SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Police Department is exploring the option of adding more precincts around town all to reduce crime.
As soon as the precinct in Hillyard opened there was a noticeable drop in crime. In fact, police cases here in Hillyard dropped 18 percent the first year this precinct was open.
When it comes to crime-fighting, the precinct model could not be more clear-cut. It gives police extra visibility by stationing employees in troublesome parts of town. It has reduced crime and reassured families nearby. SPD is looking at which parts of town could most benefit from a greater police presence.
"Right now, if you look where our precincts are, you have one way northeast, up in Hillyard that covers the whole north side. Well, if you live Northwest, that doesn't really do you much good," said Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.
Chief Meidl said he eventually hopes to add two new precincts here in Spokane. This is in addition to the two already in operation, one Downtown and the other in Hillyard.
"I think they've really gotten us in the community. If you look at the public safety building, we're buried in the middle of it, we share it with all these other agencies. So if you want to find your police department, it's challenging unless you go to a precinct," Meidl said.
In the first three years of the Downtown precinct, overall crime downtown dropped 28 percent. In Hillyard, it dropped 18 percent.
It will be sometime in the spring that SPD gets a report about which areas would benefit from new precincts.