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Veteran Spokane Police Officer Fired After Using Police Resources to Meet Woman At Bar

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>>>READ ALAN EDWARDS TERMINATION LETTER HERE

SPOKANE, Wash. - Veteran Spokane Police Officer Alan Edwards told a fellow officer he needed to run a theft suspect's address but, in truth, Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens said Edwards was just trying to track down the address of a woman he'd met at a bar.
 
Wednesday, Edwards found out his 20-year career with the Spokane Police Department was over because of that action.
 
In a press conference later the same day, Stephens said his decision to terminate Edwards ultimately resulted from three factors: a founded complaint that Edwards misused a police laptop to get the address of a woman outside of his duties as an officer; the fact that he deceived another officer to get the woman's address; and the fact that he showed up at the woman's door step and caused her alarm.

"When I looked at those three things and then looked at his most recent disciplinary history, the decision I came to at this point was termination was the appropriate sanction for these actions," Stephens said.
 
In an interview with police, Stephens said Edwards gave "Kind of a long explanation for it but, I think the best way that I an describe it is, that he acknowledged that what he did was not appropriate and I give him a lot of credit for that. He didn't try to give a lot of excuses. He was trying to pursue some type of relationship with this person and went about it absolutely the wrong way and he took full responsibility for it."
 
On December 15, 2011, Stephens said Edwards met the woman - who has not been identified - at Sullivan's Scoreboard bar in Spokane Valley. At some point that night, Stephens said Edwards called a fellow on-duty officer to find the address of the woman he'd met, claiming it was for a possible theft suspect.
 
Having received the address, Edwards later showed up at the woman's home around 2 am. Edwards had a brief conversation with her, telling the woman he was checking on her welfare, according to Stephens. The woman then told Edwards to go away, "which he did," Stephens said.

The next day, the woman filed a complaint with Crime Check, which is the first time the Department found out about the incident. An Internal Affairs investigation ensued. Stephens said an administration panel ultimately recommended termination.

"Alan Edwards loves police work and he is dedicated to it and so for him to hear that he was being terminated was difficult but, to his credit, he was very appropriate," Stephens continued. "He handled it in a very mature fashion and I don't mind telling you that he took full responsibility for his actions and actually apologized for putting me in the position that we're in."

In addition to the most recent complaint against Edwards, Stephens said he took into account Edwards' employment history with the Department. Officer Edwards had recently completed serving an 80-hour suspension for an unrelated case. In that case.

Although Stephens said Edwards had an exemplary record with the Department for most of his career, the Chief believed the Department had to hold its officers to a higher standard and that "this behavior will not be tolerated."
 
"Part of it is that I've stood in front of the public and said that one of our highest priorities this year is rebuilding public trust and confidence in the police department. Although this incident is very unfortunate, it really is counter to what we are trying to do," Stephens said.
 
In a press release Wednesday, City officials said "The City and SPD are working to properly train employees to prevent such conduct, thoroughly review any issue that may arise, and take appropriate disciplinary action in order to ensure the safety of the citizens of Spokane."
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KHQ  tried to reach out to Edwards for comment, as well as called the Spokane Police Guild, but neither immediately returned calls.
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