Brian Coddington, 509.625.6740
Monday, February 24, 2020 at 11:17 a.m.
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward is announcing that the Spokane Police Department’s downtown precinct will locate in the first floor of the former Umpqua Bank Building at Riverside and Wall in the core of the City.
The new precinct will provide greater community policing and visibility downtown and accommodate up to 35 officers. The location will feature prominent signage and police car parking on the street—further enhancing the public safety presence. The space will be ready to occupy in July.
“Creating an expanded and visible police precinct in the heart of downtown was my top priority coming into office,” Mayor Woodward says. “We have worked with our partners and, barely seven weeks into my term as Mayor, I’m proud to announce our new location and plans to focus more on community policing and improve public safety downtown.”
The City is signing a 10-year lease for the Riverside location and is partnering with the Downtown Spokane Partnership and Spokane Transit Authority on furnishings and parking. The new precinct will replace a much smaller downtown police location several blocks away at the Intermodal Center at Bernard and Sprague that had about half the officers.
“Public safety is always important to our community and the council,” says Council President Breean Beggs. “People who work, visit, and live downtown will notice improvements in their daily experiences and during large community events.”
With approximately 6,800 square feet, the new precinct will initially accommodate seven new sworn members in addition to the 16 already assigned downtown. The Behavioral Health Unit will also add five new members in addition to the two currently working downtown.
“Today is an exciting day for the community and our officers who are looking forward to new opportunities to be proactive in their policing,” says Police Chief Craig Meidl.
The central location will deepen officer connections with the community and visitors. The precinct is located on a busy intersection in the middle of the regional hub for employment, higher education, entertainment, and public transit. More than 13,000 people also live downtown.
“Downtown is home to the largest concentration of jobs, private investment, and the generation of tax revenues in the entire region,” says Downtown Spokane Partnership President Mark Richard. “By making this a top priority, Mayor Woodward is providing the bedrock on which our economy and cultural diversity can thrive and the business and property owners of downtown could not be more grateful.”
Downtown Spokane includes 50,000 jobs, 200 retailers and restaurants, and 13,000 downtown residents. It serves as a hub for visitors, with nearly half of Spokane County’s total hotel room inventory, helping to support $657 million in direct visitor spending in the city in 2018.
“The new precinct is an emphasis on prevention through visibility and interaction with our community,” says Councilmember Lori Kinnear, chair of the council’s public safety committee.
“Visit Spokane is in full support of moving the precinct downtown,” says Meg Winchester, president and CEO of Visit Spokane. “We believe a permanent police location in the heart of Spokane is the first step in dispelling any misconception about the safety of our city.”
“SPD and STA have maintained a strong partnership in downtown for many years to ensure a safe, comfortable and reliable transit system serving the region’s core,” says E. Susan Meyer, STA’s CEO. “The new precinct location and the increased visibility of SPD officers strengthens that partnership more than ever before. This is a big win for everyone, including transit riders.”
The new precinct marks the renewed activation of a prominent downtown building, which is currently undergoing redevelopment led by owner and developer Confluent Development. The five-story, 106,820 square-foot property features additional retail and office space.