Jeff Humphrey

Officer Works to Make Downtown Safer

Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308

Friday, March 23, 2018 at 12:33 p.m.

When your day starts at the downtown Spokane police precinct, you don’t have to go very far to find your first assignment.

“Morning, police department. Go ahead and sit up, who do we have here? You doing alright?” officer Micah Prim asks of a man sleeping against the wall of the Intermodal Center.

Prim has been a cop for 10 years and knows how to get results through conversations instead of conflict.

“We don’t want to arrest you but before you leave, if you come back again we may have to arrest you. So I’d like you to please use the services that are available House of Charity is literally a block away,” advises Prim. 

Prim is heading to the House of Charity as well. He knows Ryan P. Smith has a warrant out for his arrest and wants to take Smith to jail.

“He’s a known vehicle prowler and thief who operates downtown so if we can get him off the streets, then we can make downtown safer for everybody who works and lives down here,” Prim said of Smith.

The problem according to Prim is that Smith never seems to spend much time in jail. That’s something that bugs the second -generation police officer.

“So it’s kind of frustrating because, you know, how many times do you arrest somebody before they finally get held accountable?” Prim wonders aloud.

“They even say to me, they go, ‘Oh I’ll be out in two minutes’”, Prim says of the people he frequently books into jail. “Property crimes catch and release just doesn’t work,” Prim added.

“Are you doing alright? You doing ok? Do you need a new hat? you sure?” Prim asks some of the people gathered outside the HOC.

“While prim searches for Smith, someone else catches his attention.

“Can you take your mask off while I’m talking to you? Oh Dustin,” says Prim when he can see he man’s face.

Prim knows Dustin Earwood also has a warrant out for his arrest.

“Hey can you grab his backpack for me?” asks Prim of one of his fellow officers. “We’re going to go across the street where it’s a little bit safer.”

A search of the North Carolina native’s gear turns up multiple cell phones, knives and a key fob.

“It appears he is prowling vehicles to support a methamphetamine habit,” said downtown precinct officer Joe Dotson.

Earwood is booked on his outstanding trespassing warrant.

Officer Prim hopes this time, Earwood will keep his promise to appear before a judge in downtown’s Community Court.

“Hopefully this will be kind of an eye-opener for him so that he can get connected to drug rehab or get on a housing list though that process but it takes him to actually show up,” Prim said.

Prim’s next stop is a Browne Street antique store where the owner is having problems with people camping on his property.

Is there any way you could go over to the HOC now? Thank you man, appreciate it,” Prim says to a man loitering in the store’s entryway.

Prim has kept his appointment to give Chris Lowery some ideas about crime prevention through environmental design.

“My main thing is I was just trying to think of a way to protect that front area,” Lowery explains.

Lowery’s store has a covered front porch; a coveted spot for people looking to spend the night out of the rain.

“Every morning there’s needles and syringes out here,” Lowery said of the things he discovered when opening up his shop.

Prim suggests installing additional lighting and using bolts to post no trespassing signs made of metal.   

The officer says once the signs are up he’ll ask his night shift patrol colleagues will stop by to enforce the trespass restrictions.

Prim is also cracking down on people who run out in front of on-coming traffic and force drivers to slam on their brakes.

Prim says he’s looking for “pedestrians crossing the roadway in such a way that it causes a huge risk of collision.”

“You blocked vehicle traffic there sir, you’re under arrest,” Prim announces as he puts Ken Hand in cuffs.

Hand faces the misdemeanor charge of “pedestrian interference”, a more egregious version of jay walking.

I was concerned about your behavior in the roadway because I didn’t want a car to hit you, Prim told Hand.

However, Hand’s alleged pedestrian interference pales in comparison to what officers find in his pocket.

“And it turns positive for methamphetamine, so he’s under arrest for possession of methamphetamine,” says Prim after testing white crystals from the bottom of a baggie Hand was carrying.

When Prim isn’t hauling people to jail or chasing crooks, he’s also active in our community.  “Outside of work I coach soccer. I really enjoy teaching the skills and mentoring soccer players,” Prim said.

Officer Prim is married has two kids and his father was also a police officer.

“I want to make downtown safe for everybody to enjoy and that also includes my family. Want to keep the profession professional and in high regard,” pledged Prim.

More About...