SPOKANE, Wash. - In a few days, Spokane Mayor David Condon will ask the Spokane City Council to confirm Dr. Frank Straub as the new Director of Law Enforcement. City leaders are quick to explain that Straub will be Spokane's new Police Chief in everything but name until he becomes a commissioned officer in Washington State.
"I don't think the title matters at the end of the day," Straub told KHQ in a phone interview Thursday. "I think it's irrelevant. I think the important thing is to hit the ground running and that's what I expect to do. So whether I am the Police Chief or Director of Law Enforcement, I will still be carrying on the duties of the position."
Straub told KHQ he's headed to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, otherwise known as the police academy, this Wednesday to ask for a waiver. The waiver would allow him to take an equivalency exam instead of attending a five-month academy.
Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is confident Straub will get the waiver because of his experience.
"There's not a resume stronger out there that cries for a waiver," Stuckart said in a phone interview.
Plus, Stuckart said affirming Straub as Director of Law Enforcement will significantly strengthen his case to get that waiver.
If Straub does get the waiver, he expects classes begin in January. The course lasts a few weeks and is all online so Straub could simultaneously take the classes and resume his duties at the police department.
If the commission does not approve the waiver, Straub would need to attend a five-month long academy class in Burien. If that happens, Straub said he's ready.
"I am fortunate," Straub said. "I stay in good shape and work out. It will be time consuming but absent that, it's pretty much it. I am going to abide by the Commission."
City Spokesperson Marlene Feist said the city should have a good idea what to expect at the meeting with the Commission next week. Of course, they're hopeful Straub will qualify for the waiver but Feist said "We'll deal with it either way."