SPOKANE—In his first day in office, Mayor David Condon named Major Scott Stephens as the Interim Spokane Police Chief Tuesday afternoon during a press conference.
Stephens has already laid out a series of actions that he says will help improve accountability and openness at the Spokane Police Department.
Mayor Condon says confidence in the city’s police department has been eroded by recent events and it must be restored. He says reforming the department to restore public confidence is in the best interest of the city, the police department and the citizens.
Stephens says the top priority is working toward enhancing public safety, rebuilding public trust and confidence.
Stephens has spent nearly 26 years working for the Spokane Police Department and has served in a variety of roles. He has served as the commander of the investigations, administration and patrol bureaus as well as acting Assistant Police Chief.
Stephens says there is great opportunity for good things right now. He says he wants the two things people can rely on with the Spokane Police Department to be safety and the best service they can provide.
“We are here to serve the community,” Stephens said.
Mayor Condon says he will continue with a national search for a permanent chief, but Scott Stephens is the right choice to lead the department right now.
In addition to naming an interim chief, Mayor Condon announced more plans that he has in store for Spokane. He says he is creating the Mayor’s Advisory Board on Policing and beginning the work of the Use of Force Commission.
Mayor Condon also say he will be implementing a number of immediate actions, including evaluating the use of police body cameras, working with police bargaining units and citizen stakeholders to enhance the citizen oversight process and improve responsiveness to citizens, and reaching out to citizens to get them involved with the police department.
“The best legacy we can leave for our citizens is to learn from our experiences and make changes that benefit our entire community,” Mayor Condon said. “Today, we are taking our first step toward this end.”