SOAP LAKE - Soap Lake police Chief Ryan Cox says the city is conducting a review of its hiring process after the arrest of a reserve police officer last week.
Cox said the department is working with the mayor’s office and policy committee to review hiring practices.
“The Soap Lake Police Department stands for honesty, integrity, and following the law at all times in our professional and personal lives,” Cox stated. “This former reserve officer did not conform to our high standards and is no longer here. Our community can trust that the men and women who work on your behalf will continue to do so. We will not let the inappropriate choices of one person distant us from our sacred mission of public service.”
Shane Jones, who was fired as a reserve officer following his Thursday night arrest, is set to be arraigned March 2 on charges of DUI, resisting arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle and operating a vehicle without a required ignition interlock device. Jones has two previous DUI arrests, both while he was employed as an Okanogan County sheriff’s deputy. Jones resigned from the sheriff’s office after his 2016 arrest. He was hired as a reserve officer in Soap Lake about four months ago.
Jones was taken into custody after he drove his Soap Lake patrol vehicle into a ditch along Highway 395 north of Pasco. K9 Basco was also inside the vehicle. Deputies say Jones resisted arrest and the deputy had to use force to take him into custody. At one point during the altercation, Jones was reportedly seen pushing a remote in an attempt to release the K9 from the vehicle to help him, according to the sheriff’s office. The K9 is Jones’ personal dog, used as a police K9 when he was with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, and was in the process of being re-certified.
Jones is also believed to be involved in a hit-and-run that had occurred earlier in the day.
Chief Cox previously said the department was aware of Jones’ previous DUI arrests as part of the hiring process.
“We stand by the in-depth hiring process and the steps we took to vet Mr. Jones through several departments who represent the city and several outside independent contracted agencies to evaluate and approve the hiring,” Cox stated. “As representatives within the law enforcement community, we have several jobs. One of those jobs is to be a member of the criminal justice system and all the actions that they take. Included in these actions are a person’s response to charges and how they get rehabilitated. Our agency reasonably believes that the justice system works and people can be rehabilitated.”
Cox said Jones qualified for the state Department of Licensing ignition interlock employment exemption, which means Jones was only allowed to operate the patrol vehicle during working hours.
The Soap Lake Police Department has requested the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to revoke Jones’ peace officer certification, preventing him from returning to law enforcement. Jones served in a volunteer capacity in Soap Lake and has no union protection, meaning there will be no arbitration hearing to determine if he should be rehired.