SPOKANE, Wash. – For the first time since their announcement as finalists for Spokane Police Chief, residents had the opportunity to meet with the candidates Wednesday evening.
The reception gave residents a chance to ask questions of the finalists in person as they look to become Spokane's next top cop.
Mayor David Condon has encouraged citizens to provide feedback and be involved in the hiring process since it began last fall.
The three finalists include Daniel Mahoney, the commanding officer of the Ingleside police station in San Francisco, George Markert, the director of public integrity for the city of Rochester, New York, and Frank Straub, the director of public safety in Indianapolis, Indiana.
During the meet and greet, KHQ had a chance to speak with all three candidates and ask them what their first priority would be if they were chosen to head up the police force here in the Lilac City.
Here is how they answered:
"My first thirty days is going to be to get out and meet all the external stakeholders and all the internal stakeholders. The employees of the department, our partners in law enforcement and the community as well. I will hit the ground running and do that for the first thirty days plus and continue that throughout my tenure here," Markert said.
"Listen. Listen to the department and listen to the community and really get a true understanding of what are the challenges within the police department, within the community and do they intersect. What are the good things that are happening, we don't pay enough attention to the good things that are happening, and clearly they are in the community and clearly they are in the police department," Straub said.
"You have to get out there and meet people, because they are going to tell you what works and they are going to tell you what doesn't work. It's not so much talking, it's more listening," Mahoney said.
City officials will now review the information collected by the interview panels. Mayor Condon says he hopes to name the new chief sometime next month.