Of course, there is no way of telling whether or not the data Chief Meidl provided the public is accurate without an audit, so we have to take a look at what he did provide.
As you can see Chief Meidl stated that in 2022 SPD Officers responded in person to almost 100,000 calls he went on to state that that was an average of 273 incidents each day, which if my math is correct correlates to an average of approximately twelve incidents per hour in a 24-hour period.
Obviously over a 24-hour period some shifts will have more incidents per hour and other shifts perhaps less, so as a rule of thumb when doing a staffing analysis you use the data to identify where the most patrol staffing is needed.
Getting actual staffing levels for the various units within SPD is nearly impossible today and SPD quit doing an Organization Chart years ago so one can’t really make a good quality judgement on whether or not Patrol Division is properly staffed to deal with calls for service, but the common complaint I hear from SPD Officers is Patrol Division is not properly staffed and there are all kinds of specialty units using Patrol Officers which takes away from the patrol function.
The last time any real analysis of SPD was done was in 2006 by the Matrix Corporation which wasn’t at all complimentary and the City Administration at the time did everything they could to hide it from the public, but my old friend Bill Morlin (RIP) managed to get a copy and sent it to me so I could take a look and provide my perspective.
Going back and reviewing the SPD portion of Matrix Report I find some interesting comparisons with the data disseminated in “Meidl’s Minute.” In 2005 (data collection period) the population in the City of Spokane was approximately 198,300 and as you can see from the images below the Patrol staffing level was 199 sworn plus support staff.
The population of Spokane today is around 295,000. Back in 2005 SPD averaged 175 CFS per day or approximately 7.3 per hour. Based upon the Meidl’s Minute data that would demonstrate an increase of 98 CFS and an increase of around 5 CFS per hour between 2005 and 2022, which I think is kind of interesting.
You can review the entire SPD portion of the Matrix Report at this link.
After learning that once again there was some type of excessive force complaint made against now SPD Sgt Daniel Lesser, I began the process of investigating the validity of the information I had received from sources and the first step was to file a Public Records Request for any Public Records associated with the case. I received my first installment of public records on April 4, 2023, which included surveillance video from the business Bath & Body Works and depicts an individual complying at gunpoint in a completely police dominate situation to get on his knees with his hands in the air, the surveillance video also shows Sgt Daniel Lesser kicking the individual in the upper body. The information I have received is that this individual was mistaken for a suspect and had not done anything illegal.
This story is developing and there is little doubt that SPD and the City Administration will delay as long as possible responses to my PRR especially since I have received information that there may be a City Council Investigation into Chief Meidl and other Officer’s conduct regarding the Chud Wendle/Chief Meidl Affair which will augment the extensive work done by the OPO. The City Charter allows a City Council Investigation into these type of issues and also provides the City Council with subpoena power a power the OPO does not have. The City Council however does not have the power to compel statements under Garrity from City employees, only the mayor has that power and if you paid any attention to the OPO closing report several employees refused to cooperate in the OPO investigation so the big question in that regard is whether or not Mayor Woodward would invoke Garrity, something that her predecessor Mayor David Condon refused to do.
Although I feel it will be some time before I receive the records, I requested it is important to release to the public some of what I have received thus far. Anyone can review the Bed & Body Works at the links I am providing below.