Beggs, Kinnear, Wilkerson Commit to Use Their Legislative Authority to Increase Public Safety in Spokane

Giacobbe Byrd, Legislative Assistant,

Thursday, August 4, 2022 at 11:25 a.m.

Council President Breean Beggs, Council Member Lori Kinnear, and Council Member Betsy Wilkerson recognize that violent crime has risen since the global COVID-19 pandemic and are committed to prioritizing local legislative efforts to increase public safety in Spokane by advocating for the needs of the community and the police officers who serve the community. 

“The recent fatal shooting in the City of Spokane that originated from an altercation in Spokane Valley was a tragedy that nobody could have foreseen,” said Kinnear. “As a Council Member, my role is primarily focused on City policy and budget. From that perspective, I'm committed to providing SPD the tools and resources they need to more effectively reduce crime.”

“These unfortunate events remind us that crime has no boundaries,” said Wilkerson. “The City will continue to support law enforcement officers, collaborate with other law enforcements agencies and invest in community programs to keep our residents safe.”

The following is a non-comprehensive list of ways in which City Council Members have used their legislative authority to increase public safety in our community:

  • Council Members endorsed and lobbied for efforts at the Legislature to successfully clarify new policy and training standards requested by police;
  • This year, Council increased SPD’s funding by approximately 6% from last year;
  • This week, Council unanimously approved an additional allocation of $3,128,000 to the Spokane Police Department solely for the purchase and commissioning of up to 46 police vehicles in addition to the 32 vehicles previously funded earlier in the year;
  • Council continually supports and funds more police officers – recently approving 10 hire-ahead positions;
  • Council has provided additional equipment for downtown officers including 10 e-bikes and a gator;
  • Council Member Kinnear has sponsored multiple Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) efforts, particularly in downtown Spokane;
  • Council President Beggs and Council Member Kinnear strongly advocated for and supported funding for the downtown precinct – the new location is more centrally located in the downtown core; and
  • Council Member Kinnear and Council Member Wilkerson are continually meeting with downtown business owners and stakeholders to better understand the current situation and identify what they can do within their capacity to assist.

“I continue to prioritize the safety of the entire community and support the work our officers do every day,” said Beggs. “I’m committed to providing them the resources to make Spokane safer, including training to make sure that they are well-versed in legislative improvements that occur at the State level. We have heard from SPD that state legislative changes have been confusing or difficult to enforce at times. I lobbied to clarify new laws during this past legislative session and am grateful that our legislators listened to us. It is now up to police leadership to ensure that our officers continue to have an in-depth understanding of how to enforce all federal, state and local laws for the safety of all our residents. We have great training officers, and I am confident that we will be more successful going forward.”