Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308
Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:40 a.m.
Spokane’s Downtown Precinct is up and running at its new location and merchants feel, a higher profile police presence is already making a difference.
“We had an incident a few weeks ago, where a lady had broken in, and they were here in minutes to make sure my employees felt safe and they also knew who it was,” said Alicia Newman, manager at Method Juice Cafe.
That familiarity with the people who live, work and play downtown, gives Precinct officers the upper hand when it comes to preventing crime.
“By seeing officers in the downtown area citizens are able to feel safer, businesses owners have people to interact with, and explain issues going on in the community,” said Officer Richie Plunkett, who works out of the Downtown Precinct.
“We want a downtown that is safe and comfortable for everyone. And to see our officers walking around downtown, engaged with our businesses, talking with those who are visiting and working, that’s what they want and that’s the type of comfort and safety they get with the presence of our officers downtown, explained Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward.
The new precinct started taking shape in the former Umpqua Bank building earlier this spring. Renovations are now complete.
Members of the Downtown Spokane Partnership donated $50 thousand in cash and materials to furnish the office.
“People were just very glad to contribute to this project because, having a vibrant and safe downtown is so paramount to their well-being and their success,” said Downtown Spokane Partnership CEO Mark Richard.
Last year Spokane voters approved a property tax increase to hire more police.
Seven additional officers join Downtown Precinct patrols in early 2021.