Ombudsman Says Hiring More Officers Should Be Top Priority - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ombudsman Says Hiring More Officers Should Be Top Priority

Posted: Updated:

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.  


 

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

  • Montana pair arrested with stolen car after stealing merchandise at Hayden Walmart

    Montana pair arrested with stolen car after stealing merchandise at Hayden Walmart

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:54 PM EST2018-02-22 22:54:42 GMT
    Kootenai County Sheriff's OfficeKootenai County Sheriff's Office
    Kootenai County Sheriff's OfficeKootenai County Sheriff's Office

    HAYDEN, Idaho - Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a Montana man and woman in the parking lot of the Hayden Walmart after they were discovered driving a stolen vehicle. Deputies say 30-year-old Nancy M. Hartsock and 24-year-old  and Chantel M. Talksdifferent, both of Billings, MT had just committed a burglary. On February 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., while on routine patrol, a KCSO deputies saw a suspicious vehicle driving through the Hayden Walmart parking lot. 

    More >>

    HAYDEN, Idaho - Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a Montana man and woman in the parking lot of the Hayden Walmart after they were discovered driving a stolen vehicle. Deputies say 30-year-old Nancy M. Hartsock and 24-year-old  and Chantel M. Talksdifferent, both of Billings, MT had just committed a burglary. On February 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., while on routine patrol, a KCSO deputies saw a suspicious vehicle driving through the Hayden Walmart parking lot. 

    More >>
  • Police arrest man in Grandview for shots fired during armed robbery at Moses Lake gas station

    Police arrest man in Grandview for shots fired during armed robbery at Moses Lake gas station

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:42 PM EST2018-02-22 22:42:16 GMT
    Moses Lake Police Dept.Moses Lake Police Dept.
    Moses Lake Police Dept.Moses Lake Police Dept.

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Moses Lake Police say shots were fired during an armed robbery at a gas station late Wednesday night. Police responded around 10 p.m. to the Valley Quick Stop on West Valley Road. An employee told police her ex-boyfriend, 44-year-old Sean McFarlen, assaulted her while stealing items and causing damage to the store.  McFarlen was reportedly armed and fired multiple shots during the robbery. When the victim attempted to call 911

    More >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Moses Lake Police say shots were fired during an armed robbery at a gas station late Wednesday night. Police responded around 10 p.m. to the Valley Quick Stop on West Valley Road. An employee told police her ex-boyfriend, 44-year-old Sean McFarlen, assaulted her while stealing items and causing damage to the store.  McFarlen was reportedly armed and fired multiple shots during the robbery. When the victim attempted to call 911

    More >>
  • Hero dog shot multiple times protecting teenager from burglars

    Hero dog shot multiple times protecting teenager from burglars

    Thursday, February 22 2018 5:33 PM EST2018-02-22 22:33:09 GMT

    DES MOINES, Wash. - A 2-year-old German shepherd is being called a hero for risking his life to protect his 16-year-old human best friend when two burglars broke into a Des Moines, Washington home.  According to KIRO, burglars broke into the home Wednesday afternoon. The teenager hid in the closet with his dog, Rex. But Rex soon ran downstairs and confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. Rex ran back upstairs.

    More >>

    DES MOINES, Wash. - A 2-year-old German shepherd is being called a hero for risking his life to protect his 16-year-old human best friend when two burglars broke into a Des Moines, Washington home.  According to KIRO, burglars broke into the home Wednesday afternoon. The teenager hid in the closet with his dog, Rex. But Rex soon ran downstairs and confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. Rex ran back upstairs.

    More >>