Spokane Police Ombudsman Tim Burns confirmed today he plans to retire from his police oversight position with the city just weeks after the newly seated ombudsman commission voted to extend his contract. Burns says his last day will be Jan. 2, but he hopes to provide continued advice or insight as the commission selects a replacement.
“Hopefully with my departure there won’t be too many loose ends,” Burns says, noting the new commission will have several large issues to take on in the coming months.
Burns, a former police officer and community developer, has served as the city’s first police ombudsman for more than five years. He has provided civilian oversight of the Spokane Police Department through a tumultuous period of community distrust and reform.
When the city seated the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission, the five members moved to quickly consider extending Burns’ contract. The commission cited his experience and community rapport in its 4-1 decision to extend his contract an additional three years.
During the time of the commission’s deliberation, Burns says, he applied to several other jobs and has now accepted a position that takes him back to community development in California. He says taking the new positions allows him more time to spend with his family.
In the meantime, Burns says he plans to spend the next couple of weeks helping the OPO Commission prioritize the issues before it, including the search for a new ombudsman. He plans to brief the commission on what he has learned and what skills he believes would be valuable.
“I want to be a resource for them,” he says. “Just because I’m leaving doesn’t mean I won’t make myself available.”
The OPO Commission will have its next meeting at 5:30 pm Wednesday in the City Council Briefing Room. Burns says he expects his departure to be discussed during that session.
OUTLANDER serves as a weekly round up of Inland Northwest outdoor recreation and natural resources news. This feature will highlight a wide variety of issues and events, ranging from camping tips to national environmental disputes. We’ll also try to include some scenic photos. Feel free to pass along suggestions or curiosities celebrating the Great Outdoors.
Wildlife officials are investigating what may be first livestock animal killed by wolves in Whitman County (KXLY)
Kayak anglers find success at Rock Lake southwest of Spokane. (Seattle Times)
Recycle Man hits the ice to promote ecological responsibility. (Inlander)
Winter fly fishing tips on the Spokane River and other area waterways. (Silver Bow)
Spokane native’s Surviving the Tribe TV show looks at first season and future goals (S-R).
Idaho may resort to cloud seeding. (Idaho Falls)
Salmon restoration along the Columbia River (HCN)
As the movie Wild brings new attention to the Pacific Crest Trail, hear from an expert. (WTA)
The most popular Instagram outdoor photos from the Department of the Interior (Time)
Another slideshow, this time with crazy animal photos. (Time)
Also, an impressive photo of a deer getting heli-netted in Wyoming. (Wyodeer)
A sniper hunts foxes in the streets of London. (NYT)
Discovery Channel’s Eaten Alive disappoints. (WaPost)
Cross a metrosexual with a grizzly bear and you get the new “lumbersexual,” most commonly observed in beard, flannel and work boots. (The Atlantic)
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