Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Name:
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Bungled

On Friday, March 10, 2006, The Spokesman Review published a letter to the editor from Dave McCabe who identifies himself as the vice president of the Spokane Police Guild. His letter notes the guild stands behind the detective and sergeant who investigated the firefighter having sex with and making sexually explicit photographs of a 16-year-old girl inside a Spokane city firehouse.

It's reasonable and appropriate for a Spokane Police Guild officer to express the guild's support for members whose official conduct has been questioned. He should have stopped with that rather vanilla expression, but he didn't.

McCabe continued, "Once all information relating to this case is released, I am confident the detective and sergeant will be seen for what they are: experienced and professional law enforcement officers." The hypocrisy drips from McCabe's statement. McCabe knows very well all the information relating to this case will not be released. Certain personnel matters will not be disclosed because of privacy regulations and defamation liability. If the city were to release all information relating to the detective's and sergeant's conduct in this case, Dave McCabe and the Spokane Police Guild would be screaming loudly about the violation of their members' privacy.

In The Spokesman Review story published on March 4, 2006, headlined No charges in firehouse sex, Spokane City council member Bob Apple was quoted saying, "I think the destruction of evidence is tantamount to a criminal act in and of itself." In his letter to the editor, McCabe says Apple should be ashamed of himself for that statement. Why? Destruction of evidence is a criminal act in and of itself.

In his letter's closing statement, McCabe quotes an unidentified guild member as saying, "These officers did nothing wrong." Yes, they did. They failed to perform their official duties satisfactorily. The real issue is whether their wrongs resulted from misconduct, incompetence, poor training and supervision, accidental error, laziness, indifference or some combination of all these. The investigation has been reopened under the direction of Deputy Chief Bruce Roberts, "...because the other deputy chief, Al Odenthal, was in charge of the original investigation -- which (Mayor) Hession now says was bungled."

Bungled is an unusually strong word for a mayor to use in a public statement to describe the conduct of his city's police commanders and investigators. Mayor Hession seems to understand now that his own and the Spokane Police Department's credibility have been damaged by several members of the police department from the acting chief down. We should expect to see some retirements or resignations from the Spokane Police Department very soon. They can't come soon enough.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Bob said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this, the scary part is did they play it this way because it's SOP with the SPD and this was an abherration because the Spokesman got hold of it?

If that's the case, the cover up/implausible deniability is a pattern of behavior that needs to be examined and only by an outside independent investigator.

5:38 PM, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though we are talking many months after the fact, any chance of getting you to update the link to the letter to the editor with the right information? I would like to read the letter but your link is to an unrelated letter. Thanks much.

10:04 PM, February 09, 2008  
Blogger Bill McCrory said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It was correct when it was first posted, however one of the problems with hyperlinking is that links sometimes die or are changed. I've had exactly the same thing happen with other newspapers as well.

Because I no longer subscribe to the Spokesman-Review, I would have to pay for content behind the firewall. However, here's a link to a Frank Sennett "Hard 7" comment that quotes the letter verbatim. Note, too, that Sennett's link to the letter is also incorrect.

8:08 AM, February 10, 2008  

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