KHQ.COM - Mayor David Condon and Chief Frank Straub, in collaboration with business and community organizations, have announced the opening of a new downtown Spokane Police Department facility that puts officers closer to the people they serve as part of a plan to drive down crime.
The SPD downtown facility, located at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Post Street (725 W. Riverside Ave), resulted from an innovative partnership with the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP), property owner and the Spokane Transit Authority (STA). DSP has agreed to fund the new facility through the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) that it manages on behalf of the City, and the STA is providing seven parking spaces for police vehicles at the nearby STA facility. Additionally, STA will continue to fund a downtown police officer position, and the BID will continue to provide funds toward the summer SPD bike patrol.
"The opening of the downtown facility demonstrates the commitment of the SPD to work with our community to promote the safety and vitality of downtown," Straub said.
Data-driven policing strategies have helped drive double-digit reductions in crime in the downtown area, since the beginning of the year. Locating police resources downtown allows officers to be even more responsive to the community needs in that area.
"We are establishing community partnerships and making strategic investments in the police department with the goal of making Spokane the safest city of its size," Condon said.
SPD Downtown Facility Facts:
The SPD downtown facility will serve as a centrally located hub for Spokane Police downtown Neighborhood Conditions Officers (NCOs) and bike patrol. The facility will be staffed throughout the day and into the evening by SPD police officers, volunteers and reserve officers. The facility serves as a community resource with an information desk for visitors and citizens to gain city and police information.
Goals of the Downtown Facility:
Ensure SPD officers are engaged and accessible to downtown residents, businesses and visitors. Establish a visible SPD presence to promote safety and security in downtown. Continue and enhance the double-digit crime reductions achieved downtown since the beginning of the year. SPD has maintained between 15 and 20 percent crime reductions in downtown since January.
"This is a great example of a community partnership with the City, SPD, the owners of the Peyton Building, and STA to make it all possible," DSP President Mark Richard remarked. "It's exciting to see the increased policing presence and we are very fortunate to have an administration that values a vibrant downtown as Mayor Condon does."
DSP will use funds contributed by the BID to pay for the lease space as an investment in its core mission to continually improve the experience for people who live, work, and play in downtown Spokane.
"I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the DSP, SPD, and to the Peyton Building owner's," added Gordon Hester, BID Board Chair and Kiemle & Hagood Company Vice President. "The addition of a new downtown police station highlights SPD's commitment to an active and safe downtown. On behalf of the BID ratepayers and board, thank you to all of the parties who have worked so hard to make this happen."