Local Politics

Spokane community reacts to new police chief

SPOKANE, Wash. - Shoppers in downtown Spokane are already talking about the city's new police chief, and about what they want him to do.

At a press conference Wednesday, Frank Straub said he wants a seamless relationship between the city and its police department. It's something citizens want, too.

"I think that could happen, with someone who is going to reinforce the police force," lifelong resident Cheryl Carney said.

Spokane community reacts to new police chief

People we spoke with also want more officers to patrol the streets and focus on property crimes. Some wanted a Spokane native to be promoted to chief, but others don't think it will matter.

"I think it's good to have a fresh perspective every once in a while," Teresa Battista said.

Stephen Kippenhan wants Straub to avoid mistakes of past chiefs that have led to pricey lawsuits.

"Think about it before he fires people, give a good reason, and think things through. I want him to think things through," Kippenhan said.

Straub said Wednesday he wants ongoing police training, and from what he's seen, the department already has a commitment to get better every day. It's a practice he looks forward to perfecting as the city's new top cop.

"To prove to (officers and the city) I can be the kind of leader that they would want to rally behind and that I could support their efforts to be the best police department in the Northwest, if not the country," Straub said.