SPOKANE, Wash. - Police are stepping up patrols to get ready for a busy Easter weekend in downtown Spokane.
They are adding patrols to put a strong police presence downtown. Spokane has the NCAA Tournament here along with the Pacific Northwest Qualifer.
With so many guests in the city, Spokane wants them to feel welcome and safe.
"We have people from spokanimal doing animal enforcement. We have juvenile and municipal probation as well as gang enforcement officers neighborhood conditions officers and patrol officers," Commander of Field Operations Brad Arleth said.
Commander Arleth says the police department has been focusing on the downtown area for quite some time, but with the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament in town and the Pacific Northwest Qualifier, one of the biggest volleyball tournaments in the nation, the sidewalks will be bustling..
"Just businesses want to make sure their customers feel safe they want to make sure their employees are safe," director of the Downtown Partnership Mark Richard said.
The Downtown Spokane Partnership is also stepping things up, using their downtown ambassadors to help fill out the police presence. They will be doing everything from giving directions to welcoming guests to the city.
"Our ambassadors are doing training with our police officers they're coordinating schedules together they are communicating together and sharing information together," Richard said.
The police department will work in teams through the weekend, they want people to know Spokane is safe and friendly.
"So far this year we are looking at a little bit over 16% reduction in crime downtown compared to last year," Arleth said.
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