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Spokane Mayor creates task force addressing city's recent shootings

Mayor Woodward believes pent up frustration and anxiety during the pandemic is causing some people to turn to violence.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward is taking steps to form a task force in response to the recent shootings in the city.

She believes pent up frustration and anxiety during the pandemic is causing some people to turn to violence.

That's why she created a mental health task force last month. But now, she wants to create a task force that addresses the recent uptick in drive-by shootings in Spokane.

Woodward said shootings are increasing not just in Spokane, but across the country. 

She asked the question, "what is Spokane going to do to prevent these crimes?" Her answer--a task force focused on taking a proactive approach to addressing these violent crimes. She is currently discussing the task force with Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl.

"We are in the process right now of forming that task force and deciding who should be at the table, what it looks like and what we're going to focus on," Woodward said. "And if we can get to the preventative part of this crime, then I think that would be that would be the goal."

She understands the Spokane community is frustrated with the recent drive-by shootings and shares their concern.

"It's a multi layered situation," she said. "The police are doing their job. They're making the arrests or solving the crimes. But when it goes to the courts, the courts need to do their job as well."

But she also encourages the community to help police in their efforts to take a stand against these violent crimes. 

"We also need more eyes on the streets, more eyes in the community, reporting what they're seeing, reporting what they have witnessed," Woodward said. 

 A spokesperson for the Spokane Police Department said it does not expect an increased officer presence in downtown Spokane this weekend. Right now, SPD is evaluating those needs.

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