Spokane Police Emphasis to Keep Parks Safe

Spokane Police conduct park emphasis including enforcement of after-hours City Park violations

311 or 509.755.2489

Monday, May 6, 2024 at 2:07 p.m.

MAY 3, 2024 - Increased activity in parks and several criminal incidents recently has prompted a patrol team emphasis addressing park rule violations and other observed criminal activity in all city parks. In the past week, officers contacted subjects at Franklin Park, warned them on park rules and arrested one person on an assault warrant. The subjects were issued exclusion notices from the park, meaning they are banned from all city parks for a period of time. In another incident subjects at Cannon Park were contacted after hours, warned of park violations, and one person was arrested for a prior DV related offense. Additionally, multiple people at various Northwest parks were issued warnings for being in parks after-hour and one was arrested for a DOC warrant.

Such efforts will continue throughout the summer. While officers have the discretion to warn violators, those who have previously been warned will be cited. Last summer, in an effort to keep our City parks safe and free of property damage in the overnight hours, the City Council passed an ordinance making it a misdemeanor for people to be in a City park between the hours of 10 pm – 6 am (except for Riverfront Park which is closed from midnight – 6 am). The ordinance effectively gave police officers a tool to detain people  who are trespassing in the parks or who may be committing crimes. After months of education and warnings, officers are now stepping up enforcement. The law applies to all Park property, including parking lots, and green spaces along rivers and trails.

Spokane Police partner with Park Rangers to keep our valued park spaces safe and functional. Park Rangers can be the first responders for service calls on Park property, and provide helpful information to Police. Park Rangers can trespass visitors for violating Park Rules, and provide general security. Again, parks are closed from 10 pm – 6 am (except Riverfront which stays open until midnight).

As we head into a busy weekend with the opening celebration of Expo ’74 - 50th Anniversary and Bloomsday, SPD reminds community members to play a role in keeping our parks safe. If you see suspicious activity, report it. Police are dedicating extra officers and resources to Riverfront Park and the Downtown area this weekend and throughout the Expo celebration in order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone. Let Spokane shine!