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Spokane Police Department Partners with Gonzaga on Culture Audit


The Spokane Police Department has announced a new partnership with Gonzaga University to conduct a cultural audit of its department.
The Gonzaga University’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies, under the leadership of JoAnn Danelo Bardour, will evaluate the work culture of SPD.

“This exciting partnership with Gonzaga University offers an objective, independent approach in researching our work culture,” Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said in a press release. “The cultural audit will truly help us develop a roadmap for improvement and enhance public trust.”

The cultural audit will fulfill recommendations from both the citizen Use of Force Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services program.

“This is an opportunity for our graduate students to serve the Spokane Police Department and the City of Spokane as partners to conduct research on the work culture of the SPD,” Barbour said. “As the doctoral students learn about organizational culture, they will also conduct a work culture inventory of the police department gathering data in various forms, analyzing that data, and then submitting a final report of findings early next spring semester.”

Gonzaga University will perform the audit in three phases. During the first phase, the partners will develop survey and interview questions, determine the number and variety of participants to be involved, and identify the instrument to conduct the audit.

Data will be collected and analyzed during the second phase by members of the Gonzaga University team. A report of findings will be written during the third and final phase, which should be ready in February.

“This is really critical work for Spokane and its police department,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said in a press release.

While a handful of agencies across the nation have embarked on a culture audit, SPD’s will be unique as the research will examine the department’s relationship with the community in addition to analyzing the department’s internal culture.

Peter Houston-Hencken

About Peter Houston-Hencken

Peter Houston-Hencken is a recent graduate of Whitworth University with a degree in journalism. Peter currently works for a background investigation firm but is passionate about freelancing on the weekends. Peter grew up as the son of a Presbyterian pastor. He feels strong in his faith and his commitment to Jesus Christ. He aspires to have a career in journalism and help people get more informed about the events in their communities.

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