SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Police Department says its seeing an increase in the number of complaints coming from the Office of Police Ombudsman.
The department tracks commendations and complaints it receives internally and from citizens. The latest report shows this year, during the months of July through September, the department received a total of 43 complaints.
The total includes complaints from the Office of the Police Ombudsman. The office provides independent civilian oversight for Spokane Police.
A majority of their complaints are based on demeanor and inadequate response to calls.The OPO shared a break down of those complaints.
In 2017, it received 13 inadequate responses and 6 demeanor complaints.This year, those numbers doubled with 31 inadequate response and 13 demeanor complaints.
Christina Coty with OPO said there have been some complaints where someone called crime check and was told an officer was on the way. But, the officer never came.
As for demeanor, some people have complained they didn't feel respected, or liked how they were treated by an officer. Coty said the office acknowledges the fact that police may be responding to heated situations, which won't always be a positive interaction with an officer.
She said it's unclear if the uptick in complaints is a result of more incidents, or if people are more aware of the resources the office provides. But the office ensures the complaints are properly investigated in a timely manner.
In some cases, they'll create recommendations for the department based on filed complaints.They post these recommendations on their website, along with a status and response from the department.
While police are seeing an increase in complaints, they are also seeing an increase in praise for their actions. Those numbers started being reported at the beginning of 2018. They have remained in the 30s each quarter.