Spokane’s new police chief-designate is Frank Straub, 53, whose career has included stints in New York and Indianapolis. He was introduced at a press conference Wednesday by Spokane Mayor David Condon, reports the city’s Spokesman-Review. Straub was hired in Indianapolis in January 2010 after serving as public safety commissioner in White Plains, N.Y., starting in 2002. He previously served as deputy commissioner of training for the New York Police Department and was a special agent with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Condon said he expects innovation from Straub. “You have the opportunity to be very creative, very innovative, to really be in that intimate connection with the community,” Condon said. If confirmed by the Spokane City Council, Straub will take over a department troubled by recent scandals, most notably the death of a mentally ill Spokane man who died after he was beaten, shocked and hog-tied by police in 2006. In November, after the first responding officer was convicted of lying to investigators and violating Zehm's civil rights, the U.S. Department of Justice accused the department of an extensive cover-up. Straub will take over a department that will have its lowest number of commissioned officers since the mid-1990s as a result of budget cuts. Straub replaces Anne Kirkpatrick, who left at the end of last year.