Erin Hut

New Workgroup to Develop Solutions to Public Safety Challenges

Erin Hut, Director of Communications and Marketing, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 5 p.m.

New Workgroup to Develop Solutions to Public Safety Challenges

Updated 03/05/2024

The Brown Administration’s new Community Safety Workgroup has been assigned three main tasks: identify Spokane’s public safety challenges, develop solutions, and implement priorities.

The new workgroup – made up of subject matter experts, city leaders, and led by Deputy City Administrator Maggie Yates – will convene monthly and work collaboratively to improve overall public safety throughout the city.

Improving coordination of behavioral health response was at the top of the first meeting’s agenda. The group began with identifying opportunities for both internal and external coordination with regional partners, before addressing some of the key challenges that are currently hindering those operations.

“From our conversation, it was apparent that we have a wide array of tools available to help people in behavioral health crises. From street medicine outreach to community court to stabilization facilities, we have a good foundation. Now, we are looking at how we coordinate those resources and how we secure adequate funding in order to do so,” Dep. City Administrator Yates said.

In discussing behavioral health response, the group also addressed ways to serve high utilizers and provide them with resources to break them of their current cycles. High utilizers are a population of people who frequently utilize services across healthcare, criminal justice and social services.

Moving forward, the Community Safety Workgroup plans to aggregate data geographically in conjunction with providers to target resources at high utilization areas.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be gathering the data we know we need to inform our decisions, analyzing it, and then we will begin the process of using that knowledge to inform how we can collectively improve our public safety response,” Yates said.

Once the Community Safety Workgroup has a detailed understanding of the response infrastructure, they will begin engaging with relevant community partners. Their next meeting will be held in March.

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