Council Votes To Keep Ombudsman - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Council Votes To Keep Ombudsman

SPOKANE, Wash. - Monday night the Spokane City Council voted unanimously to keep Tim Burns in the position of Police Ombudsman, saying it was a priority as the Spokane Police Department continues to transition to new leadership.

Nearly two months ago, city administration notified Ombudsman Burns that his contract with the city was up and would not be renewed.

That decision started an uproar among the city and community leaders who believe the position is beginning to rebuild the trust between the public and their police force.

Complaints heard by the Ombudsman have almost doubled in the last two years, a sign council members say shows that residents are becoming more comfortable speaking up about issues they see with their police force.

Less than a week later Mayor David Condon began negotiating to keep the position and extend his contract. Monday night that contract was approved and will keep the position of police oversight in place until August of next year.

Council President Ben Stuckart calls the creation of the Police Ombudsman one of the most important things they have done and is happy to see him remain in place.  Council members say eventually they would like to give the Ombudsman investigative powers and keep them for a longer period than just one year.

Both issues they plan to bring up when the contract expires next year.



 

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