The Spokane City Council voted quickly Monday night to send a letter to prosecutor Steve Tucker asking for faster answers on officer involved shootings. The special resolution passed 7-0.
Councilman Jon Snyder brought the letter forward.
"We don't want them to rush it, but we do want to see if we can close the loop and get a more timely review done because we think that's better for the officer. We also think that's better for the public," Snyder said.
Snyder said members of the Department of Justice asked similar questions when they were in Spokane reviewing the police department.
"They commented, 'why does it take so long?' and it made me think, I've had that same concern myself," Snyder said.
Officers involved in a shooting outside the Salvation Army last year waited eight months to find out the shooting was justified. During that time, they were on paid administrative leave and off the streets.
"Yet (they) may have to sit and wait for a year, before they find out whether they're going to be prosecuted for doing their duty," Snyder said.
Attorney Breean Beggs is running for county prosecutor, and fully agrees with the letter.
"If it's a very clear case of no criminal conduct, that should get done," Beggs said. "If it's a clear case of criminal conduct, that should get done. On the ones that are close, let's bring the attorney general in quickly and get a non-biased independent decision and move everyone forward."
Both Beggs and the council agree these investigations take time. Witnesses and officers go through extensive interviews after these shootings. Toxicology reports take six weeks to process, and all weapons involved are sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab.
While law enforcement often finish their investigation within two months, the prosecutor will often take a minimum of half a year.