The only former police officer on a citizen panel charged with reviewing the Tacoma Police Department’s policies and procedures said Wednesday that she told Police Chief Donald Ramsdell this week that she believes he “lied to the community” about why his department delayed issuing an Amber Alert in the Zina Linnik case.
“I told the chief that I was disappointed in his behavior,” Trisha King Stargel said about the discussion with Ramsdell on Monday.
“I believe he lied to the community. I pointed out that if he had been one of his own police officers lying during an investigation, not only would he lose his job, but he’d lose his (state) police certification for up to five years.”
King Stargel’s comments to Ramsdell came on May 3, during this month’s regularly scheduled public meeting of Tacoma’s Citizen Review Panel. The six-member, City Council-appointed body was formed in the aftermath of the Chief David Brame murder-suicide scandal. Charged with providing advice to city officials on police policy issues, the review panel’s mission is “to ensure transparency and accountability in the way that the City of Tacoma Police Department operates,” according to the city’s website.
King Stargel, a 24-year-cop-turned-Seattle University criminal justice lecturer who also works as a national police training consultant, said she requested that a discussion of Ramsdell’s actions in the Linnik case be put on the panel’s agenda this month. Her request came after reports in The News Tribune recently revealed the chief and TPD spokesman Mark Fulghum had misled media outlets about why it took the department 12 hours to issue the alert following Linnik’s abduction in 2007.