SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane has a new police chief. Craig Meidl, a veteran of the police force, will now lead the Spokane Police Department.

The City Council approved Mayor David Condon's pick Monday night in a 5-1 vote. Council member Karen Stratton voted against Meidl because she said she's received too many emails from citizens concerned about the process to vote yes. Council member Breean Beggs abstained from the vote.

Meidl fielded questions from council members about "21st Century policing," hiring women and people of color, and implementing change within the department.

"I'm very appreciative of, actually thankful to have gone through the process. I feel a greater sense of legitimacy and I feel blessed to have gone through that process," he said.

Many people spoke in support of the new chief, while others criticized the council for delaying his approval.

Meidl has already moved ahead with important projects, including a culture audit conducted by Gonzaga University.