SPOKANE, Wash. - You'll see it on Facebook: claims that Spokane is more dangerous than ever. But, according to new statistics released by the FBI, that may not quite be the case.
According to those statistics, violent crimes and property crimes were down slightly in 2015 compared to 2014.
On Tuesday, Spokane Police gave a couple of reasons why they believe numbers were down, including targeting repeat offenders, as well as the success of their neighborhood C.O.P.S. shops.
However, these statistics don't take into account numbers from this year, which may not show the same success.
"The reality is that crime is a community issue, and it takes a community to resolve that issue," said Patrick Striker, C.O.P.S. Executive Director.
Spokane police and community members are still celebrating the new northeast Spokane C.O.P.S. shop, which opened its doors Monday when it combined with the Spokane Police Department's north precinct.
"Since the precinct itself is here and it's a natural hub for police, as well as for citizens to have access to law enforcement, it only makes sense to have our volunteers here," said Striker.
And it's community precincts that police say have helped them reduce crime in Spokane.
"It gives them an opportunity to get to know the people in the neighborhood, not only the offenders but also the community members," said Spokane Police Major Justin Lundgren.
One man who stopped by the northeast precinct today says he didn't even know it existed. Paul Baldwin dropped by when he heard they were giving away free clubs for frequently stolen vehicles. He said he's happy to know something like this exists in his community.
"This way they get it out to the community how we can best work to help them do their job, and I think it's a fantastic idea," said Baldwin.
Police say targeting repeat offenders has also helped them keep crime down in Spokane.
"Not only does it impact the crime rate, but overall public safety is impacted when those offenders aren't on the street," said Major Lundgren.
However, the numbers may not be as successful next year.
So far this year, police say they've seen an increase in vehicle thefts by about 21 percent over last year. Though, the department says it's still down from what those numbers were in 2014.
The mayor's budget proposal for next year also provides the Spokane Police Department with four new neighborhood resource officers.
Police say they will be analyzing which communities those officers will have the most impact in.
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