SPD welcomes review by Department of Justice


by Katie Utehs


Posted on November 15, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 15 at 7:09 PM

SPOKANE-- The unions representing the Spokane Police Department say they welcome outside review from the Department of Justice.

Monday night Mayor Mary Verner said she was requesting a review.

The police department is currently involved in both civil and criminal litigation; the wrongful termination case of Jay Mehring and the excessive force and lying to investigators case of Karl Thompson.
The Department of Justice would come in and interview members of the department, go over records and reports, then makes suggestions for policy change.
The Department of Justice has to agree to the review. They are currently doing 17 reviews nationwide.

If the Department of Justice agrees to the patterns and practice investigation it could take around 18 months depending on how cooperative the parties involved are.
The Police Guild and the Lieutenant and Captains Association say they're on board.
If DOJ finds any misconduct they can create a decree requiring the police department to implement widespread reforms.
Union leaders say they have nothing to hide.

The Department of Justice will review the request once they receive it.
The department says they are looking forward to restoring the communities trust.