Hired and Fired: Down economy cuts police officers' careers short - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hired and Fired: Down economy cuts police officers' careers short... for now

Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick
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SPOKANE, Wash. - How bad is the economy? The Spokane Police Department is giving two people layoff notices before they even start their first day of work.

Two police officer candidates will be hired for 10 days in an administrative capacity and then laid off until the economy turns around, according to Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

"I felt hurt to tell you the truth," said Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. "I actually burst into tears when I had to tell them, because my word means everything to me."

Chief Kirkpatrick says she knew the economy was turning late last year, but she continued processing the two candidates because she thought she had the funding to pay for the new officers.

The two men passed background checks, physical exams and psychological profiles-a process which takes approximately 6 months-when the Chief learned that funding was tightening and she couldn't hire the two candidates.

The Chief says staff members in the Police department alerted her to Civil Service rules which outline how hiring the two for 10 days before the layoff allows the department to re-hire the pair when more funding becomes available.

"They have first rights to any future open positions," she said. "They (the two candidates) have been very gracious and very understanding. I appreciated that they gave me grace in having to pull back on my word."

Chief Kirkpatrick says the two will start their 10-day schedule with the police department within the next several weeks.

The two men are still employed in their previous jobs and plan to continue working there until permanent police jobs become available, according to the department.

- Anthony Gomes
KHQ Local News

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