SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Department announced a major reorganization that Chief Frank Straub said would help with public safety and increase transparency and accountability.
Straub and Spokane Mayor David Condon released the new strategic plan for the department late Friday morning.
Among the general key parts of the plan were to “change the organizational structure to be more responsive, nimble, and effective in reducing crime and building strong community relations” and “provide officers and civilian employees with the tools, training, and opportunities to excel.”
The highlights of the plan include the following:
• Adding one more sergeant, for a total of two sergeants, to Internal Affair to help with accountability and transparency inside the department.
• Adding five additional neighborhood resource officers to the Downtown Spokane core for a total of seven officers to reduce crime and increase safety.
• Place the patrol and investigative bureaus under one commander so both bureaus are working together from the start of a crime.
• Promote Brad Arleth to Commander of Field Operations that oversees Investigative and Patrol bureaus.
• Promote Major Craig Meidl to Asst. Police Chief.
• Demote Asst. Chief Scott Stephens to captain where he will oversee numerous responsibilities that coincide with the priorities of the Use of Force Commission recommendations including union accreditation and use of technology.
• Promote Joe Walker to commander of Tactical and Strategic Operations.
The plan also called for following the recommendations of the Use of Force Commission, along with police reform ideas by the Mayor the City Council.
“Yesterday, the Use of Force Commission released its recommendations, and we are pleased to find consistency between their observations and recommendations and the action items the SPD has recognized itself through a planning process led by the Chief,” said Mayor Condon. “We are ready to move forward to a policing plan that provides solid action, combined with flexibility to incorporate innovation, for the health and safety of Spokane.”
“We are working toward becoming a model of policing in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a model of excellence in the police profession,” said Chief Straub. “We have the ability to make meaningful change that will build on our strengths and shore up our weaknesses.”