Tacoma police union’s letter to City Council blasts citizen volunteer’s criticisms of chief in Zina case
The new president of Tacoma’s rank-and-file police officers’ union this week sent a “letter of concern” to the mayor and city council, denouncing a citizen volunteer on a police review panel who publicly chastised Chief Don Ramsdell last week for “lying” in his public statements about the Zina Linnik case.
In his letter dated May 10, Det. Terry Krause, the recently seated president of Tacoma Police Union Local 6, wrote that by his assessment, Citizen Review Panel member Trisha King Stargel “is not capable of performing her duties as a member of the panel.”
“If it was simply the fact that she exceeded her authority as a member of the panel, that would be one thing,” Krause’s letter states. “What Trisha King-Stargel did however was arguably both unprofessional and unethical; and to be blunt, grandstanding. In my opinion, the use of the panel meeting as a bully pulpit was wholly inappropriate and calls her judgment or lack thereof into question.”
Krause’s letter stops short of requesting that the council remove King Stargel from the review panel. Instead, it asks council members to listen to the recording of the May 3 meeting and “decide for yourselves if Trisha King-Stargel should be retained as a panel member.”
But the letter clearly implies the police union wants King Stargel off of the board.
“Based upon her actions and bias, I am not comfortable with her having input into any of the policy decisions affecting day to day activities of Local 6 members,” Krause wrote. “It is my position that her actions have brought the credibility and professionalism of the panel into question.”
Reached by phone at the police union’s office, Krause declined comment today.
In a written response sent to The News Tribune today, King Stargel, who is in the final year of her tenure on the board, said she believes Krause “is in error to state that I acted unprofessionally or ethically.”
“One of the stated purposes of the Human Rights Commission for creating the Citizen Review Panel was to provide a means to `improve communication between TPD and the community,’” she added.