Spokane, Wa., Police Chief Frank Straub said his department has an obligation to enact large-scale reforms announced by the Department of Justice, reports the Spokane Spokesman-Review. The DOJ review, which spans five years of data on use of force and surveyed dozens of officers about their attitudes and approaches to law enforcement, had long been demanded by citizens and activists after a janitor's death in 2006. The department will have 18 months to comply fully with the recommendations, or potentially face a more comprehensive and mandatory review by federal officials.
Straub, joined by Spokane Mayor David Condon, U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby and others, said the department is united in its efforts for reform. He asked the community to give police time to implement the recommendations stemming from the review led by Ronald Davis, director of the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services. Straub said the distrust of the police department was real and justified, but the time had come to move on. “We are opening our hearts and our arms to listen, but I have to ask the community to do the same thing,” he said.