You got me, I don’t know!

For those of you who aren’t aware I’ve been trying to find out exactly where all our Cops are assigned within the SPD. Because SPD has up until very recently maintained a partial Organizational Chart depicting where the Brass in the Department were assigned one would think there would be something for the entire Department with corresponding documentation regarding the officer’s rank, seniority, time in grade etcetera, like all other Law Enforcement Agencies, I didn’t think I would have any problem coming up with something so I asked members of the City Council to provide me one. Unfortunately, none of the City Council Members could come up with anything and one of them tried hard to come up with something. In the past I got some documents from former Council Member Steve Salvatore who after some work did come up with the partial Organization Chart linked below.


Hell, I even thought that since Craig Meidl even provided me with a partial Organization Chart back in March of 2016, before I became persona non grata with him, I wouldn’t have any problems getting the information that I needed to try and figure out where the heck all these new Cops of ours are assigned and what they do.





Well, I was wrong of course and even going through the always difficult Public Records Request process…I got zilch. I kind of hate to take up the time and expense of going through the PRR Process, but Craig Meidl leaves me with no other option.




It looks like this is all we will get and it is impossible to tell from what we have how OUR RESOURCES are being used.


These are the only documents Ms. Farnsworth could get from SPD and as she notes in her email to me they sure as heck aren’t current!

Department Seniority 2017


Detective Seniority 2017


My last email in the images below will give you some idea of how I have been going back and forth with Ms. Farnsworth and Ms. Pfister just trying to get what should be readily available to the Media, Public, and City Council. I just hope that Mayor Condon fulfills the promise he made to give these gals more money to deal with PRRs in the 2017 Budget.


Although some folks might not understand the importance of knowing where all your troops are, their rank, seniority, and all that good stuff as it relates to things like “Unity of Command,” “Span of Control”, and all the stuff you learn as a Rookie maybe there is help on the way if she doesn’t allow herself to get caught in the trap!


On Another Subject???

I’m trying to get my hands on a copy of the infamous detailed “Jim McDevitt Report Card” but I can’t find one so if anyone happens to have a copy please pass it on so I don’t have to bother Ms. Pfister and Ms. Farnsworth.


“But he also said there are areas that need improvement.


“Once I am a private citizen again, I’m going to take the opportunity to do a report card and in that report card I’m going to talk about leadership, I’m going to talk about where I see, what I see the need in leadership should be based upon my experience not only here, but in other venues,” McDevitt said.


McDevitt said he feels like he owes it to the community to help make the department better.


“I’m going to talk about personnel, going to talk about facilities and it may not be the most popular report card to some, but then again I think I owe the public who’s been paying my salary for the last four months, the public and city hall an honest assessment of what I see and what I think the department needs,” McDevitt said.”









Old concept from the standpoint that the Neighborhood Resources Officer position was created by Cops during the Chief Terry Mangan era and the concept was copied through-out the Nation.

Frank Straub of course made a feeble attempt to take credit for the concept by simply changing the name to Neighborhood Condition Officer, so we are now apparently back to NROs instead of NCOs.

Compare the study in this link to what is going on at SPD today.



“An evaluation by Washington State University of the NRO program in 1992 and 1993 determined that the program implementation had been successful with officers reporting higher job satisfaction, and neighbors reporting high satisfaction with the officers.”


There was no question the concept was a good one and the whole idea was that Cops would take “ownership” of “their” Beat and pride in working with Neighborhood to make the Beat a better place for them to live. The SR article about Officer Ponto, which isn’t the first, shows that she has a good understanding of our original idea and is carrying it out so much Kudos Officer Ponto…you got it girl!

Don’t mistake the term “ownership” for heavy-handedness the analogy I used back in the day was like a carpenter who owns his own tools, and takes pride in them by keeping them sharp and clean.


“While Mangan was pleased with the results of the program he realized that the department was providing too little supervision for the NROS. “We had one NRO who was a very good community guy, but he kind of went sideways on us. He was overwhelmed, he had so much that he couldn’t manage it and he didn’t go for help because he figured he was independent,” Mangan said. “So he was getting reports that he never turned in… issuing citations that he never turned in. Spending way more time than he should have doing things that became increasingly less productive… He wound up being terminated for some very specific things he did wrong, but I also felt that we shared that responsibility because we didn’t provide him with the kind of support he needed.”



This reference in the Harvard study is referring to this situation:




It was a mess and took a long time to clean up, reports never turned in, lying about so many things I can’t remember the all, and a race element that got in the way. The City Council recently approved a budget which included four new “NROs.”


They did so of course without any facts, data, or understanding of the dynamics and acted only on what they were fed.






The reality is you can’t just hire four new people to be NROs it must be an experienced Cop, like Ponto willing to take ownership, work with the Neighborhood and solve problems who can be trusted to work under limited supervision. In essence you need the right people for the job.

I recently read a very troubling IA report regarding a Detective with a long, long, IA history being moved by Craig Meidl to the Hillyard Precinct and away from watchful eyes, real dumb move Craig.





More later this subject!



Not really a flash many of us have known for some time…SPD decided to listen for once!









Not in my view, but apparently, it is in the eyes of Chief Craig Meidl.


Many of my readers will remember the stories I did regarding Tim Schwering’s IA Website, which was supposed to provide copies of IA files online for the public to read and evaluate. The COPS/DOJ Report lauded SPD for providing this tool to the public and the “transparency” it demonstrated. Of course, it wasn’t all that transparent, and as I have documented in the past the Website had considerable problems including releasing personal information in violation of the Public Records Act. Despite my continued efforts to have SPD clean it up which included not only my stories but also direct contact with the City Council, not one thing was done until the inevitable happened and Justin Lundgren released to the Public and the media the personal cell phone number of Captain Brad Arleth during “Furniture-gate”. Arleth was not the only law enforcement victim, and there were several members of the public who fell victim to the lack of diligence.



A Few More Background Links:





Tim Schwering’s IA Website has now become Lieutenant Tracie Meidl’s Website and considerable changes have been made to eliminate transparency. Lt. Tracie Meidl as we all know is Chief of Police Craig Meidl’s wife and what a gift Chief Meidl received in having his wife becoming responsible for the handling of IA cases since as anyone in law enforcement or oversight knows IA cases will make or break a Chief of Police. Is it a conflict of interest? Well of course it is!




As predicted SPD IA, has gone to a “Case Synopsis” format like what the Seattle Police Department does.

Below you will find some images and links of some of Seattle PD’s “Closed Case Synopsis” format which Spokane PD is trying to copy. I have also made a comment regarding one of the cases that I have covered several times regarding the “Standard of Proof” utilized by the Spokane Police Department in determining if disciplinary charges will be brought against a Spokane Police Officer.



*** Please note the “Standard of Proof” utilized by Seattle PD; “preponderance of evidence”.



Named Employee #1

Allegation #1

There was not a preponderance of the evidence either supporting or refuting the allegation. Therefore a finding of Not Sustained (Inconclusive) was issued for Standards and Duties: Retaliation is prohibited.




*** Spokane Police Department utilizes a much higher standard of proof than almost any other Police Department in the Nation, which makes it far more difficult to discipline Officers. Spokane Police Department uses the higher standard of “Clear and Convincing Evidence”, and has been since the Anne Kirkpatrick era.




As several members of Spokane PD are aware however the “Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard”, is used for some of them but not all, and a lot depends upon who you are and the positions you take.

I have always been somewhat amazed that the Standard of Proof issue has never been brought in other Media, or for that matter the Spokane City Council or OPO Commission.

Obviously with contract negotiations supposedly going on between the Police Guild and the Lieutenants and Captains Association one would think that someone would clean this up. I have also heard that there is a possibility that an Unfair Labor Practice complaint may be made against the City for refusing to negotiate, which could be interesting if true.




Chief Craig Meidl and his IA Unit obviously think it is a good idea!





As for me, I don’t think it is a good idea especially when you are dealing with an individual’s perception of a physical confrontation between Officers and Body Camera Video related to a physical confrontation, after all when it comes to video of police confrontations the issue of perception always comes up and the Public or witnesses in many cases have a different perception of what transpired. Arresting and booking a person into jail in my view will only create a reluctance on the part of people to make complaints against police officers.


There is of course a considerable backstory to Tracie Meidl’s “New and Improved” IA Website which I am working on, but as usual some folks try and get in the way. Since Craig Meidl and Justin Lundgren refuse to respond to me given what I have pointed out in the past I’m forced to go through the PIO, unfortunately PIOs are not always told the truth by the Brass, so we will see how it goes.







So why bother to fact check or get the data necessary to make a rational decision?




The City Council’s easy and unquestioning approval of SPD’s 2017 Budget makes those who have previously been involved in the SPD Budget Process just shake their heads and laugh. In the past SPD Administrators had to spend considerable time putting together data which included such things as “A Calls For Service (CFS) Analysis”, “An Assigned Caseload Data Analysis”, “An Overtime/Sick Leave Analysis,” and on and on. Today this is all you need to get the MONEY YOU WANT, and not necessarily the MONEY YOU NEED!


A Power Point Presentation created in 2004, authored by Marlene Feist, that has seen 391 revisions. Good job Marlene a lot of folks have gotten some mileage from your original Power Point!





“4 additional Officer-NRO’s”


Does SPD need four new “NRO’s”? WAIT JUST A DAMN MINUTE…What the hell is an NRO? Is that the same as Mayor Condon and Frank Straub’s “NCO” (Neighborhood Condition Officer) “?







Well, I’ll be darned it sure as hell is! Funny that the NRO is a position we developed back when there was real Community Orientated Policing, and not just a bunch of fluff.









“1 additional Officer-DV”


Well great, exactly how many street cops are assigned to the DV Unit now that should be on the street and what is their caseload? What is the caseload of the Detectives assigned to the DV Unit? The City Council obviously doesn’t know or even care it would appear.




“1 additional Officer was added during 2016 with an EBO”

So, whatever the big Emergency was in 2016 that required an Emergency Budget Ordinance to hire another Officer must still exist since the money is being rolled in as an addition to the 2017 Budget.

It must be this one…eh?





Wait just a damn minute! This EOB isn’t for an “Officer” it is creating a new position for a “Sergeant” which involves a hell of a lot more money than just an “Officer”.


“1 additional Officer-CJTC BLEA contracts”


So, is this an “Officer” or is this another Sergeant’s position being created due to the contracts with the Criminal Justice Training Commission and the Basic Law Enforcement Academy? Sneaky if it is…eh?

The problem is the City Council doesn’t know, I don’t know, and you don’t know, if it is a sneaky move simply because despite Karen Stratton’s Ordinance (Chapter 03.07 Payments to Employees and Applicants, Section 03.07.330 Establishment of New Exempt Positions) it is obviously another one of the Ordinances the City Council enacts and SPD doesn’t comply with, nor are they ever forced to comply, unless of course a member of the media submits a PRR requesting the documents required under the Ordinance…then it becomes one of those… “Oh Craps!”






How in the world can the Spokane City Council make any kind of a budget decision when they don’t even know what the SPD Staffing Level is and where it is, let alone use OUR million dollar “windfall” from the Speed Zone Cameras for SPD staffing? They even made a decision to use OUR windfall without having any knowledge whatsoever of the now not so secret Patrol Staffing Analysis that was required by COPS/DOJ.



“2 additional Information Technology positions”


Obviously the 911 Excise Tax and One-Tenth Emergency Communications Tax WE pay must not be enough to cover 2 positions in the Spokane Regional Emergency Communications Budget, so some dope at SPD said NO PROBLEM we will just add it to our budget for you folks, after all the money comes from the same source…so why not?









Since the Spokane City Council decided to make Spokane a “Sanctuary City”, because they had absolutely no understanding whatsoever of Terry vs Ohio, and President Elect Donald Trump has on several occasions stated that he will withhold all Federal Grant Funding from ALL “Sanctuary Cities” wouldn’t OUR million-dollar windfall come in handy to cover the $1.207 in “1620 & 1530-Grants” SPD is relying on in the 2017 budget?


Does anyone realize how absurd a Staffing Level of 24.4 Full Time Employees in the Chief’s Office at a cost of $5.65 Million is?



I’ll be darned that “Director- Strategic Initiatives” is listed as vacant? I wonder if Tim Schwering applied for that position? One would have to think that the $123,630.48 must be in the 2017 Budget. Funny isn’t it how long SPD has been able to get along without a Director of Strategic Initiatives…it has been about 8 months now hasn’t it?



Boy the political climate is interesting around here! The D-man is President Elect, Ozzie K and Ben S announcing a run against CMR thinking she was going to become a Tumpster, Breean B running for his Council Spot likely against Kevin P, Condon on his last leg opening a Mayor spot, Ormsby soon to be out as US Attorney with his office in a real mess with the Bolton case, and on and on. Maybe we will see Ben running for Mayor instead of CMR’s spot, and Ozzie better go back to plan A and start schmoozing the Trump folks more for the US Marshal’s job.

Spokane is kind of a funny place, if you are a Politician it doesn’t matter if you don’t seek the truth, get the data, and hold Administrators responsible for what they spend and how they spend OUR money you still just might get elected!