Spokane, Washington

Peter M. Sheingold
Harvard University
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management

Case Study Prepared for the Urban Institute

Introduction: Spokane

Spokane, a city of approximately 190,000 residents, is nestled in a valley on Washington’s western border with Idaho. With its close proximity to Canada, Idaho, and Oregon, Spokane serves as a focal point for regional trade and transportation. The largest city between Minneapolis and Seattle, the greater Spokane area is home to almost 1 million people. During the week workers and visitors from outside the city expand its day time population to approximately 300,000 people per day. Home to the 1974 World’s Fair, Spokane has grown by roughly 20,000 residents during the last 17 years, and is a popular place for retirees, with more than 30% of the city’s population older than 62. Approximately 92% of Spokane’s residents are White, with Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and American Indians each making up about 2% of the population.

In 1986 Spokane’s Police Department (“the department” or “the SPD”) was a classic professional style police department. Decisions were made by the Chief and his top managers. Patrol officers spent their time on preventive patrol or conducting rapid response to 911 calls for service. There was little interaction between department members and Spokane’s residents. By 1997, the department had shifted to a community-based approach. Strategic initiatives flowed from all levels of the department, patrol officers were encouraged to problem solve and work with the community, as well as respond to 911 calls, and thousands of Spokane’s citizens became important co-producers of public safety by serving as volunteers within the department.

While this change was supported by Spokane’s political leadership and its citizens, and was not opposed by the unions, prior to 1987 there was no demand within Spokane for community policing. The driving force for this change was Chief Terry Mangan, hired in 1987 by Spokane’s City Manager. Mangan was the first chief ever hired from outside the department, and he brought with him a strong conviction that public safety is best delivered when a police department works in partnership with the community. The evolution of community policing in Spokane, therefore, was the result of Mangan spreading this vision, and creating an environment where personnel from inside the department, and residents in the community, could develop individual programs, large and small, which changed the delivery of police services.

This case will explore the changes that occurred during the last 10 years, by describing the department as it was from 1975-1986, how the department changed from 1987-96, and how the department operates today in 1997. Specifically, the case will examine how one manager, Chief Terry Mangan, altered five major elements of the organization: its vision, or mission; management, including the role of decision making and supervision in the department; operations, including patrol and investigations; support services, including information technology, crime analysis, training, and dispatch; and the relationship with its external environment, including citizens, the media, and other government agencies.

Spokane Police Department: 1975-1986

Operations: Patrol

Like most professional style police departments, by the mid 1970s the SPD’s patrol officers spent their time driving the streets of Spokane in patrol cars from which they responded to calls for service. While a problem location might receive special attention, in the form of a special task force which would flood the area and make arrests, patrol officers spent the vast majority of their time driving from call to call. “Officers were not independent. They were directed to [respond to 911 calls] and they went and did it,” a department member recalled.

Patrol officers worked on one of three eight hour tours – day, swing, and graveyard – each of which was commanded by a lieutenant and supervised by three or four sergeants. A captain, who reported to an Assistant Chief of Operations, supervised the entire patrol division. By 1987, the SPD employed 217 uniformed personnel, 131 of which served in patrol capacities. This hiring level worked out to 1.2 officers per 1,000 residents, compared with the national average of 1.8 officers per 1,000 residents for cities of similar populations. The relatively small size of the department was a great source of frustration for personnel, who felt the department was significantly understaffed.

For patrol deployment purposes, during the 1970s and early 1980s the department divided the city into two large platoons — North and South. While collective bargaining rules allowed officers to bid by seniority what time of day they worked, all officers were assigned to one platoon for a three-month tour, and then rotated to the other platoon. After these tours were completed, the officers were rotated again to a relief platoon, where they spent two days per week in the north, two days per week in the south and one day wherever an extra officer was needed. By constantly shifting officers’ geographic areas of responsibility, there was scant opportunity for officers to know the community they policed. “We were alienated by the way we policed,” a department member recalled. “The whole idea of knowing people that you police in your area of the city, in your geographic area, was hindered by the way we staffed, the way we rotated shifts.” During the mid-1980s Chief Robert Panther sought to create a closer connection between officers and the community, and changed this system by dividing the city into four patrol sectors – Adam, Baker, Charlie, and David – to which officers were assigned for a one year tour of duty.

While most officers spent their time driving from call-to-call, some officers made an effort to interact with the community. When Sgt. Mike Prim, then a patrol officer, patrolled the Hillyard neighborhood it reminded him of his hometown. “I came from a small town that was also a railroad town, so I identified with the people [in Hillyard] a little more than I did in other parts of the city. So when we were up there, instead of just... riding in our patrol car, we spent the time getting out and walking beats, getting to know the business people, getting to know the bartenders, all the players in the community that might give us a better sense of what was going on,” Prim said. “As a consequence of that, when something happened in that community, not only did we feel safer, [but] people… were more prone to help us.”

A separate investigations division was divided into three functional units, each of which was responsible for a specific type of crime – crime against persons, crime against property, and major crimes. In addition, a Special Investigation Unit was responsible for the investigation and enforcement of vice and narcotics laws. “In other words, a detective working a property crimes unit may be given a burglary case that happened on one side of town on Monday, but on Tuesday he might get a case that occurred seven miles away in another part of the city because he was assigned by type of crime, not by geographic location,” a department member explained. The investigation division was led by a Captain, who reported to the Operations Assistant Chief. Each of these specific investigative units was commanded by a lieutenant and supervised by one or two sergeants. By 1987, 58 detectives were divided between the four functional units, and interaction between patrol and investigations was minimal.

Operations: Management and Decision Making

The SPD’s upper management consisted of a Chief and two Assistant Chiefs, one of whom was responsible for Operations and the other for Administrative Services. These three individuals had primary control over the department’s decision making. Four Captains oversaw and supervised the department’s major subdivisions (patrol, investigations, services, administrative support.) Lieutenants supervised smaller divisions (operations management services, internal affairs), or individual units within patrol, investigations, or administrative services. These units consisted of patrol officers, civilians, and sergeants, who had direct, day-to-day supervisory responsibilities.

The SPD’s management at this time was described as “autocratic” and “bureaucratic.” A centralized decision making structure had the Chief and his Assistant Chiefs for Operations and Administration tightly controlling policy decisions. “The captains didn’t really go off on their own and try anything new, neither did the lieutenants for the most part,” one department member recalled. Innovation, according to many members of the department, was not encouraged. “We were kind of in a rut. It wasn’t brought out to go ahead and take risks. I think the department was a little more conservative and a little more concerned with… things not working out or some failures,” a department member said. Another member of the department said that generating statistics, rather than solving problems, was the driving strategic force at all levels of the SPD. “The sergeants were not oriented towards problem solving. What they were oriented towards was numbers. How many tickets did you make? How many arrests did you make? Because that’s what was being asked of them by their managers. They wanted numbers. They didn’t care much about results or problems solved, it was show me your enforcement statistics and let’s make sure there’s plenty of them.”

In one case where an officer implemented an innovative program, he felt like he was taking a risk. Officer First Class Dan Bunn, then a patrol officer assigned to Spokane’s downtown business district, initiated a program to reduce the time it took to process shoplifters. “They would send me down for a shoplifter that stole a ten-cent candy bar at Payless,” Bunn recalled. “Well it’s a juvenile so I’ve got to write a report, book him into juvenile and turn the reports in. So you’re looking at two hours right there for a ten-cent candy bar.” To reduce this time, Bunn formed a partnership with many of the downtown stores. When store security apprehended a shoplifter, store personnel filled out the paperwork, which Bunn would then sign, cutting down on case-processing time. “They [the stores] would do the reports for us, they did all the evidentiary stuff. It freed up a tremendous amount of my time. I got the stats, it made me look good, and it made them look good to their bosses,” Bunn said. However, when Bunn formed his partnership with the store owners, he felt like he was taking a risk. “You go out on a limb a little bit because some of this stuff was outside department policy, but I thought if I keep a close eye on it and these are people I can trust [then it would work]… [So] I told them if you screw up, it’s going to come back on me,” Bunn said.

In the early 1980s an outside management consultant was commissioned to make recommendations for improving the department. While this resulted in the hiring of a planner and the creation of a crime analysis unit, other recommendations were ignored, and by the mid ‘80s, according to one department member, the plan, “sat on the shelf and gathered dust.”

Operational Support: Equipment and Technology

By the 1980s the Public Safety building, which the department shared with the Spokane County Sheriff’s department had fallen into disrepair. “Our locker room and our drill hall were down in the basement. We were on cement floors and we were dealing in trash and gunk. Our showers had mold growing on them,” one department member recalled. When working in the field, officers, who carried six-shot revolvers, often felt out-gunned by the criminals. Officers were also frustrated with the portable radios they carried. “They were big, hand held radios and they didn’t transmit very far. We often had trouble with the repeaters and the batteries going dead,” one officer said.

Inside the Public Safety building, a large mainframe computer stored criminal records. Operators and dispatchers entered information by hand into the system, but by the mid-1980s, “the upkeep and data on that continued to deteriorate and we kept overloading the system,” a department member recalled. All other records were filed and retrieved by hand. Most workstations throughout the department still utilized typewriters and, in the detective division, professional stenographers typed the detective reports, which were recorded on audio tapes. In the mid-1980s the department created a crime analysis unit and purchased three small personal computers for the crime analysts. Given the computer’s small size, and the fact that all records were input by hand, analysis was limited to robbery, rape and burglary calls.

Operational Support: Dispatch

Citizens reported crimes to the department during the 1970s through a “crime check” program instituted in the late-1960s. Under this program, a phone number was established so that citizens could call the department directly to report crimes. Operators who were hired and managed by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department answered the calls. Crime check, which was marketed heavily by the department, was changed to a non-emergency service in early 1980s when 911 was implemented. With citizens now easily able to call the department, calls for service jumped in the early 1980s.

Like recordkeeping, the dispatch process was done entirely by hand. Calls were taken by operators, who wrote the information on a card and then sent the card through a pneumatic tube to a dispatcher who placed a priority code on the card and dispatched the officers by radio.1 While officers on light-duty assignment joined with civilian dispatchers to perform dispatch duties during the 1970s, by the mid 1980s the dispatcher position had been entirely civilianized. However, the dispatch unit was still supervised by uniformed Sergeants and Corporals. This was, according to Ted Robison, then a dispatcher, a source of great frustration for the civilian dispatchers. “The [uniformed supervisors] stayed usually a period of a year or so, and then they just moved out. So that by the time they were pretty proficient at the job they were pulled out,” Robison said.

External Environment: City Hall

Then and now the City of Spokane is governed by a seven-member elected City Council, which included a Mayor. The Council hires a City Manager to oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of city agencies. In order to generate operating revenue, Spokane levies a sales tax, but does not collect income or business and occupancy taxes. Because the city limits the amount of taxes which it collects, Spokane’s per-capita revenue is 75% of Seattle or Tacoma. While this limited the amount of revenue that could be generated, the police and fire departments typically shared approximately 50% of the city’s budget. By 1986, the SPD’s operating budget of roughly $15 million accounted for roughly 27% of the city’s total budget. Dr. Terry Novak, who served as Spokane’s City Manager from 1978-91 described a police department which cooperated with city hall and other agencies such as the Fire Department and the Parks Department. “In terms of purchasing and budgeting and capital and construction… we had no great difficulty dealing with them. In terms of inter-department cooperation, we had no great difficulty,” Novak said.

External Environment: Spokane’s Citizens

Many observers and members of the department during the 1970s and 80s described it as distant from the community. “We didn’t pay much attention to that [community interaction]. We were pretty much the line and staff professional police department. We knew how to solve crime. We knew how to do this, you tell us what’s wrong and we’ll fix it,” a department member said. While individual department members might attend community or block watch meetings, the Community Services/Crime Prevention Unit was the only unit in the organization which was tasked to regularly interact with Spokane’s citizens. This unit was commanded by a lieutenant, supervised by one sergeant, who oversaw two corporals and two officers. In addition, the department had a small reserve officer program, which utilized volunteers officers to provide support services for the patrol division, and a block watch program.

Under Chief Panther outreach efforts to the community changed slightly. A Police Advisory Committee, whose members were chosen by the Police Chief to represent different community groups, was established in the early 1980s. This Committee was tasked with bringing community concerns to the Chief’s attention. In addition, Panther encouraged his top administrators to interact on a more regular basis with the community, but line officers and front-line supervisors were not pushed to take such steps. “You would never go to a community meeting. You would at most attend a block meeting once in a while, but it wasn’t held to be part of your job at all,” one department member said.

The distance between the officers and the community was exacerbated because patrol officers rarely left their vehicles unless they were responding to a call for service. This fact affected officer perceptions of the community. “The only time we got out of the car was when we were handling a call from service. Everybody we saw was a bad guy, there weren’t any good guys out there,” officer Rick Albin recalled. In addition, many personnel acknowledged, they had no real sense of what the community’s priorities were. “Working in the downtown we thought that the burglars and the robbers and the rapists were the real concerns,” Albin said. Later in his career, when Albin patrolled the downtown beat on foot and bicycle he learned that, “really the concerns were nuisance or annoyance calls. The winos, the transients, the panhandlers. But you have to get out of your car to find out about these things.” This distance also affected how the community interacted with the officers, as few residents shared information with the department.

Despite this distance, most segments of the Spokane the community had a positive opinion of the SPD. One notable exception to this general rule was Spokane’s small black population, which had a long-history of tension with the department. The Community Services Unit and the Police Advisory Committee had been established, in part, to improve relations with members of this community. By 1986, however, there was still a clear strain between the police, which employed no black officers, and many members of the African-American community, who felt that it unfairly targeted black citizens. The City Council and the City Manager were committed to diversifying the department by hiring minority officers. As a result, an affirmative action program was started in 1986 which contacted prominent members of the black community and asked them to help recruit possible officer candidates.

External Environment: The Media

Interaction with the local media was often strained. The department did not have a public information officer assigned to proactively work with local reporters. Dick Cottam, who worked as a local television producer in Spokane and is currently the department’s public information coordinator, observed that the department made little effort to bring positive stories to the media. At the same time, he said, the department never took a “first strike” approach to negative stories, almost all of which were broken in the press, denying the department an opportunity to place its own “spin” on the story. Cottam broached these concerns in a meeting with Chief Panther. According to Cottam, while Panther said he was receptive to these ideas, nothing changed. Despite this lack of proactive attention to the media, the department felt it had fairly good relations with the electronic media, television and radio, while acknowledging frustration with the Spokesman Review, the city’s only daily newspaper, which many in the department felt biased its stories against the police.

By the mid-1980s the department had been stung by several unflattering revelations in the Spokesman Review. With no black officers and only 12 women on the force, women and minority groups publicly criticized the department for its lack of diversity. In 1985 the SPD agreed to a $195,000 out-of-court settlement with a former female officer who had filed a sexual discrimination suit. In 1986 the department faced a lawsuit from a former detective who alleged that he had become addicted to drugs while working undercover. Stories were also surfacing about a stripper performing at a party of off-duty officers. These revelations were of concern the City Council, who wanted something done to reverse the trend of public embarrassment.

While a picture emerges of a department that was distant from the community it policed, there was no great internal or external outcry for organizational change. Officer morale was low by the mid-1980s, however, it did not come from a sense of alienation from the community. Rather many officers were frustrated because of declines in personnel, poor equipment and increased calls for service. Similarly, small steps were being taken in the 1980s to move the department closer to the community. Externally there was clearly a desire to diversify the department, but this could have been done without any other large strategic changes. Finally, while Spokane’s political leadership was concerned about the department’s image, their was no cry for fundamental change.

Yet, at the same time, there were individuals within the department who were interested in changing the way the department policed the city. Dave Ingle, currently the Administrative Services Director, was one such employee who was interested in reform. After a fifteen year uniformed career in the Boise, Idaho police department, Ingle joined the SPD as a civilian planner in 1985. In his first year in the department Ingle attend a conference at which he heard a professor named Herman Goldstein.

He was talking about something called community policing, which sounded a whole lot like what we went through in Boise in the seventies with the neighborhood team policing movement. This [neighborhood team policing] was the idea of dividing a city up geographically and fixing responsibility geographically as opposed to functionally or temporally. We did it in Boise and I thought we had some tremendous results and higher esprit de corps among the troops, higher crime clearance rates that were just astronomical. But neighborhood team policing died a death of lack of data, lack of support, lack of funding and resistance to change. I went to that conference, and said yeah this [community policing] is good stuff, this is the direction we should go.

Although Ingle had met some individual kindred spirits in Spokane such as Capt. John Sullivan, Lt. Roger Bragdon, Sgt. Mike Yates, and Cpl. John Moore who shared Ingle’s desire to change the department, as a whole Ingle found the Spokane police department resistant to this kind of fundamental change. After six months in Spokane, Ingle thought he had made a mistake leaving Boise in the first place.

A Changing Department: 1987-1996

A New Chief, A New Vision: Community Policing Comes to Spokane

In November 1986, Chief Robert Panther retired from the department. “He got to the point in the state police retirement system where it was quite lucrative for him to retire… his wife was well employed and he didn’t need the money and he didn’t need the grief,” then-City Manager Terry Novak recalled. As Novak prepared to search for a new chief he consulted the City Council members who told him that they wanted a chief who could improve the department’s public image. Novak’s goal, therefore, was to find a chief who would have greater interaction with the community and blunt some of the criticism the department was receiving from the newspaper. While Novak knew about community policing, and discussed it with candidates during the interview process, it was not a prime factor in his search.

I’d like to claim some credit for community oriented policing, but that wouldn’t be valid. That was not key in my mind at the time… I was convinced that we had a pretty damn good police department, to my mind a little bit too bureaucratic… but nonetheless good people and the newspaper seemed to be in the process of destroying its public image for some unknown reason. And the intent was to get a chief who would be out and about in the community and serve up an antidote to that.

By the spring of 1987 Novak narrowed his search to six candidates, including several from outside the department. However, he rejected this first group, believing that they were, “basically police bureaucrats who had come up through the ranks in other cities, or our own, and they weren’t thinking beyond connecting the dots,” Novak said. As Novak restarted his search, he decided that he needed to look outside the department for a Chief who had, he told the Spokesman Review, “the necessary creative spark.” Terry Mangan, then the Chief of the Bellingham, Washington Police Department, was on Novak’s short list. Charismatic and articulate, Mangan had already developed a reputation for working closely with the Bellingham community, and was known statewide for his work as a member of the State Criminal Justice Training Commission and as President of the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police.

When Mangan received a call from Novak asking him to become a candidate he was initially skeptical. “I said, frankly I am pretty happy where I am. I’ve got lots more things here that I can do. And I know some of the people on your staff and you’ve got some very qualified people there. So [Novak] said, ‘well no we need to go outside. We’re not going to be able to do this inside, could I come and talk to you about it,” Mangan recalled. After a second discussion, Mangan agreed to become a candidate and in the spring of 1987 he was chosen to fill the position. In Mangan, Novak believed he had finally found the right person for the department. “[Mangan] had done in Bellingham just the sort of thing that we needed done. To get up and about in the community… [And] so many of these things are sort of intuitive. After 25 years in the business, you get sort of an intuitive feel for people who think beyond the dots and are creative, and his personal background was impeccable,” Novak said.

Terry Mangan brought a unique professional history to the world of policing which would profoundly influence his views about the relationship between police departments and the communities they policed. Mangan’s initial professional training was as a priest. A young Father Mangan, then working as a dean in Catholic High School, was introduced to the world of policing when he made friends with several officers in Seaside, California. The officers, who thought that Mangan could help the department improve its relations with Seaside’s black community, knew that Mangan had taught in a black parish in South Carolina and had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Selma, Alabama.

Before agreeing to work with the police, Mangan asked to ride along with them so that he could get a better understanding of their working environment. “I went out on patrol and rode around with them, but I was pretty much in casual clothes, and they [the officers] said, ‘you know when you are with us, people think you are a reporter so they don’t act the same way as when we’re just out here by ourselves in uniform. Why don’t you see if you could become a reserve officer and ride in uniform and you’ll get a better feel for what’s going on,” Mangan said. Intrigued by this idea, Mangan received permission from his church to become a reserve officer. “So… for about 16 hours per week, on the average, I would be out there part-time in a patrol car working in uniform as a reserve officer. The first year I did this I would work with another officer. During the second year, they’d call me up sometimes and say ‘gee we’re short a guy tonight. Can you take a beat’? So I took a car by myself and would go out and work,” Mangan said.

Mangan also worked with the California Test Bureau and the local school system to evaluate the students’ attitudes towards police officers. In this capacity, he set up focus groups between officers and teachers to discuss their relations with each other and designed a cadet program that brought young people into the department to perform community based volunteer work. Yet, no-one outside his order and the police department knew that he was working as a reserve officer until one night when he found himself chasing a man down the street. The chase ended in front of a local movie theater. “I grabbed this guy and wrestled with him. It was about the time the theater let out and a bunch of my high school students, including the son of one of the editors of the paper, saw me wrestling around with the guy. So that all came out. ‘Priest Leads Double Life.’ It was front page news,” Mangan said. A church inspector from Italy who was visiting California at the time of this incident was horrified to see headlines about a priest carrying a gun. The Inspector gave Mangan an ultimatum. Give up the police or give up the priesthood. Mangan appealed the inspector’s decision, but while he waited for a decision he could not work as a priest. Needing a way to pay his bills, Mangan became a full-time police officer. (Several years later, Mangan received an invitation to rejoin the order. By that time, however, he was already working as an officer and, more importantly, Mangan had married.)

In his new profession, Mangan was cognizant of the lessons that he learned as a civilian about policing. Specifically, Mangan believed that the police culture isolated officers from the communities in which they policed and created closed police departments. “The [officers] perceived that there were a lot of people out there who didn’t like them and basically what they were perceiving was that they [the police] were sending out kind of a wall and people out there didn’t understand them very well,” Mangan said. As an officer, Mangan was committed to breaking down some of these walls and building partnerships with the community. While working as a patrol officer, and eventually as an undercover narcotics officer for the Seaside police department, Mangan wrote grant proposals allowing the department to start a community affairs unit which Mangan then supervised. Community ride-along programs, youth summer programs, and officer sensitivity training quickly became realities.

Mangan also worked with the Seaside city manager on a local human rights commission, and when the manager left for a similar post in Lakewood, California he invited Mangan to join him and help with planning. This led to Mangan being named Lakewood’s Director of Law Enforcement Operations. In the late 1970s Mangan left California for Bellingham, Washington where he became the Chief of Police. In Bellingham, Mangan started a number of programs which built partnerships between the community and the department such as a senior citizen volunteer program. While Mangan felt it was important to work with the community, initially he didn’t use the term community policing to describe this partnership. “Community policing was not a term that I used. Partnerships and neighborhood partnerships that was something we worked at. But the whole formal philosophy to me was not something I had gotten my arms around... It was more about breaking down barriers to the community. There was always this accusation about the closed police department. I figured if you bring the community into the police department as volunteers and let them work there, let them go on ride-alongs [and] put the police in the schools… [then] we should have a better system,” Mangan said.

As his time in Bellingham progressed, Mangan’s sharpened his ideas about what he would later call community policing. By the time he took the helm of the Spokane police department, Mangan was committed to opening the department to the community, and believed that the two should work in partnership to improve public safety. Mangan said that his role was to ensure that community policing in Spokane became a deeply embedded belief system, which undergirded all of the department’s actions, rather than handing the department a specific set of programs to implement. This was consistent with Mangan’s philosophy of leadership, which he borrowed from Dr. Henry Kissinger. A leader, “gets one’s people from where they’ve been, to where they need to go but have never been, by invoking for them a powerful vision,” Mangan said.

Underlying Mangan’s vision were four core beliefs. First, Mangan believed that public safety was best provided when the community and law enforcement worked in partnership. Second, effective public safety was proactive rather than reactive. Third, strong enforcement must be central to the police department’s role in producing public safety. Finally, because residents live in neighborhoods, any strategy must be designed at a neighborhood level. Mangan’s self-assigned task, therefore, was to inculcate this philosophy within the community and the department. Specific programs, which were consistent with this philosophy, would then be developed by himself or others. “If we have that mind set, that we are co-producers of public safety at the neighborhood level in these various ways, and that the citizens are not just our customers, they’re our partners in doing this and they have a special role to play, then whatever programs that flow out of that and validate it will be expressions of community policing,” Mangan said. “There are going to be programs because you’ve got to do something and whatever you do becomes a program, but its got to flow out of that mind set.”

When Mangan became Spokane’s Chief of Police he did not have, nor did he ever create, a long-term “master plan” which spelled out, step-by-step, how the department would move to community policing. Instead, he sought to create an environment where many different players – both inside and outside the department – could bring different ideas and plans to the table. The development of community policing in Spokane is the story of how Mangan’s vision created an atmosphere where specific programs often bubbled up from the bottom of the department, a citizen in the community or even another agency. This led to small and large programmatic changes which altered the way that police services were delivered. Central to many of these changes was a shift in the relationship between the community and the department. Under Mangan’s leadership, the SPD actively pursued a partnership with Spokane’s residents through numerous volunteer programs. This created a system which both increased public support for the department and where the citizens and the SPD became co-producers of public safety.

Because there were so many individual changes that occurred, they will not be described in a strictly chronological order. Instead, the following section will first examine the ways that Mangan developed organizational support by attracting more resources to the department and then brought his vision of community policing to the department by creating a strategic planning committee and tasking it with writing a values and vision statement for the department. The section will then examine several internal administrative changes which operationalized community policing within the department. Finally, it will review the changes in the department’s relations with its external environment which created new partners in the production of public safety.

Building a Partnership and Improving Resources: Passing a Bond

While Mangan wanted to move the department closer to the community, as an outsider who needed to win the trust and respect of the department, Mangan’s first goal was to improve the department’s morale by upgrading equipment.

It became very evident to me that we weren’t going to go any place in this department with any kind of community efforts unless we addressed some real fundamental needs. When I came here… people were working out of a basement with steampipes overhead, World War II surplus lockers… and old, smelly towels hanging over them. No exercise or work-out rooms, broken toilets, radios that didn’t work. Crummy equipment and not enough people. Lowest staff level in the state for a city of this size. You can’t tell people their job is important unless you address their [basic] needs. So we focused internally on getting them the stuff and the equipment and the working conditions that would say, ‘you really are important.’

In Mangan’s mind, these two goals – increased resources and improving community relations – were intertwined. If he could increase community support for the department, Spokane’s citizens could provide the department with volunteers whose work would alleviate pressure from line officers. At the same time, the community would provide political support for spending more money on the department. However, Mangan was aware that bringing volunteers into the department could be a challenge because the unions maintained collective bargaining control over police work. Mangan won union support by linking the need for volunteers with successfully acquiring more resources for officers, which he hoped to accomplish with a law-enforcement bond issue.

I said, ‘we don’t have any money. We don’t have our arms around the crime problem. We don’t have any resources to get the equipment and stuff we need. We are going to have to go to the community. Here’s how we can get resources… We can use volunteers and they can fill in a lot more of the stuff our guys don’t like to do and free them up for more police work. We can go out and educate the public about what our needs really are and what’s happening to our community and hopefully that in turn will bring the attention to the elected officials around to the point where they’ll give us the stuff we need when they have the money to do it.

With his goals in mind, Mangan first turned his attention to the outside community. During his first year in Spokane Mangan attended more than 400 community meetings. At these meetings Mangan spoke about the need for a new partnership with the community. Mangan told Spokane’s citizens that, “this is a good police department, but it’s a police department that has severe restrictions in terms of the number of people we have. Here’s what we want to do as a police department… We are the lowest staffed police department in the state, that’s an officer safety issue. We need to build this department up and we need your help to do it. More importantly we need partnerships with the community. We need people to come in and be volunteers,” Mangan said.

As part of his new partnership with the community, Mangan worked hard to gain their support for his proposed $4.3 million dollar law enforcement bond issue. If the bond issue passed, Mangan wanted to upgrade officer’s radios and convert their revolvers into semi-automatic pistols. A rehabilitation of the public safety building would follow, with new locker rooms, day rooms, and sleeping facilities. Finally, Mangan hoped to upgrade the department’s technological capabilities by installing a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) and RMS (Records Management Systems).

Mangan was initially met with skepticism about his plan for the bond. Never before had a bond issue passed for law enforcement. In order to build a strong set of allies, Mangan made a strategic decision to broaden the bond’s scope. Rather than place a city-wide bond issue on the ballot, Mangan proposed that it would be a county-wide law enforcement bond. This garnered the support of all the local law-enforcement agencies, and a committee was formed to encourage the passage of the bond. The committee hired Dick Cottam, the local television producer, to make a video which visually demonstrated the need for the upgrades. With video-tape in hand, Mangan spoke before countless community organizations. “[I told them] it’s up to you. You’re the taxpayers and it’s like a pizza. We’re a good police department, if you want us to make you pizza we will make you the best pizza we can make with the ingredients that we’ve got. If you give us the best ingredients for a medium pizza it will be the best medium pizza we can make for you, but it won’t be a large pizza,” Mangan said.

With unified support from all levels of local law enforcement, endorsements from the newspaper and Chamber of Commerce, and Mangan’s personal lobbying of local community groups, the bond issue passed in September, 1988 with more than 70% of the vote. As the first outside chief in Spokane’s history, Mangan’s ability to quickly obtain these resources sent a strong positive signal to the department and helped win organizational trust. While many personnel had little interaction with Mangan directly, they appreciated, as one officer explained, that “the chief got us some really good stuff.” At the same time, Cottam said, it was a first step in opening up the department to the community. “For the first time, it brought the public into the police department through all of this exposure. It showed the community what the department’s needs were and how it functioned,” Cottam said.

Bringing a New Vision To the Organization: The Strategic Planning Committee

In his first year in Spokane, Mangan devoted the bulk of his time to building community support for the SPD and throughout the next 10 years Mangan would regularly meet with local organizations. But, by 1988 he was ready to turn his attention to changing the department itself. While Mangan was open about his goal of opening up the SPD to the community, and adopting a more community-based, proactive approach to policing, he needed to transmit this mission throughout all levels of the organization. As a Chief from outside the department, Mangan also needed to gain support and trust from its members. After accepting the position, Mangan began speaking with numerous individuals inside the department and in the community in an attempt to identify the natural leaders, from all sworn ranks and civilian titles, whose support would be critical if change was going to occur. Before taking command Mangan wrote these leaders - people such as Ingle, Bragdon, Sullivan, Yates, and Moore - and invited them to a series of open discussions about the organization. Soon after Mangan took command, he gathered these individuals into an informal advisory group which met several evenings each week to discuss the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations for improving the department. This group was a vehicle for Mangan to both send his ideas to the department, and to receive feedback about how the organization perceived itself. “They were not going to be making decisions,” Mangan explained. “The purpose of this [was] to brainstorm where we are, where we are trying to go, how we’re going to get there, and what do we need to do it.” Equally important, by bringing in all levels of the department into this ‘think tank,’ Mangan gained support for his change efforts and was not seriously challenged by old-guard personnel.

Soon after these meetings began, Mangan formally turned the group into a Strategic Planning Committee, and increased its membership. Committee members described a process that improved communication throughout the department. “Everybody had an opportunity to talk without fear of repercussions, and there were a lot of things said in those meetings that just needed to be said so that people could air them out,” a committee member explained. A patrol officer who participated said that he enjoyed the opportunity to hash out ideas with members of other units in the department, and gain a broader perspective about the organization. Knowing that the Chief was actually listening to their ideas was very important to committee members, most of whom had never previously been given such an opportunity. Mangan, who ensured that the group’s decisions were consistent with his broader visions, described his role in the group as the ‘sounding board’ or the ‘mirror.’ “I would tweak it and push it a little bit here and little bit there, and incorporate the best of this group’s ideas and that group’s ideas,” Mangan said.

While the planning committee discussed numerous issues facing the department, in 1990 Mangan tasked them with a critical task: defining the department’s values. “Every agency has a unique culture, an organizational culture that is part of its history and its traditions,” Mangan said. “I felt it was really important to take that organizational culture and examine it, and that history, and say who were are and what we stand for and why. To make that work, people have to have ownership of it, and to have ownership of it means that everybody in the department… has to have a crack at it.”

Mangan first gathered several values statements from other police departments and presented them to the strategic planning committee. The committee drafted a values statement which was presented to the rest of the department for feedback and revised. After a final draft was approved, Mangan tasked the committee with creating a “hook” for the two-page values statement. When devising the hook, Mangan told his committee to use the FBI as a model. “Anybody that works in that Hoover building, from the janitor on up will tell you that FBI stands not just for Federal Bureau of Investigation, but it stands for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, the three values of the FBI,” Mangan said. Using the initials SPD as a starting point, the planning committee decided on “Service, Pride, and Dedication,” from which all of the department’s values would flow.

While the complete values statement covered many issues, it made a strong commitment to community policing. Under the service section, for example, the values statement reads, in part, “We are service oriented. We see this community in a partnership role, with our citizens as our partners as well as our clients…” Working in partnership with other departments and the community was also an important theme of the dedication section. “As those dedicated to public service we recognize the centrality of partnership and cooperation, both within our own agency, and with other departments and agencies and ultimately with the community itself.” Service, Pride, and Dedication was subsequently painted on all of the department’s patrol cars, and the values statement was incorporated into the training program.

This values project took two years to complete, and when it was completed in 1992, Mangan gave the planning committee another related task: create a vision statement for the SPD. If the values statement expressed how the department would operate, a vision statement would express where the department wanted to go. “What do we want to say about ourselves by the year 2000? What kind of a department do we want to be?” Mangan asked his planning committee. Utilizing a similar process, Vision 2000 was drafted, revised, and approved. It explicitly proclaimed that community policing would be the strategy by which the department expressed its values and realized its vision.

In the year 2000 the Spokane Police Department will be a culturally diverse, highly motivated, professional law enforcement organization, representative of and respected by the community it serves. Through its partnership with the community, it will continue to provide innovative, effective, and efficient services with pride and dedication…. We are dedicated to a philosophy of policing which commits us to a working partnership in our community, and to proactively address those issues which can enhance its quality of life.

Not only did the planning committee formally endorse and ratify community policing as the department’s overarching strategy, but it redesigned the patrol cars, and took several steps, such as creating a monthly newsletter, to improve communication within the department itself. According to a participant on the strategic planning committee, the newsletter served as a means of communicating new programs and ideas to the department as a whole. “If we had a success, then everybody learns about it, rather than it just being a little program over here that nobody knows anything about,” a department member said.

In 1992 the Strategic Planning Committee also designed a patrol manual which helped operationalize community policing into concrete responsibilities within the patrol division. (Many of the specific tasks will be discussed in subsequent sections of this case). While the stated purpose of the plan was to provide, “direction and purpose for the management” of the patrol division, it explicitly encouraged, “all personnel to take risks and innovative approaches to problem solving.” Working closely with the community was another expressed goal for the patrol division. “The Patrol Division exists to… improve police/community relations through the quality and quantity of contacts between citizens and members of the division.” This model fit Mangan’s goal of encouraging innovation at all levels of the department. “We said to the [patrol officers and supervisors] the best ideas come from you folks, so you figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work,” Mangan said.

Operations: Encouraging Innovative Management

As a manager Mangan was described by many in the department as an ‘idea guy.’ He was both receptive to new ideas, and would sometimes give his staff the broad vision for a program, without filling in many details. While Mangan was the source of some new ideas, and final decision making authority still rested with the Chief and his command staff, he wanted to empower supervisors and line officers to develop ideas and programs on their own. As was previously discussed, the newly developed patrol manual expressly encouraged this bottom-up development of new programs, by tasking the patrol division commander, shift lieutenants, and sergeants to develop programs which identified and addressed long-term problems within their sectors. In order to facilitate this, all shift commanders were required to work with sergeants and patrol officer and create yearly management plans which identified and analyzed problem areas and proposed solutions. (These goals and objectives became the basis for a new annual report which the department submitted to the City Manager and City Council.) The patrol managers were also directed to, “develop and maintain communication” with citizen groups and neighborhoods.”

These new tasks were added to the supervisors standard set of oversight and personnel management responsibilities. While Mangan expanded the managerial duties, because civil service regulations controlled promotion throughout all levels of the department except for the Assistant Chief and Chief positions, he had little authority to replace supervisors who were not up to these new roles. As a result, Mangan identified individuals in the department who were innovators and gave them authority to design new programs, regardless of their rank. Officer Robert Walker, for example, was given the responsibility of designing and managing a new Volunteer Unit (which will be discussed later in the case.)

Some supervisors welcomed this new ability to innovate and experiment. Lt. Rex Olson, then the supervisor of the Crimes Against Property unit, decided that he wanted his investigators to interact more with the community. He pushed the detectives to schedule a day where they would work with a new program, COPY Kids, which allowed students and officers to interact. “I encouraged my investigators to… kind of see what some of the rest of the department was doing but also to become involved in something besides just doing the investigation,” Olson said. “Some people left their comfort zones… they liked being able to do their investigations and didn't really want to go out there and deal with the kids, but I think once they got out there and tried it then they realized ‘Hey, this is pretty neat.’" Olson also sought to break down some of the barriers between patrol and investigations by forming joint task-forces on special projects.

In other cases, supervisors helped officers implement their ideas. Officer Rick Albin, then patrolling the downtown neighborhood, felt that when he was in a patrol car he wasn’t able to hear from the neighborhood residents about their problems. The solution – a bike patrol. However, as a patrol officer, Albin had no time to make this idea a reality. Albin’s sergeant was willing to help. “He went out and did a lot of the leg work… We didn’t have time to contact a business to get donated bicycles. So the sergeant went out and got the equipment,” Albin said. With the bike unit in place, Albin’s work changed on two levels. First, he was now able to interact more closely with the community and address the quality-of-life problems they were concerned with. At the same time, because his suggestion for a bike unit was actually followed-up on, he began feeling that, “maybe I could have some impact or effect on what’s going on around here.”

Yet, according to some department members, this model of empowerment created some tension within the organization. “That really kind of disturbed the table or organization… We had sergeants that were given responsibilities and… the captains and lieutenants… sometimes weren’t even aware of things that were going on in their units… Some management people realized that they had been kind of… identified… as maybe non-producers or road-blocks… and they were simply being bypassed,” a department member said. And, while some supervisors thrived in this new environment, because supervisors were not given much explicit training about their new role, others were unsure how to do their jobs in this new era. This created a situation where some officers were receiving dual messages from the organization: the Chief wants me to work more closely with the community, but my sergeant wants me to collect stats. Mangan acknowledged that not giving supervisors more concrete guidance was an error.

One of the first mistakes we made with first-line supervisors is we didn’t interpret for them what the role of the front-line supervisor was because we didn’t know ourselves. We didn’t have a formal plan and we didn’t have formal labels and we didn’t want do that because we went to other departments where they had the five year plan and they sat on the shelf and nobody used it… You’ve got police officers now and they are empowered to go into schools, they’re assigned to work with this community group or that community group and you’ve got this sergeant saying ‘these are my resources, what is my role in all of this? My evaluation sheet says number of arrests, number of citations, etc… so how do I evaluate a guy who is organizing a neighborhood?

Civil service rules also posed a challenge. While the department wanted supervisors to function as, “cheer leaders, resource getters, mentors, and coaches” the promotion test was a pencil and paper exam which didn’t evaluate these skills. Some individuals were being promoted who didn’t always have the talents that Mangan wanted in his supervisors.

Operations: Patrol

While supervisors were encouraged to take on a new role in the SPD, so too were patrol officers. Most patrol officers were still assigned to one of four sectors on a yearly rotational system where they were expected to answer 911 calls for service. However, while working on their tours officers were also encouraged to interact more closely with the community, and look beyond specific incidents for the underlying patterns which could be resolved through problem solving. (Under the problem solving approach, officers examined calls for service in specific locations to determine if there was an underlying problem which could be ‘fixed’ through a process of scanning, analysis, response and evaluation.) A revised training curriculum was one of the most important ways these new roles were explained to officers. In the early 1990s the vision and values statement, which emphasized the importance of community partnerships, were presented to the new recruits. At the same time, community policing and problem solving policing were incorporated into the basic and in-service training curriculum through such materials as professional articles. Cross-cultural awareness, and communication skills, which Mangan believed to be important components of community policing, were also added to the curriculum.

The newly developed Patrol Manual also explicitly proclaimed a new model for patrol work. Under the patrol responsibilities section of the manual, the division was required to, “increase the quantity and quality of contacts with citizens. Identify neighborhood problems. Increase sector identity for officers (create a feeling of partnership and ownership). Utilize neighborhood steering committees for public contact and input.” When they were not responding to calls for service, the manual directed officers to work with their sergeants to, “focus on specific problems within their sectors. Information will be utilized from Crime Analysis, Traffic Analysis, Investigative Division, SIU and community contacts. The information will be formulated into proactive strategies to attack specific problems.”

Consistent with the rest of the Spokane story, much of patrol’s implementation of community came from individual personnel taking initiative. In order to operationalize a closer relationship between patrol and the community Mangan took the suggestion of Sgt. Mike Yates and Capt. John Sullivan and established two police substations in the West First and East Sprague neighborhoods in 1987 and 1988. While there was no money to staff these stations on a regular basis with patrol officers, officers were encouraged to write their reports in the substations and, when the officers were in the stations, neighbors could interact with the officers. At the same time, the openings of the stations were combined with increased enforcement efforts, such as decoy units, “so that the neighbors could see that this wasn’t just a place for cops to write reports, but they brought some strategies to address some of the issues,” Mangan explained. Cpl. John Moore, who served with the crime prevention unit, took the idea of the substation one step further and raised funds from local businesses to establish a crime prevention center in the West First neighborhood.

In other cases, patrol personnel began applying the new ideas to their existing work. In 1992, for example, Lt. T.J. LaLiberte was working as a patrol shift commander when a rash of burglaries hit Spokane’s Northeast neighborhood. On their own, the sergeant and patrol officers in the area examined the burglary reports for the past year and determined that most of the burglaries were taking place in a 20 block radius and that the majority occurred in homes where doors and windows had been left unlocked. The officers and sergeants then held a brainstorming session and presented LaLiberte with a plan. LaLiberte explained:

They developed some information sheets about the burglary problem – what was going on, how it was happening. They also made up some inventory sheets so that [residents] could inventory property in their homes and put on serial numbers. We were finding that people didn’t have [serial numbers] on their property, so we couldn’t recover property or we’d get property back and couldn’t identify who it belonged to. Then the officers, in between their calls, would go from door to door… and start talking to people and explaining the problem, leave the information sheets, leave the inventory sheets… and we cut the burglaries in that area by approximately 82%.

With much of the innovation coming from the bottom of the organization, in some cases, Mangan did not even know about individual programs that were being developed by patrol officers. “I’d rather have a program that I don’t know about that is successful, than not have the program,” Mangan said. One such program, Cops Read Amazing Stories Here (CRASH), was developed by several officers who wanted to form closer connection with the elementary schools in their sectors and improve literacy rates. The officers gave up their lunch hours and read books to the students. Because no new fiscal resources were required, Mangan was never told about the program, until one day when he was testifying before City Council.

I was giving a presentation for the City Council. I had all of these programs up on the wall and I'm walking through them, and I came to one that was called "CRASH," an acronym. I went blank, I didn't know what it was. This is embarrassing, this is live television, a City Council meeting. So my guy who was running the slide projector for me said, ‘Chief, that's Cops Read Awesome Stories Here.’ I still didn't know what the program was. So after the council meeting, I was meeting with the councilor, and I said, ‘I apologize, but I don't know what the program is yet. I'll give you a thumb nail of what I've been told. They'd been doing this program and it's been really successful and I just wasn't aware of it, because it didn’t cost us any money, but the literacy rate actually went up in one school, and CRASH was part of the reason attributed to it.

Bringing community and problem oriented policing to patrol was not without its challenges. Some officers simply did not support the philosophy, believing it was “touchy feely” and not “real police work.” Other liked it but felt that the organization didn’t support it with enough resources. Some of these officers felt they were too busy responding to calls for service to problem solve. Or they were frustrated by what they saw as a thinning out of patrol, as new programs (which will be described in the next section) were added. The number of uniformed personnel assigned to respond to 911 calls decreased from 157 in 1990 to 142 in 1992. This decrease frustrated some patrol officers. “We were getting thinned out in terms of bodies available on the street vs. bodies to work this volunteer activity, or design that particular program. There was a real feeling of, ‘Jesus, where are the cops anymore?,” one department member said. Some officers who supported the shift were frustrated that their performance evaluations had not changed to reflect the new priorities. While the department asked them to solve problems and reach out to the community, the yearly performance evaluation still reflected a time when arrests made and tickets written were the primary measurement tools of officer effectiveness.

Another challenge, some personnel reported, was that community policing in the training curriculum was presented in a more theoretical light rather than as a hard set of tools. “It has been more theory than anything else. But nothing for that line officer to say, oh, this is what they want me to do,” one department member said. As a result, many officers and supervisors left the academy with a broad understanding that they should work more closely with the communities they policed, and that employees should be empowered to come up with innovative solutions to problems, but few guidelines about how to make it happen. For some personnel this was all the training they needed. Other personnel were frustrated, however, by a lack of clear direction about how best to implement community and problem solving policing. One current member of the department described a resulting tension from this style of training.

We’ve said [to supervisors] you’re no longer the order giver, you are the coach, the facilitator, the resource getter, the supporter, the cheer leader. Its well and good to say these things, but if you don’t know how to do these things and there’s nobody there to show you how to do these things then you’re kind of left to your own devices. Now what we have… is a situation where… again we’re broad brushing… we have sergeants, and lieutenants and captains who say ‘OK I get it!’ They do empower their troops and they do act like the coach, the facilitator, the resource getter, but Sergeant B over next door ain’t buying into any of this and he isn’t going to do any of this stuff.

In an effort to improve training, during 1996 the department used funds from a 1994 Federal Demonstration Grant, and sent a team of trainers from the SPD to Seattle, which had a strong reputation for implementing community policing, to seek advice about training issues. The trainers also attended a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) conference on problem solving. These ‘training the trainer sessions’ resulted in a new problem solving curriculum which was given to all personnel in an in-service training session in 1997. This new training module combined a broad philosophical overview about community and problem oriented policing, and then offered a more in-depth discussion about the four steps involved in the SARA model of problem-oriented policing – scanning, analysis, response, and assessment. Finally, all personnel engaged in a simulated problem solving exercise.

Patrol: Neighborhood Resource Officers

One way to confront some of the tensions about officers not having enough time for community policing was to take some of the patrol officers off the radio, and allow them to problem solve within specific neighborhoods. As early as 1987, Dave Ingle was eager to experiment with this concept. Ingle’s first idea was to place the officers in schools. This plan was rejected by the school system who, at the time, did not want officers in the schools. However, in 1992 the department applied for, and received funding from Washington State to experiment with a program that would take two patrol officers out of their patrol calls and station them permanently in two of Spokane’s highest crime neighborhoods: West Central and East Central. Mangan wanted these Neighborhood Resource Officers (NROs) to develop relationships with neighborhood residents and help the neighborhood build partnerships with other police units and city agencies. In short, the NROs were charged with being neighborhood based problem solvers.

The NRO’s were given a great deal of discretion to investigate complaints, resolve disputes, and refer citizens to appropriate social service agencies, without needing to check for approval from a supervisor. In fact, specific job descriptions were intentionally avoided because the department wanted the NROs to have the flexibility to design programs that would meet neighborhood-specific needs. Initially, the department wasn’t sure where to station the two officers, so one was stationed in a community center, the other in a middle school (the school system had since dropped its objections to placing officers in schools). “We found that the school based officer was making better contacts because, we found that the problems that effect a community effect the kids first,” Lt. Glenn Winkey said.

Patrol officers who wanted to serve as NROs applied for the position, and were interviewed by a panel consisting of police personnel, school personnel, and community residents. The initial NROs received little formal training for their positions, being told, according to one NRO, “to go forth and make it work.” While they spoke to police departments in other cities which had experimented with community policing, most of the time the NROs utilized a trial and error approach. NRO Rick Albin, who currently serves in the West First neighborhood, explained how this approach worked in practice. When he first took the job he wanted to formalize a process to make connections with community members. With more than 900 business in the neighborhood Albin envisioned a series of forums where he could meet with many owners at once. Albin then targeted owners of similar types of businesses (i.e. residential apartments, bars/taverns, parking lot owners) and invited them to a meeting to discuss common concerns. “Our idea was to bring the hotel/property owners together, educate them about what the crack dealers are doing and how they’re working. Develop a communications network among the [owners] and with the police department,” Albin said. After trying this approach for two months, however, Albin realized that segregating the owners by business type was not working. “We didn’t realize the competitive nature of these folks. You get ten or twenty competitive business owners sitting in a room and by God they’re not about to tell their secrets to their competitors,” Albin said. “We had hoped that the effective business owners would be able to help the less effective ones… but the reality was the effective one’s really didn’t want to share their secrets.” Albin then changed his approach, and focused on business who were aligned geographically rather than functionally.

NROs spent their time visiting families of troubled youth, teaching classes about gangs, drugs and alcohol; attending community meetings; patrolling the neighborhood on foot or in their car; backing up other patrol officers; interacting with local residents; and helping to design strategies to solve long-term crime related problems. Because most of the NROs were stationed in local schools, during the school year they also spend a great deal of their time working directly with school personnel and at-risk students. In order to facilitate communication with local residents, NROs were equipped with pagers, cell phones, voice mail, and e-mail accounts. Although the NROs are required to work 40 hours per week, many NROs found themselves working far longer. Officer Tim Conley, one of the initial two NROs found that he, “became part of the community, and their problems affected me personally. As a result, I worked much longer hours as an NRO than when I was on patrol. I worked evenings and weekends. If you tell the neighborhood that there is a real live person they can talk to about their problems they will grab on and not let go. I had people calling me for everything.” Conley also noticed that he interacted with the community in a different way, once he was not tied to the radio. As a patrol officer, Conley said, he often only saw the negative elements of the community, now, as he was able to attend functions such as award programs in the local middle school, he was seeing the, “positive parts of the community.”

An evaluation by Washington State University of the NRO program in 1992 and 1993 determined that the program implementation had been successful with officers reporting higher job satisfaction, and neighbors reporting high satisfaction with the officers. As a result, using money from a 1994 Phase One Federal grant, four other NROs were added to the program. All of the new NROs were based out of the schools except for one who worked in the downtown business district.

While Mangan was pleased with the results of the program he realized that the department was providing too little supervision for the NROS. “We had one NRO who was a very good community guy, but he kind of went sideways on us. He was overwhelmed, he had so much that he couldn’t manage it and he didn’t go for help because he figured he was independent,” Mangan said. “So he was getting reports that he never turned in… issuing citations that he never turned in. Spending way more time than he should have doing things that became increasingly less productive… He wound up being terminated for some very specific things he did wrong, but I also felt that we shared that responsibility because we didn’t provide him with the kind of support he needed.”

That specific situation, as well as a desire to better coordinate all of the individual community policing programs that were being developed, led Mangan to create a Special Projects Unit within Patrol. This unit, which was commanded by a lieutenant and supervised by a sergeant, was tasked with supervising the NROs and coordinating all of the community policing programs. With a sergeant and lieutenant on board, the NROs began holding weekly meetings in which they discussed strategies and tactics and shared information. NRO Conley also developed a training curriculum which included information about problem solving, interviewing skills, suicide prevention, gangs and drug identification, and interacting with a school environment. Conley also developed a resource manual which provided the names of important contacts with other agencies. Personnel from these other agencies attended the NRO training sessions and explained their roles.

Other tensions initially arose between NROs and some patrol offices who felt that the position was a “soft” job. These patrol officers saw that the NROs were getting perks such as their own cars and offices, but were not required to respond to the radio calls. “There was resistance initially… the patrol officers weren’t getting the back-up on calls and they didn’t see any benefits from the NROs,” Conley observed. Over time some of this resistance has worn down as the NROs and patrol officers had greater interaction, passing information back and forth and referring problems to each other. For example, the NROs began published a weekly informational flyer to advise patrol offices of problem locations and alert them about NRO activities. “I know that each of these NROs that work in each one of these substations have more than enough work,” an officer said.

Patrol: Special Patrol Programs

Mangan also started several new programs within patrol which were designed to attack specific problems. Some of these programs such as Volunteer Services and DARE will be discussed in a later section, other programs included a Canine (K-9) unit which utilized trained police dogs; a Street Crime Unit to assist special investigations with undercover work; and a traffic unit, which had been eliminated during the previous administration.

The story of the traffic unit, which was reconstituted in 1991 with a sergeant and nine officers, exemplifies how Mangan sought to create a department that interacted more closely with the community while still emphasizing enforcement. Mangan chose Sgt. Mark Sterk to lead the new unit. Because the initial traffic unit was disbanded, in part, because officers were not writing enough tickets, Sterk told his officers that they must write at least ten tickets per day and the unit targeted its efforts at problem locations which, according to Sterk, significantly decreased Spokane’s collision rate.

In order to build stronger ties to the community, however, Mangan utilized money from the law enforcement bond and purchased motorcycles for the unit. “Putting an officer on a motorcycle drops that barrier of the patrol car… when you’re sitting in the neighborhood, kids are coming up and talking to you, neighbors come out and talk to you,” Sterk said. Under a targeted enforcement program Sterk placed these motorcycle officers in specific neighborhoods for set periods of time. “Because we worked in those places on a consistent basis the neighborhood started to recognize who my officers were and started to like having them there,” Sterk said.

Building on the theme of developing closer connections with the community, the unit developed an innovative program – Every Fifteen Minutes – to target underage drinking and driving. The impetus for the program came from a meeting between Mangan and two local high school students. “They said that they wanted to do something about the drinking and driving that takes place around graduation and the prom,” Mangan recalled. Mangan introduced them to the traffic unit and asked the unit to develop a program. The officers and Sterk designed Every 15 Minutes, which was so-named because every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic accident.

During the two-day program officers visit high school juniors and seniors. On the first day two officers go around the school pulling “living dead” students out of the classroom every fifteen minutes. Obituaries are then placed on the wall announcing that these students have been “killed” in a drunk driving accident. The students are placed in costumes and return to class, but are not allowed to speak or participate in any classroom activity for the rest of the day. A simulated death message is given to two parents, who have previously agreed to participate. The officers also speak in the classrooms throughout the day about drinking and driving. That night all of the students are removed from their families and bussed away to a local hotel to simulate their death. The next day, skits are performed, the parents discuss how the “death” of their child affected them, and students speak about their experiences. Since its inception, more than 20,000 students in almost 20 schools have taken part in this exercise, which won a Governor’s Traffic Safety Award for innovation in traffic safety education. More significantly, according to the SPD, since it began there have been no alcohol related fatalities involving a Spokane high school student during end-of-the-year parties and there have been no DWI arrests of a Spokane teen during prom or graduation nights.

Operations: Investigations

While patrol officers were encouraged to solve problems and prevent crime, it was difficult to assign the same role to detectives who, by definition, investigated crimes after they occurred. However, in 1992 the commander of investigations, Captain John Sullivan, believed that the investigators could form closer partnerships with the community if they were assigned on a geographic, rather than a functional basis. Another detective, Brian Breen, was eager to try out the idea and Mangan approved of the concept. In 1992, Breen was given a beeper, a car, flex-time hours and sent out to work with an NRO in the East Central neighborhood. Breen was only given cases that occurred in that specific area and was told to spend time meeting with community members. Mangan quickly observed that Breen was getting more information from the community than other detectives.

Brian’s information was phenomenal because he knew everybody out there. I think he drank with [people in the neighborhood] and when they had the soccer tournaments he was part of that. He took the kids to soccer tournaments in Seattle and he knew all of the parents… He was loved by everybody. He couldn’t go anyplace without people waving him down in the car and giving him information. He was on his way home from work once and wound up with a truck-load of stolen goods and four people in custody because he stopped for a bottle of pop… He doubled the amount of production, he doubled the amount of cases settled, he doubled the amount of arrests than the average detective.

While Mangan was pleased with Breen’s work, he wasn’t sure if the success was coming as a result of the geographic assignment or because of Breen’s personality. To test these theories, another partner was assigned to work with Breen. The results were similar. Then, two other detectives were assigned to work in another neighborhood and again the results, according to Mangan, were very positive.

They absolutely linked in with patrol, where before there was this separation with patrol. They worked with patrol... patrol trusted them and gave them information, they trusted patrol. They backed up patrol, patrol backed them up. They worked great in the neighborhoods, people liked them. They picked up tremendous information. They got quick follow-up from the neighbors on their cases… They were the highest producers in terms of arrests, cases settled and things like that.

Given this success, in 1994 two functional units – crimes against persons and crimes against property – were eliminated. The detectives were then divided into three geographic units – northeast, northwest, and south. Approximately eight detectives were assigned to each of these units, which were assigned all of the cases committed within the area, and were given a new title – Neighborhood Investigative Resource Officers (NIRO). (The Major Crimes and Special Investigation Unit were not affected by this shift. All of those more serious crimes were still handled on a city-wide basis.) In addition to handling calls on a geographic basis, detectives were encouraged to attend community meetings and work with patrol officers and other agencies.

Because patrol officers and detectives shared responsibilities for the same piece of turf, department members reported more cooperation between the units. “They [the detectives] have people attending [our] roll call with specific requests. ‘Keep an eye on this house, or this person’… Now [patrol] and [investigations] are responsible for the same area, it’s just that we have a slightly different job in taking care of it,” Patrol Captain Bruce Roberts said. Det. Terry Boardman, a NIRO, enjoyed her new-found opportunity to investigate a wide-range of crimes. “I like being able to investigate a number of [crimes] rather than just one or two… I probably do a better job as a detective because its a more eclectic environment, requiring greater skills, than investigating just one special area would,” Boardman said. Boardman, who formed strong connections with local school personnel in her area, said that she feels a greater sense of ownership over her territory. “You get invested in your area. I don’t want my area to be the one where they are doing all of the drug busts… I want it to be cleaned up,” Boardman said. While NIROs seem to enjoy the new system, given heavy case loads and work schedules that do not always have them working in the evenings, attendance at neighborhood meetings varies by officer. “We have not institutionalized that,” one department member acknowledged.

Operational Support: Information Technology/Crime Analysis

While the bond issue allowed the department to quickly upgrade its facilities and purchase new officer radios and weapons, it also allowed a longer-term upgrade of its technology. One of the first projects was the purchase of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and a Record Management System (RMS), which computerized all records. The CAD system which came on-line in 1994 (RMS followed in 1996), allowed operators to enter dispatch information immediately onto a computer. “Before, if we had to recall an incident we would have to go back into the storage room and pull out the call cards and flip through them by hand to see if we could find the address and what happened on a particular call. Now we can query the computer if we have the basic address, the time and that sort of thing,” Dispatch Supervisor Ted Robison said.

While the new systems created a powerful database, on their own CAD and RMS were unable to generate sophisticated analysis. This was remedied when the department received a 1994 Federal Demonstration Grant, which allowed the SPD to hire analysts who linked the CAD/RMS systems with a Microsoft ANALYSIS program, which greatly expanded the department’s analysis capacities. Previously only tactical analysis of burglaries, rapes and robberies occurred. The new system expanded the department’s capacity to perform crime analysis and created the capacity to conduct administrative analysis of such indicators as response time and deployment levels. The raw data in the CAD system was turned into reports that analyzed calls for service by: priority, time period, shift, type of call, source of complaint, average response time and disposition. In addition, crime activity could be reviewed at an address-by-address level; the most frequent types of calls for service could be examined by police block, shift, city-wide; and the number of officer initiated calls could be reviewed by day, hour, month, priority, or type.

While this was a big improvement, only crime analysts were able to access this program. However, Ingle wanted a system that anyone in the department could use. “We have this vision of a patrol officer or a supervisor being able to sit down in an interactive session with the computer at 3 o’clock in the morning,” Ingle said. “And learn what he or she needs to know in terms of identifying a problem or doing some kind of analysis that… can be done by anybody with a minimal amount of training and at their fingertips, rather than through a specialized unit.” Ingle tasked Lead Analyst Alison Banholzer with this job and in 1996 Banholzer designed such a system: Data Retrieval Analysis Containing Uniform Level Activity (DRACULA). The system earned its acronym, according to Banholzer, “because everybody was calling our mess ‘the monster’… so we called it DRACULA.” Banholzer’s windows based program, was simple enough to use that simply pointing and clicking a computer mouse allowed the user to generate all of the sophisticated crime reports that ACCESS could produce. “We’ve put DRACULA in a form where you don’t have to be a computer guru to use it,” Banholzer said.

Not only were crime analysts able to access DRACULA, but it was placed on several different computer terminals throughout the department - NRO offices, the patrol sergeants, block watch, Spokane COPs, Detective units and Crime Prevention. (Under Mangan, the department purchased more than 150 personal computers.) While NROs began using the DRACULA system immediately to help identify problem locations in their neighborhoods, patrol officers did not have direct access to terminals. However, Banholzer printed out weekly reports which listed top calls or top addresses and posted them in the roll call area. During the first year she did not get much response from the officers. However, in the second year, as some of the original NROs shifted back into patrol and discussed the benefits of the new system, Banholzer found herself getting messages from patrol officers on her voice mail asking for reports. “They’ll call and leave a message on my voice mail, ‘hey can you run me this address… I’m getting complaints that this is a party house.’ Then I’ll run it and put in their box the next morning,” Banholzer said.

The program has also been helpful in connecting citizen perceptions of crime to actual crime levels. When citizens make complaints about specific areas, the department can determine if the crime level actually corresponds to citizen fears. “It helps us define problems realistically,” Banholzer said. In addition, crime analysts are able to use their enhanced analysis capacity to perform evaluations of specific programs or strategies, and review personnel allocation for demand and budgeting purposes. Because the technology is still so new, Ingle acknowledged that the analysis is still not being used to its full capacity. “[The managers] don’t always use the data… for workload analysis and workload assessment. Do we have people deployed properly on the proper days, in the proper amounts? I think that’s because we’re pretty new at that, and I think that there’s a sense with the operational people that they know intuitively what’s going on and they don’t need all of this data,” Ingle said.

Operational Support: Dispatch

Not only did the CAD/RMS systems improve the department’s ability to perform crime analysis, but it changed the dispatch system. When operators answered calls they entered the information into the CAD system which automatically prioritized the call and electronically send it to a dispatcher. Dispatch supervisors were able to review all of the calls that came in, and make adjustments to priorities if necessary.

In addition, in order to more efficiently allocate officers, two new priority codes – 4 and 5 – were created. These codes were assigned to calls, such as found property or illegal parking, which did not require assistance from a police officer that day. Some of these calls, like property recovery, were then forwarded to volunteers (whose role will be discussed later in this case), for pick-up. “It gives us as dispatchers… a better understanding of what actions should be taken in a particular situation,” Dispatch Supervisor Ted Robison explained. In addition, when calls were given a priority three, which meant that an immediate response was not required, and the officer wouldn’t be arriving for more than 30 minutes, Mangan instructed dispatchers to call residents back. “We explain to these people that we are tied up and we will try to get to it as soon as possible, so they don’t feel like they are being neglected or ignored,” Robison said.

Another important change in dispatch was civilianizing the supervisor position. In an effort to get more uniformed personnel on the street, Mangan removed the uniformed supervisors. Corporals, for example, were assigned to an evidence gathering and supervisory roles in patrol. This change was important to the civilian dispatchers. “[Civilian supervisors] had come up through the ranks and we understood how the operations worked a little more,” Robison explained.

The External Environment: Strengthening the Community Partnership Through Volunteerism

While Mangan took several steps to change the department internally, he was also committed to strengthening the SPD’s relationship with its external environment which included Spokane’s citizens, other government agencies, the media, and city hall. One of the first ways that Mangan reached out to the community was to expand the number of volunteers who worked with the department. If done successfully, Mangan believed this would have two important results: create a core of personnel available to perform the less critical, but still important, functions that paid personnel did not have time to do. (Defining the volunteers work in this way was vital in obtaining union support. The union was concerned about volunteers performing work that was protected under collective bargaining agreements.) And, Mangan hoped, as the volunteers worked closely with the department, they would become a strong set of allies within the community.

During 1988, in another example of delegating work and authority regardless of rank, Mangan assigned officer Robert Walker to expand the volunteer programs within the department. One of Walker’s first target populations was Spokane’s senior citizens, and he began a senior volunteer program in 1989. With a large population of retirees in Spokane, this was a natural population to focus on. Moreover, with many of the seniors having enjoyed long careers, some of which were in the military, law enforcement, and business, this population was comfortable working in a structured, paramilitary environment. The senior volunteers, who must be over 50 years of age, were given uniforms and received 40 hours of training. The decision to place the volunteers in uniforms was calculated, according to Sgt. James Earle who currently commands the volunteer unit. “We want people to know that they’re representatives of our organization. If they get good treatment from a senior volunteer, we want them to know that that’s part of your police department at work. If they get bad treatment from a senior volunteer, we want them to know that they can call us and inform us of what the problem was, and we’ll take corrective action to fix it. And, throughout the department, we want the affiliation system to work with the police officers too. This is a person with gray hair, but they’re a member of our department. So you wear a uniform and they wear a uniform and their uniform deserves as much respect as yours does,” Earle said.

The senior volunteers’ first task was staffing an information desk in the police substation in the East Sprague neighborhood. Soon after, the senior volunteers took over a similar function in the front of police headquarters. Previously, anyone who entered the police station interacted with a patrol officer, who manned a front desk at which residents often filled out reports. However, many residents simply had general information questions, and did not need to interact with an officer per se. “Half of the eight or ten people that were standing in line to talk to the police officer simply wanted to know where the bathroom was, or which court room they were supposed be in, or where to pay a ticket,” Earle explained.

Among the other new volunteer programs which were started included a Cooperative Education Program, which provided college students with on-the-job experience in a law enforcement agency in return for which they received college credit. The Co-ops received 40 hours of training and were required to devote at least 16 hours per month performing such tasks as assisting patrol at accident scenes, taking cold reports, and picking up found evidence and property for the Patrol Division. An Explorers program was added in which youth who participated in the Boy Scouts and had interest in law enforcement careers worked with the department performing such duties as traffic control and special events.

In order to better organize and expand the volunteer programs, in 1992 Mangan created a new unit – Volunteer Services – and assigned a sergeant, an officer and secretary to the program. Volunteer Services was incorporated into the existing Community Services Unit, and was given full responsibility for managing the volunteer programs. Sgt. James Earle, who applied for the sergeant’s position, was excited about the opportunity to develop new programs. “I wanted the opportunity to develop something that was new and innovative. I pretty much had an open ended assignment,” Earle recalled.

After the information booth proved successful, the senior volunteers began performing other non-critical clerical tasks throughout the department. In order to gain union acceptance of these senior volunteers, they performed tasks that were, in the words of one supervisor, “things that we need to do… that we don’t have time to do. If they don’t do it, it doesn’t get done, that’s the bottom line.” An example of such tasks, according to Sgt. Earle, would be a payroll slip after it was processed by the payroll clerk. “After that slip is handled and processed for pay, then it becomes a slip of paper that needs to be housed or stored, or filed. That’s a non-critical task. If that gets put into a box and doesn’t get done until next Thursday, nobody cares.” Other examples included answering the phones in the crime-prevention unit, so that the uniformed staff could leave the office and interact with the community. Or, staffing a home check program which checked the homes of Spokane citizens who left the city on vacation.

Earle found the senior volunteers, several of whom previously served in the military, particularly easy to work with. “Most of them are real organized. They like authority, or they like the authority of an organization that had expectations. Mine isn’t a senior volunteer program where if you get up in the morning, and you are assigned to work the front desk, and the sun is shining you can say this looks like a good golf day, I think I’ll call Sgt. Earle and just not show up. That doesn’t happen more than a couple of times,” Earle said. Volunteers who did not keep their commitments of at least 16 hours per month have been asked to leave the program.

A separate program, the Citizens Academy, was introduced in 1990 in an attempt to introduce a wider spectrum of Spokane residents to the inner workings of the police department. The academy began, a department member recalled, “as part of Mangan’s drive in opening up the department so that that people could learn about the department and what it was really all about rather than what they saw on television and what they read.” Any Spokane citizen could sign up for the ten-week program, which consisted of weekly three-hour sessions where department personnel taught courses in police policy and procedures. Finally, each student rode along with a patrol officer during a shift. Lt. T.J. LaLiberte’s daughter and son-in-law attended the academy, and according to LaLiberte, “loved it because… they learned a lot about things that they never had any idea about… They really understand a lot better now… what we do and why we do it.” Lt. Rex Olson, who currently commands the Community Services Unit, is a strong proponent of the Citizens Academy, which he believes makes its graduates more likely to work with the police. “I think dollar for dollar that’s probably the best program any police department can put on… I’ve seen people all of a sudden… be willing to step forward, and take some risk. People who otherwise… probably wouldn’t have done that. We’ve had numerous [graduates] join our volunteer program… And then they talk to other people and get them involved. So its really caused a lot more community activation as well as given out information.”

External Environment: Strengthening the Partnership through COP Shops

While the previously discussed volunteer programs grew out of the department itself, another volunteer program – Community Oriented Policing (COP) Shops – was established by Spokane’s citizens. Officers used to call Spokane’s West-Central neighborhood the “felony flats” or “the twilight zone.” The SPD regularly responded to domestic violence incidents and drug crimes in this low to mid-income neighborhood of single family homes. Litter and trash were strewn everywhere. Neighbors closed their window shades during the day, fearing that their property would be stolen if it were visible from the street. “Nobody liked to work there as a cop because of the crap you were putting up with all the time,” a department member recalled. In December of 1991, two girls, 12 year-old Rebecca West, and 11 -year-old Nicki Wood were abducted from the neighborhood. Rebecca has never been found. Nicki’s body was discovered north of the city in a burning pile of brush several days after she disappeared.

These abductions enraged Cheryl Steele, a West Central resident, whose daughter was one of Nicki’s friends. “It just angered me so. Mostly because I had led a really sheltered, protected military life. My Dad was in the Navy, and I wasn’t finding those community ethics now for my children which I thought existed, but didn’t,” Steele said. Steele’s anger led her, along with more than 200 of her neighbors, to a community meeting to discuss how the neighborhood could make itself safer. A task force was formed, and Steele chaired the Police/Community Relations Committee. The committee concluded that an increased police presence in the neighborhood was required to make it safer. However, when they brought this issue to the police department and the City Council they were told that, given the staffing levels within the department, it would be difficult to substantially increase a patrol presence in the neighborhood.

Undaunted, the West-Central neighbors decided if they couldn’t increase police presence with patrol cars, they would increase resident presence with a police substation. Three of these store front substations were created during 1988 in an effort to establish closer links with certain high crime neighborhoods. While they were not staffed by police officers continuously, patrol officers were encouraged to write their reports in the stations, and residents could enter the stations and give reports to the officers. Steele’s idea, however, took this model one step further. Volunteers who lived or worked in the neighborhood would staff the station on a regular basis. These volunteers would take police reports from the community and provide information and resources for residents. “It would create an actual presence in the neighborhood where people could come in and get whatever resource they needed. Whether it was reporting crime, whether they needed bus tokens, whether they needed parenting classes. To strategize, identify issues, and come up with probable solutions and build in strategies to take care of some of our long-term problems,” Steele explained. When Mangan heard about Steele’s plan he was enthusiastic, as long it met certain broad guidelines. “The principals are that this is a police station, it’s an extension of the public safety building and its got to be a safe haven for kids. We don’t want any programs in here that will violate that. So this is not going to be a place for counseling sexual offenders. It’s not going to be a place for a needle exchange program… You can’t hold a political rally there because it’s a public building… But if you want to bring in other programs that are compatible with being held at a police station grab at it, just make sure we know about it,” Mangan explained.

Steele’s formed a series of partnerships which made her dream a reality. A local businessman purchased a building in the center of the neighborhood. The city of Spokane leased the building for $1 per year and paid for the insurance, utilities and taxes. The police department provided training for the volunteers. The neighborhood agreed to provide volunteers and hold fund-raisers for operating expenses.

Beyond her vision, and Mangan’s broad guidelines, Steele, did not have a blueprint for what the COP Shop would become. “We opened up [in May, 1992], with [36] citizens from the neighborhood, myself included, and a cell phone underneath the desk in case we had to call 911. No kind of procedures in place in terms of answering phones or files or nothing. So we literally started from the dirt up… There wasn’t a blueprint that said this is the way it is, this is the way you have to make it work… We sort of took on the term that its easier to ask for forgiveness that for permission,” Steele said.

The volunteers, who took reports and gathered information about possible drug houses, quickly established a scheduling system so that the substation could remain open daily. Police officers used the location to write reports and meet with residents. Given the confidentiality issues involved with handling police reports, ensuring that volunteers were trustworthy was critical. Beyond the police training, an application process was developed and potential volunteers were required to undergo criminal background checks. However, Steele wanted the COP shops open to as many people in the community as possible. “You can’t fire a citizen. If they live in the neighborhood, they have a vested interest here. They must have some gift or some talent,” Steele said. As a result, three levels of volunteers were created. Level 1 volunteers cleared the police background check and were qualified to work at the front desk of the substation. They were privy to all complaint information and could attend any meeting. Level II volunteers also cleared the background check, but only wished to work on Neighborhood Observation Patrol (which will be discussed later in this section.) These volunteers were not trained to work the front desk, but could participate in other substation meetings. Finally, level III volunteers were residents who did not clear the background check. They were not privy to confidential information nor could they participate in meetings. However, they could help out during special projects, such as setting up police barricades for parades.

During the first six months of the West Central substation’s existence, Steele noticed that many of the citizen complaints surrounded quality-of-life issues, like garbage on the street. In response, she formed a Mobilization Assistance Team (MAT) with representatives from the police department, fire department, schools, military, businesses, social services, and churches to assist the volunteers with coordinating existing city services. As time went on, the volunteers codified their procedures and established a board of advisors, made up of resident volunteers. As the substation took shape, Steele noticed that her neighborhood was changing for the better. “When we got out in the community and started talking to each other, we started reducing the amount of fear, which increased the amount of participation in the neighborhood… People started painting their houses, planting flowers. Kids started playing out on the block, because we knew which kids lived on the block,” Steele said.

The COP Shop was so popular that, before its first year of operation was over Steele received a request from Spokane’s Northeast neighborhood to help them set up their own COP Shop. By 1996, nine COP Shops in total were in operation. Each of these neighborhood COP Shops reflected the preferences of local residents. The Northwest neighborhood, for example, decided to place their station in a local mall, rather than a residential area. According to Ingle, the impetus for COP shops must come from local residents. “We do not go into a neighborhood and say ‘you ought to have a Cop Shop. We operate it on the ‘if you build it, we will come’ philosophy. That means that they, the neighborhood, have to make that decision, that they want a COP Shop. And we have criteria. They have to have at least 35 volunteers, because that’s what we feel it takes to provide staffing and support a COP shop. And, they have to find the facilities for a building, not that we won’t help them find it, but they have to get the building donated.”

In March, 1994, a single non-profit organization – Spokane COPS – was formed. This organization, directed by Steele, is responsible for coordinating all of the citizen based community policing programs throughout the city. Spokane COPS functions on a budget of $148,000 per year. Each COP Shop receives $2,000 per year for basic operations, which covers equipment like pencils, pens, and toilet paper. The rest of the operating funds and equipment are donated. “All the furniture is donated. It’s not unusual to have IBM call a COP Shop and say, hey we’ve got six reams of paper do you need it?,” Steele said.

In the early days of the first COP Shop, volunteers predominantly took reports. Now, in addition to that task, many individual programs operate under the COP auspices and are housed in COP Shops. Some of these programs – after-school programs, parenting classes, and conflict resolution counseling – are not crime related. Under the graffiti paint-over program, however, volunteers checked for reports of graffiti at the neighborhood substations and then contact property owners. Once contact was made, photographs were taken, an estimate of the damage was performed and if the owner agreed, a volunteer would paint over the graffiti. “Graffiti used to be a big problem in [my] neighborhood, now you barely see it. It gets phoned in and taken care of within 24-hours,” Steele said.

Under a separate program, Safe Streets Now, residents were trained to document potential drug activity at alleged drug houses. If a subsequent letter to the property owner did not correct the problem, under state law, each resident could then file a claim for $2,500 in small claims court against the owner for owning a property which was causing a public nuisance. According to Steele, residents have utilized this program more than 180 times, only needing to venture into court on three occasions, all of which the residents won. In many cases, the property owners took action against disorderly tenants after receiving the complaints from the neighbors.

Another important program which sprang from the COP shops in 1993 was the Neighborhood Observation Patrol (NOP). Volunteers were trained by the police department to patrol their neighborhoods on weekend evenings in their cars. “We’re looking for break-ins. We're looking for gang activities. We're looking at drug houses, about anything that police departments do,” Louis Allen, the president of the Northwest COP substation, and a NOP volunteer explained. “We’re not trained to confront people. We're not trained to arrest people. We have no authority in that field at all. We're extra eyes and ears for the police department… If we see something, a drug deal going down, a robbery or anything like that, we will call it in, and they'll say, ‘watch it or leave the area’ and within just a matter of minutes we have the police units in.”

The doors and rears of the volunteer’s cars are affixed with a magnetic NOP sign. Inside, the cars are quipped with a police scanner, cellular phones, flashlights, binoculars, road flares, a fire extinguisher, and a first-aid kit. Volunteers raised the funds to purchase this equipment. “A lot of it was from the volunteers themselves. I'd say, ‘Here's $50, and somebody else would say here's $25 and $10’ and so forth,” Allen said. “That's how we raised our money. Now we raise most of our operating cash with a yearly rummage sale.”

The NOP volunteers also respond to some non-police emergencies. After an ice storm in the winter of 1997 kept many senior citizens in their homes, NOP volunteers knocked on their doors to make sure they were all right. Allen, who patrols with his wife, recalled another winter evening when they were on patrol. “We saw this smoke coming up outside the house, and this was 1:30 in the morning. Ethel went over and knocked on the door and got the guy up. She said, ‘I think your house might be on fire,’ and he said, ‘No. That's the vent from the gas furnace,’ but he couldn't thank us enough for coming and waking him up to let him know that we were out there. He said, ‘I really didn't know anybody was out like that.”

Allen said that while some police officers were initially resistant to the NOP volunteers, the relationship soon changed. “At first I think some of the officers that were on duty kind of resented us. I don't know whether they felt like we were infringing on their territory or what, but now most of them work with us,” Allen said. “We work with them, so it's developed into a good relationship, and I think it's getting better all the time.” Like all of the other volunteer programs, NOP is designed to provide important support services to the officers. NRO Dan Bunn described two situations in which the NOPs helped officers in the field. In one case a youth reported that his car had been stolen. However, “one of our NOP patrols who were very familiar with him saw him driving the car and we knew for a fact that when he said it was stolen, it wasn't stolen. We have NOP logs that document everything. We could zero in on that and say, no that's not true, you were driving the car and arrest him for false reporting,” Bunn said.

In another case, a local school was being broken into, while several other serious incidents, such as two shootings, happened simultaneously. With the patrol officers spread too thin, the NOP volunteers, who happened to be patrolling near the school, assisted the officer who was responding to the scene.

We had nobody up [at the school] except one policeman and it's a huge school and so our NOP patrol stood by to be another set of eyes. They have no authority of arrest. They have very specific instructions to stay away from stuff like this. But… common sense tells you that if you've got one policeman up there and he's screaming for help and there's nobody to help him then you've got to do something. So [the NOP patrol] went up and identified themselves, sat up in the corner, and took up an observation point in case the kids came out…. It worked out pretty well because the [officer] caught the bad guys but much to our dismay [the officer] found out he didn't have any video tape [to record the crime scene], so [the NOP patrol] went down to the store and bought him some video tape because he didn't have the time to do it… So it's stuff like that that takes a load of these guys who are already strapped to the max because of manpower shortages.

External Environment: Diversifying the Department

While Mangan encouraged all levels of the SPD to interact more closely with Spokane’s citizens, he was especially concerned about improving relations with the black community. One important way was to diversify the department itself. Prior to Mangan’s arrival the City Council and the City Manager made a commitment to increase diversity in the department. However, Mangan thought the initial plan was inadequate because it would bring too few minorities into the SPD. Mangan feared this could have an isolating effect. “They only had six openings in the department. I went to the Council and said ‘that’s doomed to failure. If you want to put together a class with an emphasis on minorities I need at least 12 positions. So give me six more positions. Let me hand-pick the candidates... Let me build them into a team,’” Mangan said.

The Council agreed with Mangan and, after an intensive recruiting campaign, Mangan selected eleven new cadets. (A special civil service law allowed the cadets to be chosen regardless of their standing on an eligibility list, with the stipulation that they successfully complete the academy before being sworn in.) These 11 cadets included six blacks, two Hispanics, two Indians, and one Asian. While some in the department bemoaned this “special hiring,” claiming that standards would decline, the class as a whole earned the highest score in history on the academy’s challenging criminal law test. In subsequent years this first class would play a vital role in recruiting more minority officers into the department. (Following this first class separate lists for protected class officers were drawn-up by the city’s civil service commission, to ensure that minorities would continue to be hired by the department. The department has currently met its hiring targets in all areas except female officers.)

Mangan took other steps to improve relations with the black community. Also in 1988, in addition to attending regular meetings with members of the black community, Mangan directed the department’s trainers to develop and implement cultural awareness training for all employees, and the Police Advisory Committee was expanded to include a broader section of Spokane’s minority community. In 1992, the department worked with the Advisory Committee and established a formal policy to address hate/bias crimes, and trained all personnel in the new policy. Additionally, in 1995 representatives from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and the Police Foundation worked with the department to facilitate a dialogue between the SPD and leaders from Spokane’s black community.

While tangible steps were being taken to move the department closer to the black community, during the same period crack cocaine and gangs started appearing on Spokane’s streets. With the crack and gangs came increases in violent crime such as drive-by shootings. Many of these gang members were black from the Los Angeles based gang the Crips. As a result, when the department focused on the gangs, some in the African-American community felt that the entire black community was being targeted, a charge which the department strongly denied. During the past 10 years, while some in the black community were eager to work with the department, others spoke out publicly against the SPD, alleging, for example, that black motorists were pulled over by police officers for no apparent reason. “We have had consistent difficulty in dealing with [the black] community,” Mangan acknowledged. “We have a number of very good community leaders that work with us, but they do it very quietly because they don’t want to be labeled by... some of the other so-called leaders as being too friendly to the police. That has been my greatest frustration because I got into this business originally by working with the African-American community.”

External Environment: City Hall

Given Mangan’s desire to make such dramatic changes in the police department, he needed the support of City Hall. As Mangan was taking over the department at roughly the same time that crack cocaine, followed by violent drug gangs, first started appearing in Spokane, the Council made public safety its most important priority. As a result, the department’s overall budget grew significantly during the past 10 years to its current level of approximately $38 million (this includes approximately $31 million in general funds and $7 million in outside grants). “Before we would be fighting over how many paper clips we could buy, but those days were gone. We were pretty much allowed within our budget anything that was reasonable,” a department member said. Under Mangan, the number of paid personnel increased to approximately 286 uniformed staff and 100 civilians by 1997. (In 1987 there were approximately 217 uniformed staff and 60 civilians in the SPD.) And, when city wide budget cuts were necessary, the Council often held an umbrella over the department. Council members were also pleased that many of Mangan’s programs involved volunteers, which cost the city almost nothing.

While City Hall made funding the police department a priority, neither the Council, nor the three City Managers who worked during the past 10 years, sought to micromanage the department. When, for example, council members saw that constituents were excited about having COP Shops in their neighborhoods, the Council was even more enthusiastic. “People were coming around and said, ‘this stuff’s happening in our neighborhood. Drug houses, and this sort of thing. What can we do? And the response was to put in the COP Shops. It grew from that, and the City Council saw it as a way to serve the neighborhoods and to… improve their safety, and it didn’t cost much money,” Novak said. For his part, Mangan made sure that he and Ingle were accessible to City Hall. “I try to get all of the Council Members to the Citizens Academy and most all have attended. I credit the Council when I give speeches about community policing; that they gave us the support and the backing to do these kind of things. So I’ve tried to co-opt the Council, so to speak, to make them part of the community policing effort,” Mangan said.

External Environment: Outside Grants

While the Council and City Manager were supportive of Mangan’s efforts, he also made a strong effort to obtain additional funding through state and federal grants. These outside funds, according to Mangan, played an important role in the change process because they allowed the department to experiment with different community oriented programs, like the NROs. In order to effectively compete for these outside funds, however, Mangan felt that a professional grant writer, who knew the ins and outs of federal contracts, and who could translate the needs of department members into well-written grants was needed. In 1992 an outside grant writer was hired on a contract basis, and beginning in 1992 the department applied aggressively for additional resources. (From 1992-97 the department was awarded more than $9,000,000 in outside funding.)

State grants allowed the department to hire the first two NROs and create the LEAD Academy and COPY Kids program. In 1994 the department made a big personnel gain when Spokane Congressman, then House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA), helped the department acquire a Federal Justice Department Phase I grant to hire 26 new police officers. This grant helped increase the ratio of officers to citizens from 1.2 per thousand to 1.5 per thousand. Many in the department credit this grant with allowing the department to fully implement community policing. As a result of this grant, for example, the NRO program was expanded from three to seven officers, the street crimes unit was created, and the DARE program was expanded. “That gave us the ability to carry out some of these strategies that were just pilot projects and still maintain control capacities,” Mangan said. “That helped us to grow where we’ve gone from 222 commissioned officers in 1987 to 297 officers in 1997.” Deputy City Manager Peter Fortin, acknowledged that without the federal grant, the department would not have experienced the same growth in personnel. “Spokane is a real conservative city when it comes to budget.... We wouldn’t have gotten into a lot of programs, or been able to expand them, without the federal dollars. They are the absolute catalyst for change... We couldn’t have done it without them,” Fortin said. While some department members were frustrated that many of the new officers were placed in special programs, other members felt that the new officers helped alleviate some of the initial internal tension about community policing. “I think since we’ve replaced some of the numbers… with federal assistance… we’re not as thin as we were,” one department member said. For Cheryl Steele, the federal grant was critical. “We wouldn’t have the NROs, we wouldn’t have the DARE program, we wouldn’t be able to have specialized police officers help the neighborhood groups problem solve,” Steele said.

The SPD’s technology and crime analysis capacities have also been greatly expanded through federal grants. The department was awarded a COPs MORE grant from the Justice Department in 1996 for approximately $850,000 which will, among other things, help the SPD implement a system which will allow officers to phone in their reports. Additionally, the $200,000 demonstration grant which the department was awarded in 1994 allowed the department to hire personnel, like Banholzer, to design and implement the department’s new crime analysis capabilities. The demonstration grant, as was previously discussed, also allowed the department to upgrade its community policing

External Environment : Media Relations

Just as he hoped to expand the department’s relationships with other agencies, Mangan wanted the department to be more proactive with the local media. Throughout his career Mangan had worked closely with reporters, serving for a stint as a public information officer while working in California and interacting with reporters on a regular basis while Chief in Bellingham. In addition, Mangan taught classes to other police departments in media relations. When he came to Spokane Mangan immediately assigned his administrative lieutenant to also work as a public information officer. While the lieutenant’s who served in that capacity were supportive of the desire to work closer with the media, none had any professional training in media relations, and it became apparent by 1994 that a person with greater knowledge of the media was needed in that role. Mangan turned to Dick Cottam, the local television producer, who had already completed several free-lance video projects for the SPD and hired him, on a contract basis, as a full-time public information officer (PIO).

Cottam and Mangan believed that the role of the PIO was two fold: proactively pitch positive stories to the local media while dealing with negative stories by releasing a story before it was broken in the press. As a result, Cottam sends out a daily news release and phones news editors with possible stories. As a former television journalist, Cottam has a particularly strong feel for the needs of the electronic media. “They need something that is relatively brief, concise, that moves. They don’t just want a talking head, they want something that happens in front of their camera. So if you can find an approach to any story that has some kind of visualization you are more likely to get coverage on it,” Cottam said. The department’s LEAD Program, in which teenagers were given leadership training during the summer, provided this sort of visual opportunity in the summer of 1997. During the last day of this weekly program the students navigated a high ropes course, an excellent visual image for television. Cottam called the news editors the morning of the course and they agreed to cover the story. According to Cottam, this provided multiple benefits to the department. “A positive program in the community got coverage, parents will learn about it and maybe encourage their kids to participate… and the people who are participating in this and organized it will get some recognition,” Cottam said.

At the same time, there was a greater effort to deal with negative stories. When a sergeant was alleged to be having sexual contact with two developmentally disabled women that he met while on the job, he was suspended pending an investigation, and then fired when the charges proved to be true. Rather than wait for this story to be broken in the press, the department announced the incident. “We were not going to let somebody in the public go to the media and say that this happened and then we have to say, ‘yeah, it did,’” Cottam said.

While the department is generally pleased with the relationship with the electronic media –television and radio – there is still a great frustration with the print media. There have been some positive programmatic stories such as a recent feature about a diversity training program, but many in the department say that the paper is ‘anti-cop.’ Specific complaints include slanted stories, misleading headlines, and a general sense, according to one member, “that they… make us look bad and paint us with a broad brush and print the fringe element of the community as being the real spokespeople and… make us look worse than we really are.” Mangan has met with the owners and editors of the newspaper about these issues, but, in the minds of many department members, there has been no real change.
External Environment: Strengthening the Partnership with Other Agencies

Washington State University

Not only did Mangan seek to open the department to Spokane’s residents, but he wanted to build new relationships with other agencies. In 1991 Dave Ingle sat at his desk and examined the results from the city of Spokane’s citizen’s survey which evaluated government services. While there were more than 150 questions on the survey, fewer than 10 were about the police department. This frustrated Ingle who was very interested in learning what the Spokane’s citizens thought about the police department. “It was a meaningless survey, yet they were making some general assessments about police and citizens based on this very under-representative survey,” Ingle recalled. “We needed to know where our community was coming from and what our community saw as important, as opposed to what we saw as important… We also needed to know how our employees felt.” While Ingle knew that he needed better information about the community, he didn’t believe that the department was capable of conducting a formal survey by itself.

At the same time, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police (WASPC), of which Mangan was a member and past-President, was trying to figure out ways that it could work more closely with higher education to help conduct research about implementing community policing programs. Under the WASPC auspices, one day in 1991 a Washington State University (WSU) Professor, Ben Menke, found himself in the Spokane Police Department talking to an Assistant Chief. Ingle was in the next office. “My ears perked up when I heard WSU,” Ingle recalled. “ So I basically cornered him and said, ‘what are you doing?” This meeting in a hallway led to a series of discussions between Ingle and Menke about WSU, which had a branch campus in Spokane, designing and conducting a community survey. When Ingle took the idea to Mangan, he found a very receptive audience. “As with so many things, he immediately went well beyond surveys and started painting a picture for me about all these things we could do, and Spokane being a living laboratory… and that it would be a great opportunity for researchers to come here,” Ingle said.

With Mangan on-board, the scope of the project was expanded. Along with a community survey, department employees would be administered an anonymous, confidential survey, and two new programs would be evaluated by WSU professors and graduate students. (These two programs were Copy Kids, a summer program in which children from high-risk neighborhoods would interact with officers and perform community service; and the initial two neighborhood resource officers, in which two officers were placed in middle schools and encouraged to problem-solve with the local neighborhood.)

Dr. Quint Thurman, who would be a principal researcher on the two program evaluations, was skeptical about the program being proposed the first time he met with Ingle and Mangan. “[They] said, ‘we have this plan [for COPY Kids]… and we want you guys to do an evaluation. Oh, by the way we started it two weeks ago. I turned [to a student who accompanied me to the meeting] and I whispered in his ear, ‘we’re in trouble on this one. There is no way this thing’s going to work,” Thurman recalled. When Thurman and the student left the meeting, Thurman explained his concerns. “They are going to go around the in the summer and offer to put kids on a bus and run around the city with police officers who are going to be in plain clothes until the last day. They’re going to be cleaning up viaducts and pulling weeds and going to artsy-fartsy museums and eating fine cheeses…. My first prediction here, first of all you are not going to get any kids. No kid is going to sign up to ride on a bus all week with cops.”

Thurman was impressed, however, by Ingle’s ‘let the chips fall where they may’ approach to the evaluation process. “Dave said to us, ‘we don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but we’re going to try it. If it’s not a good idea we want you to tell us so that we spend our money next year on something else. If it’s a good idea we want to know why and how so we can do it again,” Thurman said. “I got the impression that they really wanted to know… what works before they wanted to do a political feasibility [study].” With a small budget of approximately $5,000, and the program having already begun, Thurman and his team of graduate assistants worked quickly to design and implement a research methodology which included direct observation of the program, focus group interviews with participating youth, and surveys of participating parents and police personnel. (The original 1992 study was followed-up with a second study of the same program in 1993). Thurman, who was initially skeptical about the program, was pleasantly surprised by the results of his research.

The cops were getting a big bump from this sort of thing. They were actually saying, ‘well I arrested the brothers and sisters of these kids and I had no idea that these kids were actually decent kids. I thought because their brothers and sisters were crooks that they were crooks too.’ And we had parents tell us, almost 100% of the parents we interviewed, that they would send their kids back for this kind of thing. They really liked it… The kids got paid like $40 for a week of work, which is hardly anything, but it meant a lot to them. And we went back and looked at bank records and found that over half of the kids had added to their accounts as opposed to just spent the money on candy. And, when they did withdraw the money, they typically spent it on school supplies and things for other people, as opposed to themselves.

At the same time the Copy Kids and NRO programs were being evaluated, WSU professors designed the employee and citizen surveys. When designing the first employee survey, which was administered in 1992, WSU professors created an instrument which accounted for the fact that organizational change takes time and that it often produces new stress on employees. As a result, the surveys measured the employee’s perceptions of their changing work environment, the sources of workplace stress associated with the transition to community oriented policing, and evaluated the effectiveness of new strategies.

The first employee survey was administered in 1992 by stuffing a copy in every employee’s box and asking them to mail the completed anonymous survey to WSU. Many officers were nervous when they saw survey. “They were sure it was a trap, a trick to catch them so we could find out who’s saying what about the department,” Ingle recalled. The first year 191 employees, approximately 50% of the department’s personnel, completed the survey. The next year, in an effort to improve the return rate, the survey was distributed at an in-service training session to all department employees. The return rate jumped to approximately 65%. The same methodology was followed during the 1996 employee survey when approximately 60% of the employees returned the survey. Ingle attributed these increased response rates to the new way that it was administered and, “the recognition that, gee, nobody got fired after all for saying what they thought on the survey.”

When WSU Professor Nicholas Lovrich saw the results of the first survey he warned Ingle. “You might not like to see the results of this research,” Lovrich said. “The first one had some very scary readings on stress… But never once have they [the SPD] told us that we don’t want to know this anymore… [They tell us] to give it to us straight, don’t doctor it up.” After seeing the high stress readings, a wellness program was initiated for personnel which offered different techniques to help cope with stress.

The findings from the first two employee surveys were mixed. While employees found their work more motivating and satisfying in 1993 compared to 1992, mid-level supervisors were experiencing difficulties with implementing community policing. Similarly, while more than 90% of the officers in both surveys felt that a good officer uses problem solving skills, less than 37% of all employees felt that the public was interested in police problems. Similarly, fewer than 40% of officers felt that empowering officers for problem solving, or empowering citizens through police community partnerships, were goals. In both surveys approximately 40% of the officers said that they had problems balancing COP activities with other activities, but in 1993 fewer officers reported department confusion about community policing, or that community policing was soft on crime. Finally, in 1993 the stress levels in the department were lowered considerably from 1992.

The citizens survey measured resident’s assessment of the level and quality of police services, fear of crime, victimization experiences, neighborhood problems, police-public relations, and assessment of the COP philosophy and programs. (Subsequent surveys were developed and administered in 1994 and 1995 which also asked questions about the visibility of police personnel in neighborhoods and the characteristics of neighborhoods.) All citizen surveys were mailed to a random sampling of Spokane residents. Four hundred and twenty four (424) residents responded to the first survey. In an effort to increase the response rate, in 1994 the survey was sent to more households and 1,134 residents returned this second survey. In 1995 1,164 city residents responded to the third survey.2

From 1992 to 1994 the citizen surveys showed positive improvements in several areas. The number of citizens who:

· rated police services good or excellent increased by 6% from 54% to 60%;

· said they felt very safe or safe walking alone at night in their neighborhood increased by 7% from 39% to 46%;

· reported being the victim of a crime decreased by 7% from 31% to 24%;

· reported that Spokane residents and police worked together to solve crime increased by 12% from 34% to 46%.

The results from the resident surveys were a strong indication for Mangan that the new approach to policing was working. “The piece that makes me the happiest is that across the board in this city people feel safer and they feel closer to the department. I’m real proud of that,” Mangan said.

Department managers used the surveys in several ways. Internally, Mangan brought in his command staff and advisors to discuss the findings. “I say, okay, here’s how we look. Here’s what the customers think of us… Here’s what the officers say about themselves in the department and so what are our strengths and what are our weaknesses… It’s a good tracking device and its really gotten better now that we are a few years into it because the first one was to give you a benchmark, a comparison. Now that we’ve had several done we can look back and compare and we can see trends both positive and negative. And we try to arrest the negative trends and replicate the positive trends,” Mangan said. Mangan also shared the materials from the citizen survey with the City Council and the City Manager. “We use it as our report card, if you will, on how we’re doing as an organization in meeting our customers needs and how we’re satisfying those needs as opposed to Uniformed Crime Report (UCR) data,” Ingle said.

School District 81

Mangan was also committed to forming a partnership with the schools. In 1990 he approached the City Council and School District 81 about establishing a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program. This program, which was operating nationally, sent officers into 6th grade classrooms to provide students with anti-drug lectures. Mary Brown, District 81’s Supervisor for Student Services, was enthusiastic when the police department suggested the program. “The district was extremely, extremely interested. It was a… fairly known quantity.. it was a well proven program… It was quite well-received,” Brown said. The program began by sending individual officers into the schools to interact with the 6th graders. “When [the students] first have access to an officer, they are pretty much in awe.. and the kids listen in a different way,” Brown said. While the students enjoyed having the officers around, soon Brown found the officers helping school personnel handle some new challenges such as gang ‘wanabees’ and weapons in the schools.

All of these things started to happen and people [in the schools] started to get into a reactive mode. There were certain people, and they happened to be DARE officers, who helped us to be more proactive. They helped organize and provide a training out at the training academy for all of our principals… They taught us personal safety as well as how to respond to certain kinds of [situations] like strangers on campus. And then many of the officers went around and did similar kinds of training with the faculty… And the [school personnel] became more proactive… because they were a little more secure and confident and less fearful and threatened… Then [the officers] helped facilitate the beginnings of writing a building crisis plan.

By 1990, Mangan established a formal DARE unit in the department and staffed it full-time with one sergeant and six officers. In 1992, Sgt. Mike Prim was chosen to lead the unit. Prim, who had been with the department for almost 20 years, felt it was important to make some personnel changes. Prim observed that many of the original DARE officers were young, with fewer than five years experience. “What happened… is that [the unit] got filled with people who didn’t have much, what I will call street experience and… were inexperienced in not only the organization but in life itself. So when I came in here I purposely went back and recruited… older officers who worked for me on day-shift…. I knew what kind of work they did, I knew what their work ethic was,” Prim said. Like many specialty units, officers had to apply to join the DARE unit. In this case, the application process consisted of an oral interview before Prim and a board made up of school representatives, parents, and members of the business community.

Because of their regular interaction with the schools, Prim and his officers found themselves solving problems outside of the classroom. In one case, a student told an officer in Prim’s unit that a step-father had molested the child’s sibling. “That may have never been revealed. But because of the relationship we have with the child, the trust factor is there, so the child discloses [the crime]. We got involved with initiating the investigation and assisting the detectives in order to accomplish protecting the child. A criminal investigation resulted in the arrest of the stepfather,” Prim said. In another case, the officers noticed that many parents were dropping off their children too close to the schools, creating a dangerous situation with many children walking near the moving cars. “In the old days we probably would have solved that by writing a bunch of tickets to those parents. Probably would have solved the problem for a couple of days and probably wouldn’t have built any partnerships,” Prim said. “Now we can go out and, because we are on the campus, we can talk to the parents, we can find some key stakeholders, and we can create a venue for discussing the problem and we can come up with a solution that we all agree on.”

Having already established a strong partnership through the DARE program, District 81 approached the police department in 1994 about starting a new anti-truancy program in order to help reduce youth crime. “We’d had a drive-by shooting and… there was a lot of conversation about youth accountability… and we heard about this [anti-truancy] program in Salt Lake City so we asked Chief Mangan if he was interested in lending an officer or officers to go and look at the program,” Brown recalled. “If he had said no that would have been the end of that, but… he said yes.” Officers and school personnel traveled to Salt Lake City where they reviewed a program in which police officers proactively sought out truants during the school day. After returning to Spokane, a group of community representatives met and, according to Brown, “put together this idea of a community truancy center and the turning point was when Chief Mangan said I’m going to… provide two officers. Then everybody just rallied around that and we got other resources together.” Under the program which began during the 1995-96 school year, two officers were assigned to patrol Spokane during the school day and look for any school age youth who are not in school and bring them to the truancy center. Once in the center, the youth were connected to relevant social service programs and brought back into the classroom. In the first year almost 1,000 youth passed through the truancy center.

Not everyone in the department supported these school based programs which some did not consider to be “RPW” or real police work. Others were concerned that the officers who were placed into the DARE program depleted patrol resources. “These people came out of patrol and nobody came back into patrol. They didn’t fulfill a job that we were already doing, they created a new job… We’re getting into an area, education, that is important. But what’s our function as a police officer? We do everything for everybody, but isn’t our function doing what other people can’t do? That’s enforce the law. We’ve gone to, ‘let’s educate people,’ but other people do that and do it better,” one department member said.

Community Corrections

The State Corrections Department, which employs probation and parole officers, is housed in a downtown office building. For most of the agency’s history, probation and parole officers worked out of this central location and their case loads were made up of probationers and parolees from throughout the city. In 1993, Probation Officer Jack Brucick felt that this system needed an alteration. Rather than spreading officers all over the city, where they had little time to build connections with local residents, why not let Probation Officers work out of the newly emerging COP Shops and only handle cases within that geographic neighborhood? Brucick received the approval of the Department of Correction and then approached Mangan, who supported the plan. Both departments hoped that by stationing the correction officers in the COP Shops, more intelligence and information would be shared between residents, police and probation officers.

Community Correction Officers Bruce Woods and Monroe Hartung, who are assigned to the West Central Cop Shop, each supervise approximately 50 parolees and probationers in a seven mile area around the shop. Woods and Hartung found that they were able to work more closely with their supervises once they were assigned a neighborhood beat. “What it allows us to do is rather than schedule our days pretty rigidly, at any given moment we can walk down the street and bang on someone’s door and kind of check up on them, so that the feeling of being supervised is really intensified,” Hartung said. “We’ve become pretty intimate with this fifty plus group of individuals we each have. They know us by face, they know us by sight. Their neighbors know us… It becomes a much smaller world for both them and us.” In addition, because the Community Correction officers regularly interact with the neighbors through the COP Shop they find a greater willingness on the part of residents to share information or just ask for help. “I had a woman call me, that’s not on supervision, and say that… her son’s acting out, fighting, kicking, won’t go to school. [She] needed someone to just come over and talk to him,” Woods recalled. “I went over there and talked to him and walked him into school. That went on for probably three days. He got into school and things calmed down.”

Other times when residents shared information, the Community Correction Officers in turn shared it with the police. In the winter of 1997, for example, a drive-by shooting occurred in the neighborhood. A COP shop volunteer told Woods that he saw a car parked on a nearby street that matched the description of the vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting. “I went up there and looked at it. [There was] blood splattered in the back of it… We called the police, the police showed up and… it turned out to be the suspect’s vehicle… And then we ended up collecting some evidence – there was a bloody paper towel that landed… on the sidewalk. The detective came down, took our evidence, and charged the guy,” Woods said.

Several officers and detectives described the Community Corrections Officers as an important resource. In addition to providing valuable information and intelligence, if a probationer is wanted by the police, the Community Correction Officers are often able to track the suspect down, or require that the suspect report in, where they can be arrested. Finally, because felony offenders have diminished 4th Amendment rights, if a Community Correction Officer has probable cause to believe that a parolee or probationer has violated a condition of their supervision, he has the authority to search an offender’s person, residence or vehicle without a search warrant.

Spokane Police Department: 1997

Operations: Management and Decision Making

The basic organizational table hasn’t changed drastically since 1986, with the Chief and an Assistant Chief for Operations and a Deputy Chief for Operational Support making up the upper management positions in the department; captains commanding the four largest divisions, and lieutenants and sergeants supervising individual units. What has changed is the roles that many managers play. While there are still significant command and control functions to their jobs, many managers now interact more closely with the community and help officers facilitate community policing programs.

Sgt. Stan McGhee, has been with the department for 27 years and who currently supervises the graveyard patrol officers in the downtown sector, exemplifies this new approach to supervision. Helping officers do their job, rather than always telling them what to do is at the heart of McGhee’s approach. “My role is to direct them, and then let them go out on their own. If they have a problem or question... they come to me. Things that they want to do, they come to me... and we sit down and plan it out,” McGhee said. Results, rather than statistics are what McGhee cares about. “I can play a lot of games with numbers and stats, but numbers and stats don’t mean anything if I walk down the street and see the same problems,” McGhee said. The officers who McGhee supervise appreciate that he allows them to develop tactics on their own. “He doesn’t come in and say, ‘you’re going to do this’ or ‘you’re going to do that.’ He lets us identify the problem… and… allows us to come up with a solution,” Corporal Phil Lasswell said. One such program was Night Watch, developed by Lasswell and Officer Sam Hairston, in which each officer ‘adopted’ three or four businesses and stopped in at least once a week to talk with the managers and owners about problems or concerns. “[The officers] know the problems and the [store owners and managers] have a face, a name, and a person they can deal with,” McGhee said. McGhee, who tells his officers to get out of their cars and interact with businesses when they are not catching 911 calls, also practices what he preaches. On any given evening he can be found walking up and down the West First block, talking to the business owners and residents.

Managers also spend more time interacting with the community in more formal settings. Captain Bruce Roberts, who commands the patrol division, attends at least three community meetings per week. “At my level, attending the meetings gives me a perspective about what the public believes. It lets me take the temperature, if you will, about how well we’re doing,” Roberts said. Maintaining a constant presence in the community allows Roberts to alter patrol functions to meet community needs. At one community meeting, in which Roberts discussed a burglary pattern in the neighborhood, the residents told him that their biggest problem stemmed from a nearby high school. Parked cars clogged the street during the school day and students were loitering and littering in the neighborhood, which frightened some of the elderly residents. With his knowledge of the community’s perspective, Roberts worked with the City’s traffic division to amend the neighborhood’s parking restrictions to control parking during the school day. He also set up meetings with neighborhood residents and school personnel to better regulate the times when the students could leave the campus.

While there are still some supervisors within the department who are not supportive of community policing, the tensions appear to be dissipating as some older managers retire and are replaced by younger managers who have been exposed to community policing for the past ten years. Some other supervisors who weren’t supportive, one department member said, were more open to community policing after they realized that it was in Spokane to stay. “After it had gone on for two or three years, some of the old-timers looked at that and thought, ‘OK well its going to be here, and if it’s going to be here I might as well start doing it,” the department member said. Mangan hopes that a new supervisors test, which the union supported and should be implemented this fall, will help further inculcate community policing in the supervisor ranks. Unlike the old paper and pencil test, the new test will involve an assessment center. Under this approach, candidates for promotion will be evaluated doing through a series of simulation exercises in which they must, among other tasks, construct a budget, make a verbal presentation, undergo a mock crisis management, and engage in cooperative exercises. Mangan believes that this test will more accurately assess the type of skills, such as communication, which are necessary when managing community policing.

Operations: Patrol

West First

Patrol officers in today’s SPD have several tasks. Respond to 911 calls, interact with the community, and problem solve. While there are many individual examples which demonstrate the incorporation of problem solving and community policing into patrol, perhaps the greatest individual success was seen during 1996 and 1997 in the West First neighborhood, located in the heart of Spokane’s downtown. A mixed-use neighborhood, West First is inhabited by low-income residents, many of whom are elderly, disabled or have chemical dependency problems. The residents live in apartments above store fronts which house an assortment of service oriented businesses. A vacant Greyhound bus depot, warehouses and old office buildings complete the neighborhood. West First has long been a high crime neighborhood, and it was the first site of a police substation.

In the early 1990s, however, the neighborhood experienced a significant increase in crime as West First became an open-air crack cocaine market. Dealers sold their illicit wares to buyers from throughout the city who would venture into West First to score drugs. Prostitution surged. Along with the drugs and the prostitution came an increase in violent crime. Stabbings and shootings between rival drug dealers became a common occurrence. Business owners like Dale Dupree, who owns a Pella Window store in the neighborhood, considered leaving the area. “Once the crack took off then the prostitution became very visible and there were ladies walking up and down the street in front of our store… sitting on our front stairs, customers having to excuse them and get by them to get in the front door. Then it was like, okay, wait a minute, this is getting too much,” Dupree said.

The department made several efforts at managing this growing problem. Bicycle patrol officers roamed the neighborhood; NRO Rick Albin was stationed in the COP Shop; officers carried pagers, whose numbers were distributed to local business owners; community corrections officers were stationed in the COP Shop to monitor local parolees; a partnership with the local housing authority resulted in a federal grant to purchase some surveillance equipment. Despite these efforts, the open-air drug market and its associated violence continued virtually unabated. While Albin knew who was dealing in the neighborhood, and the department was very interested in arresting drug dealers, the number of officers required to make many arrests was so excessive that the police could not keep up with the dealers. “We had an officer who would sit on the roof with a set of binoculars and he would say, ‘yeah John just sold something to Frank’… [Well] it’s going to take two officers to arrest John safely because he is a drug dealer and he is probably carrying a gun. But its also going to take two officers to arrest Frank because he is a buyer and he is probably strung out,” Albin said. “So now we’ve got five officers tied up... then the whole rest of the downtown core for a period of time goes uncovered.”

By 1996, Albin was convinced that a more concentrated effort was needed to clean up the area, and that it if this didn’t happen soon, the violence would escalate. Part of Albin’s vision was to use smarter environmental design to make it more difficult for drug dealers to do business. As part of the federal grant, in 1995 a consultant had come into the neighborhood and produced an environmental study which demonstrated how, using the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), crime could be better controlled. As an NRO, Albin was authorized to contact City Hall directly, so he took copies of the report, along with recommendations for increased police presence in the neighborhood, and sent several memos to city hall administrators requesting help. Nothing happened until July, 1996 when, in the space of two days, six drive-by shootings occurred in the neighborhood.

This dramatic event focused the City Manager and the City Council on West-First. While there was some public talk about bringing in the National Guard, instead money was immediately allocated to implement Albin’s ideas. First, working with the street department, several environmental changes were made to the neighborhood. One of the first problem locations was a nearby darkened underpass, where drug dealers often hid from officers and conducted business. Lights were added, the inside was painted white, and mesh was placed between pillars. Dealers could no longer hide from officers. In addition, Albin noticed that many dealers conducted business in a bus stop, located just up the street from his office in the COP substation. He also realized that a nearby garbage can was often used by dealers as a drop spot for drugs and guns. The garbage can was simply removed, and the bus stop was moved right in front of Albin’s office where he could observe all activities.

It was also very clear to the patrol officers that many dealers would park, in metered spots, right along the avenue, and that many dealers and buyers would circle the block in their cars. A simple solution was implemented. The parking meters were pulled out, making it illegal to park along the street, and it became illegal to make right turns around the block. While it can be difficult to spot a drug deal, it was very easy for officers to enforce these new parking rules, both of which made it difficult for dealers to do business. “Drug dealers and drug users are notoriously irresponsible people and they don’t care about a sign. So they’re going to turn there whether the sign is there or not,” Albin said. “Well, the minute they make their turn they have given us probable cause to stop them… We stop them and because they’re irresponsible people often they don’t have a driver’s license or they’re license is suspended, or it’s revoked, or they’re seat belts aren’t done, or they’ve got a pile of crack cocaine on the seat.”

While environmental design played an important role in the West First story, equally important was the role of patrol officers. The City Council authorized extra overtime pay, and for a two month period in the summer of 1996, the eight regular graveyard patrol officers were placed on foot patrol and other officers came into the neighborhood to ride patrol. Having the officers off of the radio allowed them to “attach themselves at the hip” to the drug dealers. “The whole point of it was to make it so uncomfortable for [the drug dealers] that… [dealing here] wasn’t something they wanted to do,” explained Officer First Class Felix Moran. The officers also worked closely with code enforcement personnel and state liquor board authorities on problem locations. Street narcotics personnel were also dispatched to the area to conduct buy-and-bust operations.

The results of this targeted enforcement were remarkable. Within three months the street was quiet. The open-air drug dealing and the prostitution were gone. Residents began walking on the street again. The next challenge was to ensure that the problems did not return. The extra officers were removed from the neighborhood, and the regular officers returned to their cars. However, when they weren’t catching calls, Sgt. McGhee told his officers to get out of the cars and walk. “We are not traditional community policing officers… We still have to respond to crime. A crime is in progress, big or small, and we are going to respond,” McGhee said. “[But] if it’s quiet, there is no downtime. There is no driving around aimlessly, waiting for a traffic stop or anything else… If the officers aren’t responding to a call they’re parked. They’re back out in the community. They’re on the street. They’re walking the alleys, they’re talking to people. They’re finding out what’s going on and where. They’re going into businesses at night and talking to the business people.”

Although serious crime dropped, the officers found that they were still busy, but with different kinds of work. “Because I wasn’t taking an assault call down here and somebody wasn’t getting beaten up and someone wasn’t being taken to the hospital and didn’t have to be interviewed and didn’t have to photographed and didn’t have to be watched over…I could use that time to take other calls and make even more contacts down here,” Moran said. “Now because this is clean down here… we can do the same thing at [other locations].” The officers have developed strong relationships with many local business owners, like Candi Lewis the owner of the Dead End Tavern. “I have ten officers that I deal with on a nightly basis and they are wonderful. I would never hesitate to call them. I usually don’t have to, but I know they are there. I also know they aren’t out to kill my business, they are out to keep the community strong, and that was not the feeling a year ago,” Lewis said.

The officers also continued to work closely with other agencies such as the liquor control board. In one bar/restaurant the combined efforts of the police officers and liquor control board led to the installation of a system which takes a videotape picture of every person’s ID when they enter. “So when fights occur, all we have to do is look at the videotape and we’ve got the guy,” Moran explained. “The best part is that the undesirables, the one’s that don’t want to get caught… won’t give their ID. They stay away.”

Not only was the neighborhood safer, but the officer’s satisfaction greatly improved. “I’ve been on the job for 27 years… I’m arresting people I used to arrest 27 years ago. I am arresting their kids and their grandkids for the same thing,” Sgt. McGhee said. “Now, if I’m realistic about it, was I effective? Hell no!… What I was doing was not effective because they’re still doing it.... I am getting ready to retire, but at least in the last couple of years… I can… say, ‘hey I actually did something.’”

As the officers continued their efforts, bar and tavern owners agreed to enforce zero tolerance rules – any patron who engaged in illicit behavior was told to leave and not to return. Several business owners also cleaned up their own property by painting over graffiti and contributed to the purchasing of even more sophisticated video surveillance equipment. However, there was also a concern about keeping businesses in the area. “We created a big vacuum,” Albin said. “No drug dealers, no prostitutes, no buyers. Who’s here? Nobody. Businesses… were making money, not from the sale of crack cocaine, but from the business that was being generated by crack cocaine. Drug dealers have to eat too, drug dealers buy beer, drug dealers buy pizza… So now we’ve got three or four businesses that are on the verge of failing.” Albin convened a meeting of 120 businesses owners in November, 1996 to discuss how they could make the crime reduction permanent and increase business in the area. A steering committee was formed which hired a graduate student, who was working on his degree in marketing at a local university, to help improve the area economically.

After this meeting, Dale Dupree had to make a decision: should he keep his business in the neighborhood? “There were enough signs of life that… if we pulled out, just as things were getting going, this would be a shot in the [wrong] direction… So we said, alright, let’s stick it out, let’s do it, let’s be part of the answer,” Dupree said. Not only did Dupree decide to stay in the neighborhood, but he expanded his store, and joined the West First Avenue Steering Committee. The Committee decided that the neighborhood needed an “anchor tenant” to help stabilize the gains made by the police. A local farmer’s market, where local farmers and artisans sold their goods, was looking for a new home, and the Steering Committee contacted market director Jackie Rappe. Rappe was initially skeptical about moving to West First, but after meeting with Albin she was impressed. “We had a meeting of vendors to talk about this move, and [Officer Albin] told us how much this neighborhood had worked together to change the neighborhood... We got caught up in the excitement of it, wanting to be a part of recreating this neighborhood,” Rappe said. The Steering Committee identified a large, unused building, across the street from the COP Shop, to house the new market, and the owner made the necessary structural renovations free of charge. On June 7, 1997 the farmers market moved in. Rappe’s goal is to raise funds and entirely renovate the interior of the building so that it can house 100 vendors as well as small cafes. The market, which previously operated outdoors four days per week during the summer, will become a year-round indoor-outdoor Farmers and Public Marketplace. Currently the Steering Committee is working with a local children’s museum and hopes that it will relocate to the neighborhood.

In June, 1997, almost one year after the initial push to change the neighborhood began, the streets of West First were quiet and clean. The drug dealers have not returned, nor did they seem to relocate to another neighborhood. Neighbors who were previously too frightened to leave their apartments walk safely about. Now the biggest challenge for the business owners is to convince the rest of Spokane that the neighborhood has changed. Officers who work in the sector find their job satisfaction skyrocketing. “It’s a tremendous feeling to know that you have some impact. I keep going home and telling my wife to pinch me because something is not right here... something [bad] is going to happen, and every day we go home and its not happening. We just have one more success after the other,” Albin said.

What stands out about the West First project was the multiple tasks that patrol officers engaged in and the interaction between patrol and the NRO. Not only did patrol officers conduct standard enforcement operations, but they interacted and built partnerships with community members. Similarly, the entire problem solving project was based on the ideas of an NRO, whose strategy utilized environmental design, enforcement, and community interaction. The combination of these multiple interventions, rather than any single element appeared seemed to improve the neighborhood’s safety. While some patrol members still refer to community policing as ‘soft,’ this example clearly illustrated that patrol can conduct strong enforcement actions, while also working with the community.

Although West First stands as a clear success, in which patrol officers made connections with the community, problem solved, and conducted enforcement, there is still tension within the department about community policing. In the last employee survey, conducted in 1996, there continued to be a mixed response to community policing on the part of uniformed personnel. On the positive side,

· 97% said that a ‘good officer maintains the peace by using problem solving skills’;
· 15% fewer uniformed personnel, 21% vs. 36% in 1992, said there was department confusion about community policing;
· 15% fewer personnel 13%, vs. 28% in 1992, said that there was a lack of focused community policing training; and
· Overall, uniformed personnel scored higher on the job motivation and job satisfaction tests in 1996 than in 1992, and stress levels continued to decline.

At the same time, the latest survey revealed continued tensions about the new approach.

· 12% more uniformed personnel, 40% vs. 28% in 1992, said that community policing was soft on crime;
· 10% more uniformed personnel, 51% vs. 41% in 1992, said they have problems balancing community policing duties with other responsibilities;
· 7% fewer uniformed personnel, 55% vs. 62% in 1992, said that the citizens and police worked together in problem solving;
· 20% fewer uniformed personnel, 16% vs. 36%, said that empowering citizens through a police/community partnership was a goal;
· 90% of the uniformed personnel said that inadequate staffing was a problem or a serious problem; and
· focus groups of officers, supervisors, and detectives revealed fairly consistent patterns: personnel were not philosophically opposed to community policing, but they felt that insufficient resources made it difficult to implement.

Mangan believes that, to a certain extent, this remaining tension is a cultural myth. “When you sit down and have coffee with a bunch of cops they tell you, ‘we don’t have time, we run from call to call.’ But when you do an analysis, or if you go out and ride around and listen to the radio, that isn’t true. There are times when you run from call to call, there are times when you have calls stacked up... But that is seasonal. If I put half again as many cops out there, there would be times when we wouldn’t have enough cops because calls come in bunches, but for the rest of the shift you’d have way too many cops,” Mangan said.

Both Mangan and Ingle hope to increasingly use the department’s new analysis capacities to more systematically evaluate call loads. Mangan also strongly disputes the notion that the community policing programs have been ‘soft,’ pointing out that many of the new programs, such as the K-9 unit, traffic, and street crimes, are all targeted at enforcement. However, partly to help change these perceptions, there is a greater effort to rotate officers out of special assignments back into patrol. “Once they have been in the front and out the back door of these assignments, they back with a totally different attitude towards patrol,” Mangan said. Officer Tim Conley exemplifies the change in attitude. After serving for four years as an NRO, Conley returned to patrol, where he finds himself doing the job differently than before. “I have more patience. The problem with problem solving is that it takes time. I can now look at a problem and know that it will not be fixed overnight, but that it can be fixed. I also talk to people better than I did before, and I don’t look at arrests as the answer to all my problems. I look at other resources,” Conley said.

Operations Support: Technology

The department continues to expand its technological capacities. Detectives now track their cases on computers, and suspect photos are placed on a computer so that line-ups are generated electronically. In the fall of 1997 computerized Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) were scheduled to be placed in patrol cars. With the MDT, officers will be able to access the information on the department’s computerized data-base, RMS, from their vehicles. Instead of having to call a dispatcher to run a license plate check, determine if a suspect has an outstanding warrant, or see how many incidents occurred at a particular address, an officer will now be able to do this directly from the computer in the patrol car. Previously all of this information had to be transmitted over the radio, which was also needed for dispatching officers. As a result, there was a limited amount of time and air space for dispatch personnel to produce this information. Finally, under another federal grant, COPs MORE, which the department received in 1996, the department will create a system where officers call-in reports from the field and have them immediately entered into the computer system by records personnel. “The idea is to ease the burden on the officers so that they can focus their time on patrolling,” Banholzer said.

External Environment: Spokane’s Citizens

As demonstrated by their strong volunteer efforts, and their reported satisfaction with the department in the most recent citizens survey, the Spokane community has, for the most part, embraced community policing. First, the various volunteer programs, which attract more than 1,000 residents per year, have acted as a force multiplier. In 1996:

· 59 senior volunteers worked more than 30,000 hours, the equivalent of approximately 15 full-time staff members per year, staffing three information booths and performing a variety of non-critical, clerical tasks; and

· 30 Co-op volunteers took more than 2,300 reports; 23 Explorers recovered approximately 150 lost bicycles; and 22 reserve officers responded to more than 1,700 incidents.

Also in 1996, the volunteers who worked with the COP Shop and their associated programs also greatly expanded the department’s crime fighting capacity, by volunteering more than 70,000 hours and providing the city of Spokane with the equivalent of 34 paid, full-time employees. Specifically:

· more than 500 volunteers spent more than 62,000 hours in the COP stations taking more than 12,400 reports;

· 61 volunteers painted-over more than 26,000 square feet of graffiti covered walls;

· more than 260 volunteers devoted more than 9,000 hours to the Neighborhood Observation Patrol; and

· 18 volunteer trainers in the Safe Streets Now program held 26 educational meetings and helped individual neighborhoods resolve 18 cases.

The success of the COP Shops has been recognized outside of Spokane, as the Association of Washington Cities presented the COP Shops with a 1997 Municipal Achievement award. But, according to community members and department personnel, the impact of this community involvement transcends the number of hours that the volunteers work. There is greater support in the community for the department. “If we have a community meeting involving issues of the police department, we have supporters show up. You don’t have ten people that want to bitch. You have a hundred people, ten people who want to bitch, and the others are there because they want to find out what’s going on and... be supportive,” a department member said. This increased support, other department members say, has meant that citizens are more likely to share information with the police. Additionally, there is a stronger belief within the community that citizens have an important role in creating a safe city. “A lot of neighborhoods in Spokane now feel that... the citizen has an obligation to participate in the process. You can’t just call the boys in blue to come running, you have to do something yourself, and they do,” Deputy City Manager Pete Fortin said.

For the police department, the COP shops and their associated programs, have also become an important intelligence gathering service. “We get information on everything from abandoned cars to neighborhood drug houses,” a department member said. For some officers, who come into the shops to fill-out paper work, a COP Shop is a safe-haven when working in the field. “It’s nice to have a place that’s police friendly,” one officer said. “Because not every place is.” Corporal Russ Cox, the President of the Police Guild, also appreciates the services that the volunteers have provided the department. “It’s empowering them to take care of their own problems and then we can come in and take of the enforcement action and the more serious problem. Its a very good concept, and it works pretty well here.” In some cases, like the graffiti program, the union agreed during collective bargaining to allow the volunteers to handle graffiti, which used to be a function of officers. At the same time Cox is concerned that volunteers do not usurp the need for sufficient officer levels. “It’s not that we don’t want them to handle it, it’s that we do not have enough officers. We need to get more officers to provide that level of service and if you keep filling those up with volunteers, pretty soon all we’ll be going to is armed robberies and homicides and we’re going to have a very short career, its a burn out factor,” Cox said.

That the citizens are more supportive of the department is borne out by the citizen survey, last administered in 1995, which demonstrated that Spokane’s residents were feeling safer, and more positive about the department and community policing.

· 93% of the residents, an increase of 8% from 1994, said that community policing “sounded like the direction all police will have to take if we are to reduce drugs, gangs, and crime”;

· 41% of the respondents said they had participated in a community policing program, an increase of 15% from 1994;

· 49% of the residents, an increase of 15% from 1994, said that the citizens and police work together at solving problems;

· 62% of the residents said the police services were good or excellent, an increase of 8% from 1992;

· 9% fewer residents, 45% in 1996 vs. 54% in 1992, said police officers were content to stay in their cars as opposed to interacting with citizens;

· the number of residents who said they felt unsafe or very unsafe walking alone in their neighborhood at night dropped 15%, from 43% in 1992 to 28% in 1995;

· and the number of residents who reported that they were a crime victim during the past six months dropped by 12% from 31% in 1992 to 19% in 1995.

While many report that relations between the black community and the department have improved since 1986, they continue to be strained. In the winter of 1997 Mangan issued a video taped message to the entire department in which he acknowledged that there was a community perception that the, “department is insensitive to minorities.” While Mangan strongly stated that the department did not target anyone because of their ethnicity, he encouraged the officers to make an extra effort to reach out to the minority community and be courteous during all interactions. In addition, Mangan brought on a black retired army officer to help recruit more minorities into the department’s various programs and to establish a unique ROTC-like program in which college students will receive tuition-aid in return for which they will work at least four years in a Washington State law enforcement agency. Also in 1997, the department helped sponsor a community-wide forum on race relations and published a monograph about the SPD’s efforts in this area during the past decade.

External Environment: City Hall

The City Council and City Manager remain committed to community policing, which they believe is very popular with the citizens. Currently the City Manager is conducting a search to replace Mangan, who announced during 1997 that he would retire in July, 1998. One criteria of the new candidate, according to Fortin, is that he or she support community policing. “From our perspective the citizens want a continuation of community oriented policing. They want COP Shops, they want NROs. They probably want more community involvement, rather than less,” Fortin said. “So it would be a requirement of any candidate that they are willing to continue on with that kind of involvement... We want a younger Terry Mangan.”

The City Manager’s office has also helped implement other projects, similar to West First, which involved altering the city’s environmental design. A park in the East Central neighborhood, for example, was the site of nighttime drug dealing. In the spring of 1997, Albin and two other NROs went into the park and evaluated its design. Like West First, they noticed that many environmental features were making the park more conducive to crime than it should be. A set of picnic tables were set back from the road, up on a hill, under a set of lights. The dealers liked to sit on the tables where they could observe the road for patrol cars, and the light allowed them to see their drugs and money. The NROs wrote a report which recommended moving the tables to a different location, changing the lighting, and shortening the shrubbery. Albin then arranged a meeting with the City Manager and the Parks Department. “They were so enthused, they said, ‘you’ve got every resource available to you’... Within the next week [City Manager] Bill Pupo and the director of the parks called together a group of every department head in the city. They decided this is such a good idea... we want everybody involved,” Albin said.

From a budget perspective, the Council and Mayor are committed to maintaining the department at its current level but, with crime decreasing, there are other budget priorities, such as road repair, which may take precedent. With this in mind, the city has not yet approved of an additional 30 officers, which the department was allocated under the Federal Government’s 1996 Universal Hiring grant. While the federal government will pay for the first three years of these officers salaries, the city is concerned about meeting the cost for the remainder of the officer’s careers. “It’s silly to make a commitment for three years... take the money, and then not be able to continue that level of service beyond the term of the grant,” Fortin said.

External Environment: DARE Takes a TEAM approach

In 1996, facing a budget shortfall, the department decided that it could no longer continue its DARE program. However, it was still very committed to working with students in classrooms. A committee was quickly formed with police personnel, school officials, parents, drug prevention professionals, attorneys, judges, and juvenile probation and parole officers which created a new program – To Educate and Motivate: Community Safety Education (TEAM). Instead of focusing on 6th graders, this new program is a 20 lesson K-8 curriculum which focuses on a variety of issues associated with children’s safety. Initially 30 different officers, including the DARE officers, were trained to teach the curriculum on a part-time basis. However, not all were well suited to the classroom, and the initial cadre of DARE officers were re-assigned to the TEAM program on a full-time basis. While he was disappointed to lose DARE, Sgt. Prim believes that TEAM will give the officers a better opportunity to form long-term relationships with students, because they will interact over an eight year period instead of just during the 6th grade.

1 A call with a number one priority required immediate attention. A call with a number two priority was not quite as serious, but still required swift attention. A priority three call was any other call which did not require such quick responses.

2 The first citizen survey was mailed to a random sample of 1,200 addresses. Four-hundred and twenty four residents (424) subsequently responded. In an effort to increase the response rate, in 1994 the survey was sent to 2,785 potential households, with care to oversample minority residents in order to allow for an adequate number of cases to statistically analyzing public opinion across neighborhoods. One thousand one hundred and thirty-four (1,134) residents returned this second survey. In 1995 a third methodology was used. Surveys were first mailed to 1,500 randomly selected households, in which certain areas of the city were oversampled to increase the number of minority respondents. At the same time, questionnaires were mailed to 1,128 citizens who participated in the 1994 survey. In total, 1,164 city residents responded to the third survey.