Spokane Police Dept. Partners with Gonzaga University on Culture Audit

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager 509.742.0063

Friday, August 5, 2016 at 12:31 p.m.

The Spokane Police Department is excited to announce a new partnership with Gonzaga University to conduct a cultural audit of the department.

The Gonzaga University’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies will evaluate the work culture of SPD. Under the leadership of Dr. JoAnn Danelo Barbour, doctoral students will collect and analyze data, in the form of surveys, interviews, cultural artifacts and observational data.

“This exciting partnership with Gonzaga University offers an objective, independent approach in researching our work culture,” Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said. “The cultural audit will truly help us develop a roadmap for improvement and enhance public trust.”

The cultural audit is a critical next step that fulfills recommendations from both the citizen Use of Force Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program.

Gonzaga University will perform the audit in three phases. During the first phase, the partners will develop survey and interview questions, determine the number and variety of participants to be involved, and identify the instrument to conduct the audit.

Data will be collected and analyzed during the second phase by members of the Gonzaga University team. A report of findings will be written during the third and final phase and should be ready in February.

“This is really critical work for Spokane and its police department,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said.

While a handful of agencies across the nation have embarked on a culture audit, SPD’s will be unique as the research will examine the department’s relationship with the community in addition to analyzing the department’s internal culture.

“This is an opportunity for our graduate students to serve the Spokane Police Department and the City of Spokane as partners to conduct research on the work culture of the SPD,” Barbour said. “As the doctoral students learn about organizational culture, they will also conduct a work culture inventory of the police department gathering data in various forms, analyzing that data, and then submitting a final report of findings early next spring semester.”