Blue Byline

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

Tag: Zina Linnik


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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Sorry Chief, you blew it

The Tacoma Police Department’s investigation of Zina Linnik’s murder was time-consuming, extensive and intricate. Based on scant information, officers and detectives pursued the case until they had a suspect in custody.  The endeavor took a great deal of coordination and professional work. Unfortunately, not all of the work was professional.

By now the story of the medicated sleep that prevented an earlier issue of the Amber Alert has reached critical mass. The mistakes were a combination of  1) unintentional human error on the part of a good cop, and 2) a bad policy that has been changed. Such things happen in police work, as they happen everywhere else. But I disagree with anyone who would argue the point that it matters little when the poor girl had already been killed. That is both unprofessional and shortsighted.

Someone, somewhere, needs to take the heat. While information available to the public is not always the full story,  that limited amount clearly suggests that someone should have been Chief Ramsdell. But that admission never came. Instead, questions appeared to be left unfinished, and the full story left unsaid.

All of this left the city manager defending the indefensible argument that failing to air the dirty laundry was okay. It’s not. Read more »