Some officers not confident in Chief Kirkpatrick’s leadership

A number of officers of the Spokane Police Department have given Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick a vote of no confidence though the results of the vote may not represent the majority opinion of the chief.

The officers voted on a ballot was titled “Leadership and Decision Making Ability? in March on the heels of Kirkpatrick’s announcement that she would apply for the vacant chief’s position in Seattle.

The no confidence vote targets both Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Assistant Chief Jim Nicks. The Spokane Police Guild, mindful Kirkpatrick could be leaving soon and may be preemptively trying to keep Jim Nicks from stepping up to fill the chief?s position if and when she leaves.

A number of officers left their ballot blank while at least 70 of them cast votes of no confidence. There?s no word on how many voted that they were confident in the chief?s leadership.

Prior to the rank and file voting on Chief Kirkpatrick?s leadership the command staff, comprised of officers who are lieutenants and above, held its own vote over her leadership and that vote concluded the command staff?s confidence in Kirkpatrick remains high.

Kirkpatrick took over the Spokane Police Department three and a half years ago and since then she has disciplined several officers for on and off-duty misconduct but has also stood by her officers in several high profile controversial cases including the Otto Zehm case.

Guild officials say they won’t release their claims against Chief Kirkpatrick until Tuesday but stress they don’t mind being held accountable by the chief’s office but Kirkpatrick has been inconsistent.

While there is a segment of officers who are not confident in Kirkpatrick?s leadership, city spokesperson Marlene Feist said that Mayor Mary Verner ?stands 100-percent behind the chief.?