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.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:43:51 GMT
BREAKING NEWS - The Medical Examiner's Office has revised the death toll in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado from 91 people to at least 24 people.>>
UPDATE: Originally the death toll was reported to be 91 people and counting, however, the Medical examiner's office revised the death toll from the Oklahoma tornado to at least 24 people. A spokeswoman said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm.>>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:31:19 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wind, humidity and rainfall combined precisely to create the massive killer tornado in Moore, Okla. >>
WASHINGTON (AP) - Wind, humidity and rainfall combined precisely to create the massive killer tornado in Moore, Okla. And when they did, the awesome amount of energy released over that city dwarfed the power of the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima. Meteorologists contacted by The Associated Press used real time measurements to calculate the energy released during the storm's life span of almost an hour.>>