Local News

Spokane Police, Downtown Partnership team up to keep downtown safe and inviting

Spokane Police, Downtown Partnership team up to keep downtown safe and inviting

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police is asking the community to establish a code of conduct to help make downtown a safer place to visit.

On Wednesday, the department teamed up with the Downtown Spokane Partnership to ask people what they would like to see addressed in the downtown area.

Ray Tansy would like to see less graffiti.

"The graffiti continues to get worse and worse," Tansy said. "We have one building in particular that's got over a thousand tags on it."

Kaylee Kelly would like to see less trash.

"Just the mannerisms," Kelly said. "Kind of just keeping things clean and just the politeness of people."

Dave Forsythe said he would like to see just some simple eye contact.

"People don't look at each other," Forsythe said. "It's just one of those things where, it would be nice if they were more friendly."

There are a variety of answers to what could make the downtown experience better. While some of those requests are personal, Spokane Police and the Downtown Spokane Partnership are focusing on some of the other issues that can be fixed.

"Make it more comfortable by addressing things that are not just crime in the downtown," Captain Judi Carl said. "There are more behavior problems that seem to be a concern down here."

Jaywalking, panhandling, littering, loitering and big groups making loud noises are some of the more common occurrences.

"Those are a lot of the pressing issues that really create a sense of un-comfort," Mark Richard, president of Downtown Spokane Partnership said.

Starting May 1, police and downtown ambassadors will give out warnings in hope of getting voluntary compliance. However, if need be, police will cite or arrest people as a last resort.

Captain Carl said they'll also offer services to transients and others living on the streets. It's part of their plan to implement the City's sit and lie ordinance that bans people from loitering on downtown sidewalks.

"They can look towards education, they can look toward jobs, they can find out where there are services just to improve their quality of life," Captain Carl said.

So people like Ray Tansy can have a stress free outing.

"I like to come downtown," Tansy said. "I don't like to pay what I pay in a parking meter, but I like to come down here and shop. I like to come down here and visit."