Police develop Pullman strategic plan

University of Washington graduate students consult police department about improvements



Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins discusses recent personnel changes in the Pullman department during the Pullman Police Advisory Committee on Jan. 14 at city hall

CARMEN JARAMILLO, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Police Department is consulting with graduate students from the University of Washington to develop a strategic plan to guide the department in the coming years, Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said last night.

Community members representing local groups came together Monday night to meet with consultants from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to discuss positives and negatives within the department.

These local attendees were asked questions about the department’s mission statement, values and how the department can better serve the needs of the community.

Jenkins said the department has been looking to develop a new strategic plan ever since he took over the role of chief in 2010.

He said Pullman city administrator Adam Lincoln told him about the Evans School program, where local governments can apply to be consulted by graduate students as part of their thesis in the masters of public administration program.

Consultants Nora Carroll, Evan Fischer and Carly Joerger said the development of the strategic plan has three main phases.

The first phase is data collection, where the group meets with internal and external stakeholders to discuss areas where improvement could be made and areas where the department excels.

In the second phase, consultants will evaluate community input to identify overlapping concerns or goals from different groups.

The third and final phase is the development of the strategic plan, which the group said they plan to have finished by mid-May.

Jenkins said he hopes the plan can serve as a “guiding framework” for the department to refocus its values and serve the community in a more proactive, instead of reactive, way.

He said one goal of the department is to be a leader in law enforcement and he hopes this strategic plan can help that cause.

Carroll said the department is unique because of the geographical isolation of Pullman and the presence of the university.

Joerger said Pullman is different from other agencies and communities the Evan’s school has served because of its location in eastern Washington. She said the school has traditionally worked with agencies along the Puget Sound or in western Washington.

Before the open community session Monday, consultants met with prominent community members, including WSU President Kirk Schulz, Pullman School District Superintendent Bob Maxwell and members of Pullman 2040.

The group will continue meeting with community members. Today, they will consult with Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson, WSU Police Chief Bill Gardner and ASWSU President Savannah Rogers.