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Tacoma police union president: We’re OK with outside Zina probe

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on June 21, 2011 at 10:52 am |
June 21, 2011 11:10 am

I just spoke with Det. Terry Krause, president of Tacoma Police Union Local 6, who says leaders for the police union and city labor officials will be meeting today to discuss a planned outside investigation of the Zina Linnik case.

As we wrote about here last night, the union has taken issue with the city’s plans to hire a third-party investigator to conduct a review of Tacoma Police Department’s handling of the Zina case.

Krause said today the issue from the union’s standpoint is strictly one of bargaining — Local 6 has no problem with the city conducting the third-party probe, he said.

“We’re not trying to be obstructionist about it,” Krause said. “There’s procedure that needs to be followed.  If they had talked about it with the union first, as they should have, it wouldn’t be an issue.”

At tonight’s council meeting,  the City Council is set to consider spending up to $50,000 from the council’s contingency fund to pay for the outside probe. Mayor Marilyn Strickland announced last month that Mark S. Simpson, a former Arlington, Texas cop-turned-consultant who specializes in child abduction cases, will lead the review.

Though union officials will discuss the issue with city labor negotiators today, those discussions should have no bearing on tonight’s City Council action, Krause said.

“The demand to bargain doesn’t have to do with the expenditure of funds,” he said. “They can do that. It’s just the work we’re concerned about.”

“Skimming, taking work away from a local, things that are in violation of the contract, past practice or a change of working conditions, these are bargaining issues,” he added.  “If there are things going on like that, they need to talk with us first.”

Overall, the union is fine with the outside review, Krause added.

“I think an investigation is going to show that everything was done well,” he said. ” We’re not trying to hide anything or stop them from doing this.”

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