Dobrow to serve as interim chief
Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 4:47 p.m.
Frank Straub, who has led the effort that has driven down crime and use of force incidents while restoring public confidence in officers, has decided to leave the Spokane Police Division to pursue new opportunities and be closer to family. He will be reassigned to the City Attorney. His last day of City employment will be Jan. 1, 2016.
Spokane Mayor David Condon accepted Straub's resignation today and reassigned him to work on criminal justice initiatives and assistant in the transition to the new chief after some police leadership members submitted letters last week summarizing their concerns about his management style.
“I am very proud of the work that has been done to re-engage the Spokane Police Division with the community and drive down crime,” Straub said. “We have achieved great things and brought policing in Spokane closer to the community. Rather than engage in a public discussion that distracts from making Spokane safer I have told the Mayor that it is time for new energy and perspective.”
Rick Dobrow, an assistant chief, will serve as interim chief. Straub will be assigned to the City Attorney during the transition period to ensure the continuity of important strategic initiatives.
“The Spokane Police Division has come a long way under Frank’s leadership,” Condon said. “There is still work to be done and the Spokane Police Division is up to the challenge. Officers are building new relationships with the neighborhoods they serve and that is driving down crime and dramatically improving public trust and confidence in our police officers.”
Crime decreased by 12 percent last year and is again down 12 percent through the first three quarters of this year. Use of force incidents have declined 22 percent as officer training has emphasized new crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.
Staffing has risen to 300 officers with a financial commitment in place to keep that level consistent. Transparency, including the use of body cameras, is at an all-time high as collaborations with the independent citizen Use of Force Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice COPS program have helped improve law enforcement service citywide. Reforms to our criminal justice system are well underway.
“Re-engineering a police department is difficult work,” Condon said. “We appreciate very much Frank’s service and the work he's done to help us get to this point. He gave us great momentum to build from as a law enforcement organization, city and community and we remain committed to the efforts he led.
“The men and women of the Spokane Police Division have done outstanding work over the past four years. Their commitment to serving this community and their tireless effort to delivering a safer Spokane has us well down the road to becoming the safest city of our size.”
“The Spokane Police Division, under Frank Straub, has done a tremendous job serving the community,” said Ben Stuckart, City Council president. “We stand behind our officers and their commitment to Spokane.”