SPD Chief Straub on NYPD killings: 'This is personal' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

SPD Chief Straub on NYPD killings: 'This is personal'

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The news of a tragic slaying of two officers in Brooklyn hit close to home for Chief Straub. The news of a tragic slaying of two officers in Brooklyn hit close to home for Chief Straub.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Chief Straub spent more than two decades working alongside New York's finest, so the news of a tragic slaying of two officers in Brooklyn hit close to home.

"We have to remember what the men and women in uniform do day in and day out to protect our communities," Chief Straub said.

Videos posted by the shooter indicate he may have committed the atrocity because he was angry over the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. While tensions over police use of force have boiled over in 2014 nationwide, in Spokane, the conversation is years in the making after the 2006 killing of Otto Zehm by a Spokane Police Officer.

"There are many people in our community, in our country, who feel hurt by police action," Chief Straub said. "This is when we need to engage with the community and they need to engage with us."

That engagement is something we've seen from Chief Straub since day one, but particularly during the past few months. Just last Friday he and the U.S. Department of Justice held a joint press conference to announce the results of a review of use of force policies, an assessment geared toward improving policing and the relationship between the department and people all across the city.

"The police of old threw bombs," Chief Straub said at that press conference. "We're opening our hearts and our arms to listen."

When asked about the safety of his officers following the NYPD shooting, he said his officers are well trained and policies won't change.

"We need to be mindful, but we also need to keep things in perspective," Chief Straub said.

But some things will change.

"We need to stop. We need to realize that there are many things that have happened on both sides of the fence. And we need to use this crisis to move policing forward."

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