By Michelle Little
After many years and a tremendous amount of effort by groups such as the Spokane Police Accountability and Reform Coalition, along with overwhelming support by local citizens of Spokane, we have taken a huge step in the right direction. By a landslide 70% vote Proposition 1, which mandates independent investigative authority and public reporting by the Spokane Police Ombudsman and creates a citizen oversight commission, has passed.
In 2010 these rights were given to the ombudsman’s office and then repealed by city council. This past month a measure was put on the ballot of a special election in the City of Spokane to allow the public to vote on the issue. With the passage of Proposition 1, the only thing that can repeal this authority now is another vote of the public.
I think it is important to take the time to recognize all the people and organizations who put their time and effort into this huge success. The voters in the City of Spokane also deserve a round of applause for their part in helping to make Spokane a safer city for the public and law enforcement alike. Although there is much work to be done around the issue of police accountability, for now let’s all give ourselves a pat on the back and celebrate this awesome victory!!