Spokane PD chief finalists face community for second time

Second round of interviews for Spokane Police chief candidates

SPOKANE, Wash. – It has been roughly one year since former Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub abruptly resigned, and finding his replacement has been anything but smooth.

On Tuesday night though, the process began to move forward as four finalists for the position were interviewed by the public during a forum.

Unlike the last forum, the room was not jam packed with community members – but the tough questions remained. This time though, the candidates wanted to end the night knowing that people heard them.

The setting was similar to the one in July. Interim Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl, Bob Lehner, the chief of the Elk Grove Police Department in California, Dominic Rizzi, the chief of the Yakima Police Department, and John Bruce, the chief of the Frisco Police Department in Texas, all sat at a table and faced rows of chairs set up in a gym where the public sat.

All four candidates had a sit down interview with KREM 2’s Lindsay Nadrich to further discuss their plans if they were to be selected as chief.

Some in attendance were not happy about the repeat forum. One said “We’ve been down this road before, and what do we have? The same people that were here before.”

Officials asked that man to simply give them a chance to do the forum.

Final four candidates vie for Spokane Police Chief job

SPOKANE, Wash. - The remaining four candidates for the top Spokane Police job did the media rounds on Tuesday, highlighting their positions on issues facing the community. The current interim chief is Craig Meidl, who has been with SPD since 1994.

Others in attendance, like Tere Graham, were willing to give them that chance.

“That shows me that my leadership is not only leading, but they want to show the city of Spokane that they hear what the community is asking for,” she said.

Thousands of volunteer hours from Spokane citizens went into picking July’s finalists. After Mayor David Condon announced Craig Meidl as chief, more hours were put into two public forums.

“I was satisfied with the first process, but I know the voice of Spokane, they were not,” Graham said. “We have a second chance to try and get some details on who would be a perfect fit for Spokane.”

Among the topics discussed on Tuesday night were rebuilding trust, community relations, crime, and past experiences. Input from the public will be submitted to the Mayor’s office over the next few days. At that point, the mayor will make his appointment and then the City Council will decide to confirm or deny his appointment.




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