SPOKANE, Wash. — Over the summer, Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward moved the south Spokane Police precinct into the former East Central Library. The move received criticism over how the decision was made.

The Spokane Police Department says it’s still working out operations in the building. The non-profit not affiliated with SPD, COPS recently moved into the building as well.

The primary aspects of a police precinct are accessibility where people can contact officers, the reach officers have in the neighborhood, and deterrence.

“We really want it to be a place where officers can coordinate, and hear what the issues are in the neighborhood and go out and address those,” said Spokane Police Corporal Nick Briggs.

Briggs says if there’s a precinct where police vehicles are visible it deters people, however officers have been spending a lot of time out in the community, and not in the precinct.

The precinct currently has seven officers working out of the precinct, which includes officers’ detectives, and supervisors.

Briggs says precinct resources are being sucked by Camp Hope and people camped out in riverbanks. He says officers recently gathered 130,000 pounds of trash and debris.

“Absolutely those projects do take away from some of the other things that the precinct would like to be doing, that’s first and foremost. The second part is opening day is not all of the things that we’re trying to put in place,” Briggs said.

SPD says crime in East Central has remained consistent since the precinct moved in.

“Consistent is not what we’re looking for, we’re looking for decreases, but consistent can mean there’s an effect there as well,” Briggs said.

Vickie Brown enjoys living in East Central and has had property stolen, such as things she uses for lawn care. But since the police precinct opened, she’s noticing a difference.

“We’re getting a lot less of the traffic that goes by and checks your yard to see what you’ve got out, having a lot less stuff that’s stolen from the yard, and the cars have slowed down,” Brown said.

The precinct drew backlash from community members and councilmember Betsy Wilkerson, who believes not all voices were heard in the decision-making process. There were also concerns about the location, which some thought it would work better along the East Sprague Corridor.

Others say the precinct is in the right place and offers an invitation to the community.

“I just love seeing them go up and down our street. I really do,” Brown said.

“Our neighbors and especially our businesses want to see that police presence in our neighborhood and most importantly they want to have them accessible where they used to be,” East Central Neighborhood council president Randy McGlenn said.

Council members passed an ordinance that puts the precinct’s location up in the air. The ordinance is to ensure the council has the final say on all major Spokane facilities, including police precincts, and the justification of the ordinance includes openness and a formal process.

READ: Spokane City Council approves two resolutions for East Central police precinct