Newly-elected officials push for new downtown police precinct

For months, Spokane Mayor-Elect Nadine Woodward has said public safety has to be addressed in downtown Spokane.

She has continuously said that starts by moving a new police precinct there.

Now, she has the newly elected city council president on her side.

“It’s actually having a physical headquarters located in a more visible place,” Soon-to-be Council President Breean Beggs said. “But secondly, having police officers out of their vehicles walking or biking around downtown.”

Beggs has served on the city council since 2018.

Back in July, he joined councilwoman Lori Kinnear in proposing a new police precinct.

There was one problem though–the current mayor didn’t want it.

“The mayor’s office didn’t want to do it,” Beggs said. “We didn’t have much cooperation on that.”
So, now that the newly elected officials are on the same page, where could this precinct even go?

“The bus plaza pays $80,000 a year to the police department for a police officer, so if we took that $80,000 credin then maybe free rent,” Beggs said. “We just have to get creative, because we only have so many dollars to do so many things each year.”

Beggs said there will be obstacles.

He said the police department has unique needs when it comes to size, security, and parking space.

But he says building a relationship between citizens and officers is the first step to a safer city.

And now, the new relationship between the city council and its next mayor could make all the difference.

“I think we’re going to be able to get more done, because it’s a new relationship,” Beggs said.