There are high expectations for new police chief Frank Straub to straighten out the department and regain the public's trust. But how did we get to this point?
The problem is that two of the past three chiefs of police have brought controversy to the department, something both Mayor David Condon and the city council hope won't happen this time around.
When the search first began, Condon announced he would go outside of the department to hire a new chief to help straighten out the department; no one within the department, including acting Chief Scott Stephens, would be considered for the position.
It's a course of action that has been tried by past city leaders in recent years.
In fact, a KXLY4 investigation at the time found that Chertok was criticized for his leadership before he ever came to Spokane. After he resigned, community members wondered why a more comprehensive examination of his past wasn't done.
Chertok was replaced by Roger Bragdon in 1999; Bragdon, a 30-year veteran of the force, was reluctant to take the job, but set out to rescue the department's sagging morale. He retired in 2005 after six years as chief.
"Certainly I didn't enjoy cutting up the department with the budget cuts and certainly I didn't enjoy laying off really good police officers and certainly some of the politics and personnel issues were not good, but to be the person who is named the chief of a department this good, that feels good, that's an honor," Bragdon said.
And even though Scott Stephens has been at the helm for the department for the past eight months, Frank Straub is actually replacing Anne Kirkpatrick, who resigned in January.
During her five year tenure, the biggest issue Kirkpatrick had to contend with was the Otto Zehm death investigation, something that actually had happened on Chief Bragdon's watch. However, while she was not chief when Zehm died in 2006, her support of former officer Karl Thompson put her at odds with many in the community.
Thompson was convicted in federal court last November of using excessive force. A motion for acquittal was rejected by Judge Fred Van Sickle; the defense has since filed a motion requesting a new trial. Thompson, not considered a flight risk by Van Sickle, is currently free pending resolution of motions before the court regarding his case.
She was also sued by Detective Jay Mehring, who she fired after allegations were raised he allegedly threatened his wife. Kirkpatrick lost the case and Mehring was awarded $700,000 in damages last November.
Finally, just days before Kirkpatrick announced her retirement, then-Mayor Mary Verner called for a Justice Department investigation of the Spokane Police Department.
Today, Mayor Condon says he wants trust and respect restored to the police force, and he's banking on Frank Straub delivering.