“There are currently 10 officers stationed downtown covering three shifts.”

“Though officers are on foot or patrolling by bicycle whenever they are able to, Police Chief Craig Meidl has said that the department’s first priority will always be to respond to calls for service.”

Good job Adam Shanks, it is nice to see Meidl will answer some reporters questions he sure won’t answer mine.

As I stated in this July 26th, 2019 story;

“The obvious question would be how many of those 10 Officers who are assigned Downtown are actually working Downtown during any given shift or are 10 Officers assigned Downtown every shift?”

Along with the Media the Spokane City Council should be asking one heck of a lot more questions of Meidl.

In case people didn’t do the math 3 shifts of 10 Cops actually turns out to be 3.333 Cops per shift assigned Downtown, no wonder Cops complain about showing up for roll call only to find 1 or 2 Cops in their Sector because so many other Cops are assigned to some specialty detail.

Another common complaint I hear is that often there is no one available at the Precincts and they are always locked up with a sign on the door. So, the obvious question is if there are only 3.333 Cops per shift are they all out fighting crime or do they leave someone behind to watch the store.

What the heck does this mean?

“Though officers are on foot or patrolling by bicycle whenever they are able to, Police Chief Craig Meidl has said that the department’s first priority will always be to respond to calls for service.”

Well of course SPD’s first priority should be to respond to calls, but what all of a sudden changed that prohibits walking beats or bike beats from responding to calls? Okay so if the staffing level per shift is 3.333 Cops and “whenever they are able to” what do the beats look like, are the beats one Cop or two Cop beats?

To heck with trying to point out Mayor Condon and Chief Meidl’s secrecy about how SPD is actually staffed, I’ve done that enough and it is time other people should be asking questions. Speaking of questions Candidate Beggs will likely remember, because he was standing right next to me after a Public Safety Committee Meeting during which Chief Craig Meidl made the absurd statement that he needs more SPD Captains because currently his Captains are so overwhelmed with doing “Crime Analysis” and I tried to ask Meidl why in the heck Captains were preforming a Crime Analysis Function, Beggs had to have noticed how quickly Meidl escaped when someone asks legitimate.

If you are from Spokane and watched how government works here you have to know that any issue has to be brought up over and over depending upon the political climate.

Most people probably don’t remember when City Council Member Mike Fagan was on the Public Safety Committee and he brought questions forward when SPD was going to move from the STA to the Intermodal. (How are things in DC Mitch?)

It is an election cycle so whether you are a Progressive or a Conservative to get elected or re-elected you have to find a way to placate the Downtown Power Structure, especially the Cowles folks so it is no surprise Council Member Lori Kinnear who championed Condon’s choice of Meidl to become Chief of Police wants to get input from “downtown business owners and community members”.

But first, Kinnear said, she wants to get input from downtown business owners and community members.

“We need a process to involve the community that lives and works downtown,” Kinnear said.

So, what does the Downtown Spokane Partnership want for staffing?

The purpose of my FB post above was twofold, first to give folks some idea of what the Downtown staffing levels use to be, and secondly to give other reporters a heads up on how to find some data on the ever-conflicting data associated with calls for service Downtown. Even though I’m fortunate enough to receive documents from other sources because Chief Meidl is wasting a lot of resources trying to find out who leaks information to me I have to also go through the PRR process to protect sources. For those that don’t know the Downtown Core and the East Central Areas are Alcohol Impact Areas (AIA) and SPD has to submit data to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board annually.



Vote for mayor may impact police oversight, with role of ombudsman in flux!!!

The other Candidates for Mayor made some good statements in the Spokesman Review article linked above, but I think it is important at this point to focus on the perceived front-runners Woodward and Stuckart.

There is no question that whomever is elected Mayor will have a significant role in whatever “flux” might continue with police oversight but most people overlook the important fact that perhaps the most important decision for the new Mayor will be the choice of the person to lead SPD, and whether or not that person is willing to change the SPD Culture, buck the political protection game, and establish the all-important transparency which all of Mayor Condon’s choices for Chief of Police have failed miserably at doing.

It is pretty clear to some that should Woodward be elected she most likely will continue the policies of her Mentor David Condon, and that would include keeping on Chief Meidl and other exempt Condon hires. Several times she has expressed publicly her agreement with the Condon legacy which includes his  abysmal and self-serving handling of the OPO and OPOC.

KREM: How would you improve the transparency the accountability in the mayor’s office?

“Woodward: I think Mayor Condon has done a really good job in that area. So I would continue some of the practices he’s done. I mean, for one thing, our city’s on great financial footing because of Mayor Condon. When he took over eight years ago, it was a mess, the budget was in the red. And the way that the previous mayor had increased revenue was by increasing utility rates 100% in four years. So it took his first term to balance the budget and bring those water rates back down to a manageable level. I think he’s done a fantastic job.”

As far as the OPO and OPOC is concerned Woodward demonstrated her ignorance on that issue in an earlier SR Story by Adam Shanks when she stated this:

The one issue I have with the ombudsman situation as it stands now, I think the disciplinary measures need to come from the police chief,” Woodward said. “I wish we didn’t have to have an ombudsman situation, to be honest with you. I want to be able to believe that the police chief can do his job and weed out any bad apples if there are any.”

In order to try and mitigate the damage done by that statement Woodward reacted by making a Facebook post alleging Shanks was not accurate in his reporting.

Either Woodward herself or one of her handlers apparently realized how dumb her FB post was and it was quickly deleted.

As far as ignorance of the entire OPO/OPOC Ordinance is concerned Woodward isn’t alone, but more on that later.

On the other hand Candidate Stuckart caused some concern with his constituency as well as many SPD folks when he made this public statement:

 “Schaeffer just wants to create controversy,” Stuckart says. “And Meidl is much more careful in his words. Meidl’s threading a needle. And he’s very capable of doing that. And I think that’s why he’s so respected in the community, and by his own employees.”

Most astute political observers would likely tell you that it is not a good idea to even hint at who you might be considering for appointment until late into the General Election, and most would recommend if a Candidate is pressed to just say something like… “The important decisions regarding my choice of leadership for the City will be made after very careful study and consultation with the public and my transition team.”

Stuckart’s public statement seem to hint he will dump Schaeffer and keep Meidl. It appears the Firefighters Union would be happy if he were to dump Schaeffer and the Police Guild would be ecstatic if he kept Meidl.


Every time I see something like this in a story about the OPO/OPOC, I just kind of have to shake my head.

“In 2011, an arbitrator struck down a law passed by the City Council in 2010 that, among other powers, enabled the ombudsman to publish reports. But in practice, the standard for what cases the Ombudsman releases a report on and what that report encompasses has not been so clear.”

“Based on the 2010 ruling, Logue, the ombudsman, makes policy recommendations, but does not publish reports regarding individual officers’ actions.”

I don’t necessarily attribute reference to the PERC cases as ignorance more to a lack of understanding of the City of Spokane’s reluctance to take on the Police Unions.

It should be made clear that when the Union filed the Unfair Labor Practice against the City during the rein of Mary Verner the City, the Mayor, and the City Council did absolutely nothing to defend against the Union’s complaint (Beck Decision). That fact didn’t become known until the results of the halfhearted appeal the City made became public and ULP Manager Gedrose made it plain in his decision the City did nothing.

Granting the City of Spokane, a new hearing before PERC “would unfairly reward the Employer for its unexplained silence at the arbitration hearing, the reversal of its defense through a post-hearing brief, and its extensive delay in raising this objection.”—David Gedrose, PERC Unfair Labor Practice Manager.

Anyone with even limited experience in Police Oversight, or IA Investigations could have easily predicted the problems with the OPO/OPOC Ordinance.

The facts are that SPD has never wanted the OPO involved in their business.

The facts are the Condon Administration has done nothing to resolve this complaint.

(***Does the fact it was during a CMR event have anything to do with that)

The facts are that Chief Meidl doesn’t like Council Members honing in on what he thinks is his private business.

The facts are that the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) has jumped in and knows full well Mayor Condon statements that Spokane’s Oversight is nowhere near a “national model”.

Efforts to reform the police department and enhance community involvement have made Spokane a national model, said Mayor David Condon and police Chief Frank Straub, who were at the White House on Thursday as part of a forum on community policing.

If anyone is interested in reading some background regarding the OPO/OPOC here are some links to some, but I have to warn you they read like a comic book.




Media stories like this one are always perplexing to me because they seem to always leave out important information. Hopefully one of the CC Members would have asked the right questions of Assistant Chief Lundgren during this meeting.

“There are 10 officers assigned to the downtown police precinct. Five more officers are on the way, thanks to a voter-approved public safety levy, but they must first attend the police academy and are not expected to join the precinct until 2020.”

The obvious question would be how many of those 10 Officers who are assigned Downtown are actually working Downtown during any given shift or are 10 Officers assigned Downtown every shift?

It is a critical question in my view because Chief Craig Meidl has completely done away the long history of providing any public documents relating SPD Staffing. As hard as I have tried via PRRs this is the only document currently available, and if Chief Meidl is also hiding actual resource deployment from the City Council how can they make informed decisions?

Heck even Meidl’s own people suggested at least taking it down to the Sgt. level?

*** RIP JD Anderson and thank you!


I have no idea how many Chief of Police presentations I have seen over the years, and every one contained “Whoopers”. Chief Craig Meidl’s presentation before the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission was pretty close to his Mentor Frank Straub’s record for “Whoopers”. Even though there were more including his statement that the COPS/DOJ Collaborative Review was the result of Straub’s contacts inside of COPS, I’ll just mention two here.

Let me first add that apparently Council President Ben Stuckart didn’t take the time to see if Meidl did a good job of “threading a needle” with the OPOC. I’m sure if he talked to members of the OPOC as well as some of his constituency they would tell him Meidl didn’t thread the needle in his OPOC presentation.

“Schaeffer just wants to create controversy,” Stuckart says. “And Meidl is much more careful in his words. Meidl’s threading a needle. And he’s very capable of doing that. And I think that’s why he’s so respected in the community, and by his own employees.”

Needless to say Stuckart’s statements to the Inlander have caused quite a stir at SPD and among many of his constituents as it appears he intends to dump Schaeffer and keep Meidl should he be elected, on the other hand many people think it is a given that Nadine Woodward will not only keep Theresa Sanders on to continue the Condon legacy but also Meidl to continue the Condon/Straub legacy as he has been doing since Condon made him Chief of Police. (I did reach out to Ben Stuckart via email to see if he was accurately quoted in the Inlander story however he never responded)

You can watch the July 19, 2019 OPOC Meeting at this link and decide for yourself if Meidl threaded the needle.

One of Meidl’s big “Whoopers” was trying to pump his own tires by stating the it was he who initiated the plan to change the SPD Use of Force Policy, nothing could have been further from the truth and I’m sure that some members of the OPOC were laughing to themselves, as I was when I heard that. There is NO QUESTION whatsoever that efforts to change the SPD Use of Force Policy were initiated by OPO Logue the minutes of OPOC Meetings in November of 2017 clearly reflect that it was Logue and not Meidl who started the ball rolling. There was even this November 13, 2017 SR Story dealing with how it got started.

As usual I couldn’t keep my mouth shut with such a “Whooper”, especially since I knew about all the resistance to changing the Use of Force Policy there was within SPD and continues to this day. So, I used the second public forum to point out the “Whooper” while Chief Meidl quickly exited. If you watch the meeting video you might notice how PC OPO Logue was about finally admitting it he and not Meidl who brought the policy change forward. The big question is… will the Guild approve any changes in working conditions which could result in any policy change and is this all just an exercise in futility without Guild approval, and how are Mayor Condon and Chief Meidl doing with the ongoing super-secret contract negotiations with the Police Unions.

I have a confession to make! That inadvertent cough people in the meeting audience heard from me during Meidl’s presentation wasn’t really a cough… I as trying to cover-up a belly laugh when Meidl stated SPD got a Gold Seal of Approval from the Department of Justice on their Use of Force Policy. Nothing could be further from the truth and for those that aren’t aware COPS/DOJ never finished the Collaborative Review Process we paid for.

“City Council President Ben Stuckart said Wednesday he hadn’t seen the Times report, but expressed frustration with the Trump White House. Stuckart, once a Democratic candidate for Congress, has led pushes on the council to combat the creation of a religious registry, citing Trump’s campaign rhetoric (which hasn’t been proposed), and condemning his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord, a multinational climate agreement.”

The only Gold Seal of Approval was the one SPD gave itself in this historic fluff document.




If he is so are the taxpayers yet again!

An amended Tort Claim was filed yesterday by Thurman’s lawyer Mary Schultz one of the amendments to the claim, though not in the least bit surprising, is an allegation that Ozzie in usual Ozzie fashion “has been using his position to intimidate, shape, and/or alter evidence among department personnel”.

That tells me that some folks inside Ozzie’s department are risking intimidation and are talking, which based upon what I know about the case isn’t a good sign for Ozzie and if Mary Schultz has sound evidence Sheriff Knezovich has intimidated, shaped, and/or altered evidence that would be a crime. There is no question that if this claim isn’t settled by the County and it ends up in a lawsuit that some of the deposition questions will be directly related to efforts by Ozzie to intimidate, shape, and or alter evidence among department personnel.

As far as Ozzie using his office to try and intimidate people Mary Schultz won’t have any problem finding witnesses who will testify that Ozzie has used his office to try and intimidate them, it is a pretty long list.

Even though Ozzie says the IA Investigation of Thurman was “very thorough and can stand on its own”…

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the investigation into Thurman was very thorough and can stand on its own against the claim Thurman filed.

“It’s in here folks. I hope the plaintiff’s attorney at least read the file before she wrote this,” Knezovich said.

“On Monday afternoon, Knezovich said the tort claim is “not an accurate depiction” of Hines’ report. He said he could not immediately discuss details because he didn’t have the report in front of him.”

Ozzie sure isn’t anxious to get copies of the reports to the media.

Perhaps because some of those privy to the IA Reports don’t believe there is enough clear and convincing evidence to prove Thurman made the comments Ozzie alleges he did.