Spokane Police Union Slaps SPD Chief Candidate With Vote of No-Confidence

According to the Spokesman Review, union leaders in the Spokane Police Department have approved a vote of no-confidence in police chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick has long been considered to be a top candidate for Seattle’s police chief position, currently filled interim Chief John Diaz, who took over when Gil Kerlikowske went off to play drug warrior with the Obama administration.

From the Spokesman Review:

Union leaders representing Spokane Police Department officers say they have approved a no-confidence vote against Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and her administration.

The Spokane Police Guild said a “majority” of its 268 members voted in March that they have no confidence in the “office” of the police chief.

“Our people are shaken to the core over this lack of trust,” said Guild President Ernie Wuthrich, a Spokane police detective. “We’re at an all-time low at this point.”

Wuthrich and Guild 1st Vice President Jeff Harvey, a detective, say the issues come down to how Kirkpatrick implements change, how she handles discipline and how she works with the union. Specifically, union leaders point to changes in shift schedules, the neighborhood policing program and the way the Police Department investigates critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings.

“She’s going to do what she wants to do and she expects the guild to pick up the pieces,” Wuthrich said. “People can lose their jobs because of a mere allegation.”

Kirkpatrick is challenging the union to reveal its voting numbers, but this still could be a potential major setback for a top contender for Seattle’s chief position.

Incidentally, in 2002, the Seattle Police Officers Guild issued a vote of no-confidence in then-chief Kerlkowske. The relationship never fully recovered.