl to a question I asked about the low caseload at SPD. Meidl told me that the reason the caseloads were so low is because it is a lot harder to investigate property crimes today than it was when I was a Cop because investigators had to spend more time searching data from places like Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, and Pawn Records. I thought that was kind of strange in that I would think that all the social media, and data bases would actually make it an easier “gumshoe”, or maybe even no shoe at all.”
Needless to say some of us retired folks who actually had to work 25-30 cases per month had a good laugh at that one!
“ — the city’s property crime rate has remained relatively consistent for the past three decades. It spikes up sporadically, before returning to a baseline of about 7,500 crimes per 100,000 people.”
I didn’t like this comment in the story by Council President Stuckart:
“City Council President Ben Stuckart points to the more decentralized precinct model, increased funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) program, and the decision to hire more police officers as possible reasons for the improvement.”
Obviously Council President Stuckart has been programed into the SPD public face in despite of the fact that many retired cops other than myself have made every effort to bring him and other CC Members up to speed about what is going on at SPD. But the fact is, law enforcement can sell politicians almost anything as long as it sounds good, makes them look good, and the risk of facts and data being checked or investigated is close to nil.
Here is some more interesting stuff to compare.
This should be interesting, and seems to go along the lines of fixing something, even if the fix actually, lies with the fixing the organization, means to throw more money at the perceived problem, why not…it isn’t theirs.
WHAT DO THE NUMBERS REALLY SAY??
About our wonderful Hillyard Precinct.
As a note of caution I had to hurry through this data because of another story I’m working on, so make sure you check my numbers and please bring any mistakes to my attention. Also please keep in mind I hate easily manipulated CompStat Data, but it is SPD’s own, so I’ll use it. I didn’t do the Downtown Precinct but it looks like the same story there.
For cases like this I prefer to use the actual numbers rather than percentages because I feel it gives a clearer picture. So here you go, and you can make your own call.
Northeast District (P4) Hillyard Precinct
Thus far in 2016 over approximately a 9-month period there has been an INCREASE of 56 Part 1 Property Crime Cases Reported to SPD in the Hillyard District (P4). If the average of approximately 177 reported cases per month established during this period continues SPD would end up with a year-end DECREASE from 2015 of 120 Part 1 Property Crime Cases in the Hillyard District(P4) for 2016. I must point out that Dennis Walters is correct when he states:
“It spikes up sporadically, before returning to a baseline”
So it is hard to say what the final figures will show, law enforcement data fluctuates month to month. But if that data does demonstrate a significant increase, or even if it doesn’t, the City Council should start asking the proper questions during the budget process.
In 2015 there was a DECREASE of 393 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported to SPD in the Hillyard District (P4)
*** The Hillyard Precinct opened March 17th, 2015 and was “kind of open” for approximately a 10-month period in 2015.
In 2014 there was a somewhat significant DECREASE of 541 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported to SPD in the Hillyard District (P4) *** Prior to the opening of the Hillyard on March 17th, 2015
In 2013 there was an INCREASE of 323 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported to SPD in the Hillyard District (P4)
Let us compare the Hillyard District to the Central District (P2) where the Public Safety Building Precinct has been located since 1970.
Central District (P2) Public Safety Building
During the same approximately 9-month period as the Hillyard Precinct, the Public Safety Building Precinct had a DECREASE of 30 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported. Projecting forward for 2016-year end using the average of 157 cases per month established during the approximately 9-month data collection period, SPD would show a DECREASE of 360 cases for 2016.
In 2015 there was a DECREASE of 151 Part 1 Property Crimes Cases Reported to SPD for the Public Safety Building Precinct (P2).
In 2014 there was a DECREASE of 239 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported to SPD in the Public Safety Building Precinct.
In 2013 there was a DECREASE of 47 Part 1 Property Crimes Reported to SPD in the Public Safety Building Precinct.
Assuming my numbers are correct it works out this way.
2016 DECREASE, 120 CASES **(Projected)
2015 DECREASE, 393 CASES
2014 DECREASE, 541 CASES **(Prior to Hillyard Precinct)
2013 INCREASE, 363 CASES
Public Safety Building Precinct:
2016 DECREASE, 360 CASES **(Projected)
2015 DECREASE, 151 CASES
2014 DECREASE, 239 CASES
2013 DECREASE, 47 CASES
So what do these numbers mean to a Graduate of several boring Law Enforcement Anacapa Sciences Schools ( http://www.anacapasciences.com/company/index.html )
Well… it means Crime is on a downward trend…Pretty Smart, eh? 🙂
What does it mean to me from the standpoint of Mayor Condon, Frank Straub, and now Craig Meidl’s great and costly “Precinct Model”, as well as Council President Stuckart’s attributing the drop in Spokane crime “to the more decentralized precinct model”?
(In honor of the deceased and since reincarnated “Riddler” :))
Just in case you didn’t figure it out from Craig Meidl’s various interviews WE Citizens will be throwing even more money SPD’s way which will primarily be spent on image building rather than police work.
On a side note I’m still trying to get answers regarding the posting of IA Cases for public inspection, but for some reason neither Lundgren nor Meidl seem real interested in communicating with me. That will change I’m sure because of the recent “Transparency Vows”. 🙂