Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308
Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10 a.m.
Spokane’s mayor wants the new location of the Downtown Police Precinct to deliver better customer service to the city’s densely populated business district.
“So if you think about it. The highest concentrations of large buildings, square footage. It’s also the highest concentration of employment as a result of that,” said Mark Richard, President of the Downtown Spokane Partnership.
“This location is ideal because and it’s in the heart of downtown and it’s really where the Spokane Police Department told us they want to be,” Mayor Woodward said of the corner of Riverside Avenue and Wall Street.
“One of the reasons this location was so important to us is it’s centrally located. STA, of course, is just across the street,” added Captain Dave Singley of the Spokane Police Department.
The new precinct will take shape inside the first floor of the former Umpqua Bank Building where there is room for the growing number of cops getting assigned to protect the downtown area.
“We’re going to be up to 33 officers by summer, early fall. So, you’re going to have lots of activity coming and going. If officers are going to be doing a foot beat, they do it right out the front door here,” detailed Singley.
The high profile spot, marked with a lot of exterior police signage, is also where citizens can speak face to face with officers staffing the precinct’s front desk.
“Because when our police are more visible and when they are engaged in our business community, our business core, we have better public safety and that’s what everybody wants,” emphasized Woodward.
The old precinct also had a front desk, which was really a former Greyhound Bus ticket counter.
Office space in the back was cramped; the public did not seem to know the Intermodal Precinct even existed.
Capt. Singley feels the precinct’s new location will make his patrol officers more efficient
“We’re all very excited that we can be in a new very functional facility down in this business district where we think we’re going to be much more visible and I think the officers are really excited about it,” predicted Singley.
Business owners and their employees also have reason to be excited about the precinct’s new location.
Some of downtown’s early commuters literally have to step over people sleeping in their doorways just to get to work.
“You have vacant storefronts and what ends up happening is, that attracts negative behaviors. That negative behavior then makes it very difficult to lease that space. It’s absolutely imperative that we have a stronger police presence in this area so the community feels safe and so that we control behavior,” stressed Richard.
Plans call for a large conference room so the new precinct can serve as a command post for the downtown events we all enjoy like Bloomsday and Hoopfest.
Remodeling on the new precinct, which includes contributions of labor and material from the property owners, is expected to take about four months.