Why Would Anyone Want the Job?
My question is: Why would anyone qualified for the Spokane Police Chief position want it?
Surely any applicant worthy of consideration would research the Spokane city government's and police department's history. It wouldn't even take much research. S/he would only have to read The Spokesman-Review's series of articles about the firehouse sex scandal and the police department's investi-bungle to see that top-to-bottom rehabilitation is essential if the Spokane Police Department is ever to regain public trust and confidence.
With only a little more research, prospective applicants would see that the City of Spokane is unlikely to give the new police chief the authority s/he would need. Housecleaning is going to make a lot of police department employees uneasy. An uneasy employee may be one who financially supports and votes for the current administration's opponents. Incumbent officials like to be able to say (sometimes truthfully, often not) they have the support of "their" police department.
Also, the police chief position is highly visible. Positive visibility contributes to political power, and political power residing in an honest, articulate, educated, determined, publicly-accessible Spokane police chief represents a political threat to some elected officials. Spokane's elected officials do not want a police chief who is smarter, more competent, and perhaps more honest than they are. Yet that's exactly the kind of chief Spokane needs.
The in-bred applicants already know how the Spo-political game is played, so to the out-of-town applicants, I'd say, "Do your homework before you're interviewed." And to the applicant who's finally offered the job, I'd ask, "Are you really sure you want it?"