Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: Amber Alert Controversy


Final ripples from TPD’s Amber Alert belly flop

At its most intense moments, the drama over Tacoma Police Department’s handling of the Zina Linnik disappearance threatened to overcome the careers of the city manager, the police chief and just about anybody associated with it.

Now that the outside expert has finished his analysis of the investigation the effort comes across as more farce than melodrama. The lack of egregious errors make this whole mess appear to be (with numerous apologies to the bard) much ado about nothing.

The Trib article (9/14) detailed the findings of the consultant hired by the city, Mark Simpson. For the tidy sum of $18,800, Simpson informed the council that the department’s spokesman should have issued an Amber Alert when investigators made the request.

That has to rank as one of the more expensive purchases of the word, “Duh.”

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Chief’s controversy reveals an undercurrent of mistrust

In my two previous columns I discussed the controversy surrounding Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell’s failure to disclose embarassing information regarding an Amber Alert in the Zina Linnik murder investigation. There was much discussion, prompting this third blog on the topic.

Initially, I made the argument that the chief should be held accountable for his actions, rather than reverting to “forgive and forget,” as some op-ed writers suggested. Following several Trib articles, which appeared to pave the way for the chief’s speedy exit, I followed up by changing tack to prevent what I felt was overkill. I took this stance because I believed it was fair, balanced and based on my general understanding of the criminal justice work environment in which I have spent my adult life.

Many of you disagreed. Those that chose to dispute my attempt to mitigate the situation did so with passion and conviction. That certainly got my attention. Read more »