Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Kudos To Our Cops

It's time to give credit where credit is due. This time to Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson and Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich for agreeing on the possibility that a regional jail may best serve the needs of the entire area.

The inland northwest is growing like topsy and I expect it will continue to do so. Unfortunately with increased growth comes increased crime. Rather than each county wrestling with its own need - Kootenai County's expansion plan was a cool $50 million that the voters rejected with a hoot, an effort is being made to combine needs and hopefully shared costs will be something the communities' can embrace.

It seems Kootenai County Commissionr Rick Currie is also on board. Kudos to him too. May this civic cooperation for the common good continue!

Kudos too to Spokane's new police Chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, for accepting the resignation of Deputy Chief Al Odenthal. It was Mr. Odenthal who bungled the fireman/teenager sex scandal and was a part of the botched investigation into Otto Zehm's untimely and tragic

Odd that a fire department spokesman, when questioned about the sudden resignation, commented that Odenthal had always been a team player.

Makes me think of the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks. They have team players too. Need more be said?


Bill McCrory said...


Good catch on the "team player" comment by the fire department spokesman. Given the institutionalized commandment, "Thou shalt not embarrass thy fellow city employees nor bring scorn upon them," I doubt the spokesman even realized the message in what he was saying.

David Brookbank said...

You did miss a couple other stories involving former Spokane Police Deputy Chief Al Odenthal.

First, there was the suspension of Odenthal for intervening to prevent the arrest of his daughter on August 11, 2000.

Second, there is the involvement of Odenthal with the sweetheart deal involving the purchase of a warehouse from former Spokane Police Captain Chuck Crabtree.

On August 11, 2000, Spokane Assistant Police Chief Al Odenthal convinced on-the-scene police officers to release his daughter, whose drivers license had been suspending for previous traffic law violations, instead of hauling her into jail for speeding. In this case, an internal investigation caught up with Odenthal and he was suspended for five days (equivalent to a salary loss of $2000). Another example of police believing they are a privileged class to whom the law doesn’t apply, that was in this instance, thwarted.

Unfortunately we will deal with Al Odenthal for many years to come, in his many roles as, to name only a few, board member and former chair of the regional Better Business Bureau (BBB) Board, Lilac Association President, and now, per his listing on the BBB website, University Instructor in Criminal Justice.

My guess is he is arrogant enough that he will soon being giving a course in law enforcement ethics to the current Spokane Police chief and administration.