City Council to vote on Police Guild contract on Monday

Spokane Police Swat Team Downtown Protest

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council will consider the new Police Guild Contract on Monday, which has come under much scrutiny since it was announced in early June.

The $6.2 million contract has been in the works since 2016, and hopes to address many grievances regarding police accountability—especially with police reform on the radar of protesters nationwide.

Not everyone is a fan of this new deal.

The Police Ombudsman, who acts as the civilian watchdog of the Police Department and is one of many facing changes in the contract, argued that he still would not be able to carry out independent investigations, and would only be allowed to participate in the police’s internal investigations.

The Ombudsman would also not be able to discipline officers, as that duty falls in the purview of the Police Chief.

City Council members were initially expected to vote on the contract on June 15, but deferred the vote to Monday.

The Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane claimed this contract would make officers less accountable, and the Carl Maxey Center bought out a full-page ad in the Spokesman-Review condemning the contract:

“At a time when calls are coming from across the country for more accountability of our police departments, instead of strengthened oversight, the contract currently being negotiated with the Spokane Police Department not only weakens the police oversight that is called for in our city charter… it allows the police guild to influence the appointment of members to the very body that is charged with overseeing it. We believe this sets a very dangerous precedent!”

City Council President Breean Beggs said there would be little chance they would delay the vote on a “very long and long overdue police contract.”