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Spokane's New Police Chief: Frank Straub

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Dr. Frank Straub will be named the new police chief in Spokane. Dr. Frank Straub will be named the new police chief in Spokane.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

SPOKANE, Wash. - It looks like Frank Straub will be the next Spokane Police Chief. Straub, the current Public Safety Director for the city of Indianapolis, was selected over Daniel Mahoney, the current Commanding Officer of the Ingleside Police Station within the San Francisco Police Department.

"The Mayor's picking Frank," Mahoney said. Clearly I'm disappointed. It wasn't the selection I thought. My qualifications and my judgment was the perfect fit for Spokane, however I have no doubt it was difficult decision for the Mayor and he is doing what he believes is in the best interest of the citizens of the city of Spokane."

"I hope Frank Struab does the job that needs to be done to take that city forward that starts the healing process that needs to happen," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said he has not heard from Frank Straub and has never met him before they both interviewed in Spokane.

Spokane Mayor David Condon has planned a 3:30 p.m. news conference to make the official announcement. KHQ will provide live streaming video of the news conference.

  

PREVIOUS COVERAGE ON FRANK STRAUB:

The last candidate interviewed during the selection process was Frank G. Straub, Director of Public Safety in Indianapolis, IN. He was also the former Commissioner of the City of White Plains, NY's Department of Public Safety.

If selected to be chief, Straub said he wanted to be a "chief cheerleader" by highlighting the department's good qualities so that the city would really embrace the department. To do that, he said, he knows he would focus on learning about the department's strengths and weaknesses.

"The first 30 to 60 days has to be about listening, listening to the department and listening to the community. And do that, you really have to be omnipresent. Get to know department, community and their concerns. You have to be engaged as much as possible." he said.

Straub also said he favors getting officers out of their cars and back in businesses and neighborhoods. "I think you have to be in the churches, the synagogues and the mosques on a regular basis."

In Indianapolis, Straub turned in his resignation after more than a year of criticism over Indianapolis Police Department's handling of evidence in a fatal crash involving an officer. The Indianapolis' Mayor's Office said Straub will remain in position until August during a search for his replacement. Straub may not have been asked to resign but it is clear he was facing mounting pressure from the police union and the city county council.

So why Spokane?

The Spokane Mayor's Office had previously said that Mayor Condon and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard met at the mayor's convention. It was at that time that mayor Ballard suggested Straub to Condon. Political insiders said Condon personally reached out to Straub to apply for the police chief job.

In his interview Wednesday, Straub made it clear that he wasn't afraid to take criticism and that he learned from his mistakes.

"You have to find the biggest critics of the police department and engage them in the process; you can't run away from your critics. Instead you have to engage them and listen to their concerns," he said.

Also on Wednesday, Straub seemed happy to have the chance to call Spokane home. He said Spokane's appeal was that "you can put your arms around" the city and see direct impacts when change is implemented.

"I have one last stop that I want to make," he added. "I want the Spokane Police Department to be what it should be."

The mayor also told KHQ that he was confident, of the three men who interviewed, one of them would become chief. However, he followed that up by saying that if the rest of his advisory panels or community were unsatisfied with the final selections, that he would start the chief search over again.

  

PREVIOUS COVERAGE ON FRANK STRAUB:

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Indianapolis public safety director, Frank Straub surrounded in controversy has applied to be the next Spokane Police Chief.

KHQ has confirmed with Spokane city spokesperson Marlene Feist that Mayor David Condon spoke with Straub earlier this year and "encouraged" him to apply for the position. However Feist would not confirm that Straub is one of the 13 candidates but media outlets in Indianapolis Indiana confirmed Straub applied for the position.  

Phone calls to Frank Straub's office were not returned to KHQ. Straub became Indianapolis' public safety director in January of 2010 and is set to resign the position August 1st amid pressure from county and city councils and the Police Union.

In April the former Indianapolis Police Chief Paul Ciesielski stepped down from his position after alleged mishandling of evidence during  the trial of an Indianapolis police officer who, while drunk on duty slammed his police cruiser in to a motorcyclist killing the rider.  

Also earlier this year the Fraternal Order of Police asked Straub to step down as Public Safety Director because of a 30 million dollar budget shortfall with the city's police and fire department.The FOP believed it was because of Straub's "Money Mismanagement."

The Indianapolis city council also postponed twice a vote of "No Confidence" for Straub and later decided not to hold the vote because Straub submitted his resignation for the position. Straub has extensive criminal justice experience including the Director of Public Safety in White Plains New York.

He was also the deputy commissioner of training for the city of New York post 9/11 attacks. Straub also has experience in metro policing models where city and county law enforcement agencies are combined. Something Spokane city mayor David Condon has stated in the past is something he is looking for in a Chief candidate.

Mayor David Condon declined to comment about the police Chief hiring process, or about his conversation with Straub. Upon Straub's announcement to resign as Indianapolis Public Safety Director, Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard praised Straub for a number of things. Ballard stated Straub had brought the Indianapolis homicide rate to its lowest in 15 years. Ballard also said Straub provided security for a very successful Super Bowl.

 

 

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