Ombudsman Says Hiring More Officers Should Be Top Priority - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ombudsman Says Hiring More Officers Should Be Top Priority

SPOKANE, Wash. - The position of Ombudsman was created to keep the police department accountable after the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm. Complaints to the Ombudsman's officer were up during 2012, and Ombudsman Tim Burns says it is because more people are aware of the position.

Monday night, Burns presented his annual report to the Spokane City Council, detailing police actions within the last year.

And there were some interesting figures.

While most numbers, including those for SWAT activations, domestic violence calls and vehicle pursuits were similar to 2011 there was one glaring exception: mental health contacts made by officers in 2012 nearly tripled from the year before.

Burns cited better training of officers as the reason why mental health issues have become more recognizable.

The presentation also included a progress report on the 8 recommendations made by the Ombudsman last year that included the publishing of Internal Affairs reports and the hiring of a Communications Director.

One of the biggest issues highlighted was the lack of resources and officers that is having an impact on police responses to calls.  

In the report, Burns also made 4 recommendations for the upcoming year:
  1.   The creation of a special investigator position in the prosecutors office.
  2.     Improving service delivery for public records requests.
  3.     Developing an inquest process for the medical examiner.
  4.       And the implementation of a school resource officer program.
Burns is hoping a partnership with the School District will allow them to bring back the Resource Officer program, which was a victim of budget cuts in 2006.
  
He concedes that with the lack of funds it will be hard to implement all of these suggestions, but the hiring of more officers right now should be the priority.  


 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man arrested in North Spokane for assaulting ex-girlfriend

    Man arrested in North Spokane for assaulting ex-girlfriend

    Friday, September 22 2017 2:17 PM EDT2017-09-22 18:17:27 GMT
    Man arrested in North Spokane for assaulting ex-girlfriendMan arrested in North Spokane for assaulting ex-girlfriend

    SPOKANE, Wash. - On September 21st, just before 5:30 pm Officers responded to a home in the area of Mansfield and Ash. A woman told police that her ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Brandon Vanlanham, was assaulting her. The woman stated she had a restraining order against Vanlanham, which Police confirmed. When officers arrived to the home, they discovered that Vanlanham had fled the scene.  About two hours later the woman called 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - On September 21st, just before 5:30 pm Officers responded to a home in the area of Mansfield and Ash. A woman told police that her ex-boyfriend, 22-year-old Brandon Vanlanham, was assaulting her. The woman stated she had a restraining order against Vanlanham, which Police confirmed. When officers arrived to the home, they discovered that Vanlanham had fled the scene.  About two hours later the woman called 

    >>
  • Argument between friends outside Buffalo Wild Wings ends in shooting

    Argument between friends outside Buffalo Wild Wings ends in shooting

    Thursday, September 21 2017 5:20 PM EDT2017-09-21 21:20:42 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Detectives arrested a 42-year-old man for two counts of 1st Degree Assault Wednesday night after an argument turned violent. The Spokane Valley Police Department says Chad Dobson asked a friend to meet at Buffalo Wild Wings Wednesday night to talk about the victim's treatment of his soon-to-be ex-wife. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Detectives arrested a 42-year-old man for two counts of 1st Degree Assault Wednesday night after an argument turned violent. The Spokane Valley Police Department says Chad Dobson asked a friend to meet at Buffalo Wild Wings Wednesday night to talk about the victim's treatment of his soon-to-be ex-wife. 

    >>
  • Toddler dies after being hit by truck in church parking lot

    Toddler dies after being hit by truck in church parking lot

    Thursday, September 21 2017 8:21 PM EDT2017-09-22 00:21:04 GMT

    PARKLAND, Wash. (AP) - An 18-month-old girl has died after she was struck by a truck in the parking lot of a church in Parkland. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says the girl was taken to a hospital late Tuesday where she died of her injuries. The department says a 35-year-old female driver had been parked in front of the Lamb of God Christian Community Church Tuesday night. After talking to a relative, the woman pulled her truck 

    >>

    PARKLAND, Wash. (AP) - An 18-month-old girl has died after she was struck by a truck in the parking lot of a church in Parkland. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says the girl was taken to a hospital late Tuesday where she died of her injuries. The department says a 35-year-old female driver had been parked in front of the Lamb of God Christian Community Church Tuesday night. After talking to a relative, the woman pulled her truck 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Texas man turns himself in after being caught on camera dumping dog on the side of a busy road

    Texas man turns himself in after being caught on camera dumping dog on the side of a busy road

    Friday, September 22 2017 4:08 PM EDT2017-09-22 20:08:05 GMT

    DALLAS, Texas - A Texas man caught on camera abandoning his dog on the side of a busy road has turned himself into police.  The Dallas Marshal's Office teamed up with the SPCA of Texas to post a camera near Teagarden and Dowdy Ferry roads, a common dog dumping spot, and it recently paid off with their first arrest. Last month, a Dallas man was caught abandoning a 1-year-old dog. 

    >>

    DALLAS, Texas - A Texas man caught on camera abandoning his dog on the side of a busy road has turned himself into police.  The Dallas Marshal's Office teamed up with the SPCA of Texas to post a camera near Teagarden and Dowdy Ferry roads, a common dog dumping spot, and it recently paid off with their first arrest. Last month, a Dallas man was caught abandoning a 1-year-old dog. 

    >>
  • PHOTOS: Raccoon jumps on moving Colorado police van, takes a ride

    PHOTOS: Raccoon jumps on moving Colorado police van, takes a ride

    Friday, September 22 2017 3:56 PM EDT2017-09-22 19:56:47 GMT

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs police officer heading to an accident scene in a van got a big surprise when a raccoon jumped onto the front windshield of the vehicle and stayed there until the officer pulled over.

    >>

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs police officer heading to an accident scene in a van got a big surprise when a raccoon jumped onto the front windshield of the vehicle and stayed there until the officer pulled over. The Denver Post reports that officer Chris Frabbiele was responding to an accident scene in a large van used by police to investigate crashes when the raccoon landed on its windshield late Wednesday night. 

    >>
  • Sheriff's Office arrests kidnapping and rape suspect; Looking for any additional victims

    Sheriff's Office arrests kidnapping and rape suspect; Looking for any additional victims

    Friday, September 22 2017 3:50 PM EDT2017-09-22 19:50:20 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Detectives have arrested a 46-year-old man for kidnapping and rape and are now asking for anyone who may have been victimized by Steven Pallett to contact them.  Back in March, Spokane County Sexual Assault Detectives began looking into an assault where a woman said she accepted a ride from a man who was armed with a handgun and force her to give him oral sex. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Detectives have arrested a 46-year-old man for kidnapping and rape and are now asking for anyone who may have been victimized by Steven Pallett to contact them.  Back in March, Spokane County Sexual Assault Detectives began looking into an assault where a woman said she accepted a ride from a man who was armed with a handgun and force her to give him oral sex. 

    >>