Ombudsman struggles to post backlogged SPD investigations

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Updated Monday, May 19 at 7:19 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.—In an attempt to be transparent, the Spokane Police Department wanted the public to know whom they were investigating internally and why. However, KREM 2 News discovered that you will not find all of the records online to read.

KREM 2 News viewers asked why only some of the internal affairs investigations between 2010 and 2011 were available to the public.

Nearly 60 internal affairs investigations from 2010 and 2011 were closed but not posted for the public in May of 2014.

READ: Internal affairs reports

Spokane Police Ombudsman, Tim Burns, said transparency with the public was his top priority when he began his job. He said he immediately began working to get all closed internal affairs investigations open to public view.

The majority of 2013 cases were available to the public and all of the 2012 investigations were available. KREM 2 News found that the 2011 and 2010 cases had some holes.

“They are a work in progress. They take a long time. It's just a resource issue,” said Burns.

Burns said his focus was on making sure the cases with the timeliest interest were posted first.

“We're staying as current as we can first then working our way back,” said Burns.

Burns also said he was posting the use of force reports for public view. He said he wanted any interested taxpayers to know all the details about the cases and the findings made by officials.

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