Spokane Police To Move Into New Centralized Downtown Precinct
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward today [Monday] announced the city will move its downtown police precinct to the former Umpqua [UMP-kwah] Bank building at Riverside and Wall.
During last fall’s campaign, Woodward had expressed displeasure with the current precinct location at the Intermodal Transportation Center several blocks to the southeast. She said it was too far out of the way and vowed to bring the police hub closer to the center of the core.
“We had toured four different locations before we came to this one. This location, the former Umpqua Bank, definitely beat all the other contenders by a long shot because it’s a shell and we can customize it to the needs of our police officers," Woodward said.
Police Chief Craig Meidl says the department plans to station up to 35 officers and support staff at the new precinct.
“That will give us greater visibility, more opportunity to engage with the community and increase our partnership with our COPS volunteers to ensure that our front desk is staffed consistently," Meidl said. "We will be significantly increasing our behavioral health unit staffing at this facility as well to add to the two that are already going to be located here. If you recall, our behavioral health unit is a pro-active unit that will go out and work with those who have mental health issues.”
Woodward says the owner of the building will pay the city $235,000 to help with that customization. The city will spend another $295,000 in taxpayer money to cover the rest of the cost. Construction is expected to begin soon and finish in time for officers to move in sometime this summer.