SPOKANE, Wash --- Interim Police Chief Jim McDevitt came into the Spokane Police Department tasked with the job of leading the department while the City searches for someone to fill the job permanently.
“I committed to four months and that's what I intended to do because it's really kind of slowed up a pretty comfortable retirement and there's a lot of rivers and streams that need my attention, but it's been very very rewarding,” McDevitt said.
KREM 2’s Lindsay Nadrich asked the former U.S. Attorney if he felt any push back not being a sworn law enforcement officer.
“Not a bit, because I walked in the door and I said, ‘you're the cops, I'm here just to pretty much take the blame and take any of the political heat so you do your job and I'm not going to tell you how to do your job and I'll take all the heat’.” McDevitt said.
In the last four months McDevitt said he has gained a new perspective on what these officers do every day.
“I was out with several officers, we responded to a suicide call where I watched an officer probably 6-foot-3 and shoulders as wide as a doorway, talk a young lady out of suicide and down from a crisis situation,” McDevitt said.
McDevitt said there are many things he has seen the Spokane Police Department do well, like community outreach, the Youth Police Initiative Program, the Make a Wish for a young cancer patient and protecting the community.
But he also said there are areas that need improvement.
“Once I am a private citizen again, I'm going to take the opportunity to do a report card and in that report card I'm going to talk about leadership, I'm going to talk about where I see, what I see the need in leadership should be based upon my experience not only here, but in other venues,” McDevitt said.
McDevitt said he feels like he owes it to the community to help make the department better.
“I’m going to talk about personnel, going to talk about facilities and it may not be the most popular report card to some, but then again I think I owe the public who's been paying my salary for the last four months, the public and city hall an honest assessment of what I see and what I think the department needs,” McDevitt said.
Spokane City officials said the police chief position will remain open until a new one is chosen.
The list of finalists for the job are expected to be announced July 15th.