SPOKANE CO., Wash. – Spokane County voters will soon decide if they will approve Proposition 1, which will continue the 1/10th of one percent local sales tax to keep emergency communication services functional.
On Friday, local law enforcement shared a tour of the combined communication building to showcase how important the current system is to emergency responders.
If the proposition is approved, it will maintain the use of the computer system for police, the sheriff’s office and fire departments, which shortens dispatch times. It also provides responders clear and detailed information before they arrive on scene. Proposition 1 will also continue operations for Crime Check, which handles nearly 250,000 calls a year.
“Our ability to separate those out and keep those out of the 911 emergency portion of the center is really important to our ability dispatch, our regular emergencies that are actually happening every day,” said Chief Bryan Collins of the Spokane Valley Fire Department.
When voters approved the sales tax in 2008, the funding integrated police, sheriff and fire department communication systems. It also established “ALERT Spokane,” which is the region’s citizen emergency alert system.
If Proposition 1 does not pass, funding for these systems will be severely reduced.
The special election that will have Proposition 1 on the ballot will be on April 25.