According to SPD’s own Brass it has been!!!
This is another one of those stories that Mayor Condon, his right-hand gal Teresa Sanders, and Chief Craig Meidl don’t want the Public, City Council, or Women’s Advocacy Groups to know about because if they did the stuff would likely hit the fan.
There are two important issues to consider in this story. The first and most import issue is of course SPD’s admitted lack of proper Rape Investigation Training. The second issue is SPD’s lack of transparency.
The lack of transparency issue is “currently in the land of collective bargaining” because Mayor Condon, Teresa Sanders, Chief Craig Meidl, and the City Council are afraid of the Police Unions filing a unfair labor practice complaint and aren’t willing to battle it out with the Unions in the interest of the Public.
Even “Frequent Conservative Critic” Shawn Vestal is on board, and one would think the Progressive members of the Spokane City Council would take note of that.
Many of my readers are aware of my interest in Rape Investigations which dates back to my time on the Spokane Police Department when I was tasked with trying to get SPD to take Rape seriously. I wrote several lengthy reports critical of the way SPD handled Rape Investigations with some drawing the attention of the press. I spent years investigating and reviewing well over 1,000 Rape and Serial Rape Cases so when I see something like this posted on SPD’s IA Website it draws my attention even though there is hardly any information available to understand the significance of the IA Case.
To be clear, the above IA Summary is not the only summary involving an SPD Officer having a sustained IA Case involving “Training Failures” in the investigation of Rape/Sex Crimes cases, but I chose to deal with this one because of its high-profile media coverage as well as the fact that it points out the City Leadership isn’t doing their jobs when it comes to providing Victims with the best possible service they deserve.
Having investigated more than my share of Homicide and Sex Crimes Cases, I know that investigating Rapes and Sex Crimes is far more difficult than your average Homicide case, something I pointed out over and over again in the detailed reports I was tasked with doing for SPD. There isn’t a person left on SPD, including those in the Sex Crimes Unit now called the Special Victims Unit (SVU) that would have a clue of how difficult it was to even get one started at SPD, let alone having a Sex Crimes Unit Call Out Protocol. The images below from one of my reports only tells a small part of the story.
The case I am exposing here is one where there can be NO QUESTION that SVU Investigators should have been called out to conduct the Rape Investigation, and I have no doubt that Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald would agree with me on that point.
Although I have yet to see the Body Camera footage of this incident to get an understanding of exactly how Officer Kevin Reece interacted with the victim, I can easily tell that part of the problem lies not only with relatively new Officer Reece’s handling of the case but also directly with the Administration of the Spokane Police Department who report Directly to Mayor Condon and Teresa Sanders.
You can read the entire IA Case at the link below and draw your own conclusions, however I will point out a few things that I feel are important based on my background and experience.
Lets first take a good look at Lt. Troy Teigen’s comments in the IA Case.
Teigen does a good job of going back and documenting the lack of training Officer Reese received from his Field Training Officer (FTO), and since the Guild was able to negotiate higher wages with Mayor Condon and Teresa Sanders for FTOs someone needs to do an audit to see if we are getting what we are paying for.
Now lets take a look at Captain Tom Hendren’s comments.
Captain Tom Hendren’s comments were of special interest to me because his Dad Jerry Hendren who has since passed was a good friend and a Sex Crimes Investigator with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, who BTW was happy as hell the Tom went with SPD and not the SCSO. Captain Tom Hendren’s grandfather Wayne Hendren was one of the Chief’s I served under, and interestingly enough his Dad Jerry married Sheryl Hendren Spokane’s first ever Rape Crisis Advocate whom I worked closely with during my time of SPD, and after my retirement. Together Sheryl and I for years taught recruits at the Spokane Police Academy how to investigate sex crimes and the dynamics associated with sex crimes victims. Sheryl was instrumental in, among other things in helping me get a Sex Crimes Unit going at SPD
Captain Hendren is spot on in his comments a “training failure” it most certainly was.
I just have to shake my head when I read the Uniform Division SOP for Rape & Sex Offenses written in 2002. If there isn’t anyone down a SPD that doesn’t see how bad this is…I give up!!!
As a part of Officer Reece’s discipline, he was required to receive some “Remedial Training” with the SVU, now that is all well and good, but I guarantee you one hour is NOT ENOUGH, and if handling Rape and Sex Crimes Cases properly isn’t hammered into Recruits heads when they go through the Police Academy a good portion of SVU’s time will likely be consumed with “Remedial Training”.
One would have thought that since this serious training issue was clearly identified in December of 2017 there would have been plenty of time to prepare a training curriculum for the Spring 2018 In-service SPD Training. That didn’t happen, so my recommendation would be for Mayor Condon, Teresa Sanders, and Chief Craig Meidl to direct Director Jacquelyn MacConnell to put together a training curriculum for this Falls In-Service Training. Of course, I’m just a concerned Citizen Journalist and there is no need to follow my recommendations… so we shall see?
As for me!
I REPORT YOU DECIDE!!!