Police increase downtown presence

SPOKANE, Wash. - The new year is bringing a much bigger police presence to downtown Spokane as, starting last week, the number of officers dedicated to the downtown area jumped from two to seven.

Spokane is now divided up into eight different neighborhoods and Dan Waters is the new sergeant for the downtown area, also known as District 8.

"I want to get to a point where people are coming back downtown and not worried about their car getting broken into," Waters said.

Increasi9ng Spokane downtown police presence

That's exactly the answer the owners of the Brooklyn Deli and Lounge were looking for. Last fall 13 cars were burglarized in their parking lot, some during the middle of the day, and Brooklyn Deli owner Mike Bonnes worried the break-ins cost them some customers.

"I would like to see a little more patrols, a little more police presence basically and I think that would deter quite a bit of violence and crime in general," Bonnes said.

"I want to get back to where people feel very comfortable in going downtown and safe and they're seeing officers down there and I want the businesses to know us by name and know we are there," Sgt. Waters said.

That's welcome news for businesses and their employees who work downtown.

"They're going to keep the streets clean for all of us who shop and feel safe and not have to worry," downtown worker Guen Matheson said.

Police plan to be proactive downtown to catch criminals in the act, including some sting operations.