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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

[WA] State's cop dv law mandated firing Officer McLain

...State law requires police departments to have a "zero tolerance" policy about officer-involved domestic violence, said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg. The law was enacted after Tacoma Police Chief David Brame killed his wife and then himself in 2003...

Previous entry:
[WA] Officer McLain on leave after domestic battery charge

Police officer fired after assault arrest
Tri-City Herald
Feb. 05, 2008
A Kennewick [Washington] police officer who was arrested last month in Idaho on suspicion of domestic assault has been fired. Frank McLain had been on paid administrative leave since his New Year's Day arrest in Coeur d'Alene while the department conducted an internal investigation. "As a result of his off-duty conduct and subsequent arrest" McLain was terminated Jan. 31, department spokesman Sgt. Brian Swartswalter said Monday. McLain was hired by the Kennewick Police Department on Feb. 16, 2005. State law requires police departments to have a "zero tolerance" policy about officer-involved domestic violence, said Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg. The law was enacted after Tacoma Police Chief David Brame killed his wife and then himself in 2003. "Even though (Officer McLain) hasn't been convicted of criminal charges in Coeur d'Alene, in the administrative investigation we have to establish clear and convincing evidence that he has violated our department policies" said Chief Ken Hohenberg. Hohenberg said it was "unfortunate" that McLain had to be fired because "he has been a good police officer." If McLain is convicted of domestic violence assault, he also would not be allowed to carry a gun, which would prevent him from being an officer. "As a community, we can't tolerate domestic violence," Hohenberg said. "We work very closely with our partners at Benton-Franklin Domestic Violence Services, and certainly as a law enforcement agency we can't condone domestic violence." McLain, 35, faces an April 21 trial in Kootenai County District Court on a charge of domestic battery, a misdemeanor, according to the Coeur d'Alene City Attorney's Office. He also reportedly faces a charge of making harassing telephone calls... On Jan. 18, a judge granted Tryna McLain a one-year no-contact order against her husband. She also filed divorce papers with the court that same day...


  1. Fired From the Force
    KEPR 19, WA
    By Chelsea Kopta
    Feb 5, 2008
    Action New told you about a Kennewick cop who lost his badge after a domestic violence arrest. But he's not the only cop to get canned in our area. Action News investigated how often local law enforcement end up on the other side of the law. And lose their jobs because of it. In the last two decades, police chiefs from Kennewick, Richland and Pasco police departments have not fired many of their own. One problem with the numbers is, many officers quit before the department can investigate the arrests or accusations. Indeed, even the best with a badge can fall from grace. "He was one of our best," Sg[t. Brian Swartswalter said. "This on-]duty incident ended his career." Kennewick cop Frank McLain had a spotless record. That is, until Coeur D'Alene cops arrested him on domestic violence charges. After an internal investigation, K.P.D told McLain to turn in his gun and his badge. "Obviously, when something like this happens, it's not something we're happy about or proud of," Swartswalter said. This isn't the first time K.P.D had to cut one of their own. In the last five years, the department fired three people. "Police officers are held to a very high standard," Swartswalter said. "It's difficult to enforce the law if, on you're off-duty time, you're breaking the law." Pasco Police would not divulge just how many of their officers were fired, but reported no officers were fired for committing a crime. Richland P.D. said they only fired one person and said it happened back in the 80s. Police said the officer wasn't [fired] because of a crime, and he eventually got his job back. "I think the vast majority of cops are genuine, solid good officers," Swartswalter said. "Unfortunately, just like any profession, there's always going to be a few people who make mistakes, and they have to pay for those mistakes. Beyond rigorous training and background checks, there are already some rules on the books for keeping track of law enforcement. For instance, domestic violence cases within the department are required to be reported. There is a paper-trail for every officer that is hired and fired in this state. So, if a crooked cop leaves one department for another, the chances are the department will find out about it. The other thing to remember is, the state is always a regulator. If there's a case where a "backwards" department doesn't discipline one of its own, the state can always step in and de-certify that officer. Just to be clear, officer's can be fired before they're convicted, and that doesn't mean they're guilty. Former Kennewick police officer Frank McLain has his day in court this April.

  2. I would love to post a comment here since I was deeply involved. I can say is that there are some people with a god complex out there that need to sell radios rather then be police officers. I also know that the department was warned for months of immoral/unethical behavior prior to this event that they ignored. A sargent even referred to the tipster as "a pussy" and the captian told him he was "harrassing" the officer. Nice way to treat the public eh?


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