ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Spokane Valley

Spokane Valley adds more cops

At a time when many cities are still scrambling to find ways to add police or fill positions left vacant to help balance budgets, Spokane Valley has green-lighted a plan that puts more deputies on the streets when they're needed most.

City Council members agreed last night to add two additional deputies as part of a reorganization of the patrol division that includes creation of a fifth platoon to augment day and night shift staffing. The goal is to have more patrol deputies on the street when demand for police services tends to be highest.

The city pays the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office about $17 million a year to provide law enforcement coverage under a contract that dedicates about 100 deputies to Spokane Valley, with nearly half of them assigned to patrol duties. The others include administrators, supervisors, detectives and school resource officers. The city also provides a police station, equipment and vehicles.

Cost of the plan is about $423,000, which includes equipment upgrades, though city officials believe it could be less because it will take some time before the sheriff’s office is able to get the additional deputies on board. Recurring annual costs to the city of the two additional deputies is about $350,000, which includes benefits and the city’s share of the county’s costs for employee administrative services.

Under the proposed reorganization, the rank of corporal would be eliminated and the positions redistributed. Three would be upgraded to sergeants, two would be turned into detectives and one position converted to patrol deputy in the new platoon.

The two new deputies plus one deputy from each of the existing four platoons would be transferred to the new “power shift” platoon. The deputies would augment staffing by working from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., which overlaps the day and night shifts and is when Spokane Valley sees its greatest demand for police services.

String of laundry machine robberies ends for Spokane Valley man

Authorities hope a recent arrest will convince a suspected frequent laundry room burglar to change his ways.

Jason Amyot, 32, is being held at the Geiger Corrections Facility near Spokane International Airport, facing 17 counts of second-degree burglary. Police say Amyot went on a “crime spree” in Spokane Valley from September through October, breaking into laundry facilities at apartment complexes and busting open the machines to steal the coins within.

The thefts ranged in value from $12 at a complex on South Whipple Road late in September to a relative heist at a commercial laundry facility on East Sprague Avenue on two days earlier in the month, in which Amyot is thought to have stolen more than $2,000. Surveillance footage from that scene led officers to suspect Amyot, who has a long criminal history during which he's established a pattern of stealing from laundry machines, according to investigators.

Amyot said he was responsible for all but one of the 18 incidents police have linked to him. On some occasions, Amyot broke locks to get into the private laundry facilities; in others, he pried open windows from the outside or used keys that were hidden nearby. In at least one of the incidents, Amyot stole from facilities where friends were living, according to court documents.

One attempt, at a complex on Argonne Road, proved unsuccessful because the landlord had removed the change the day before the break-in, according to investigators.

Amyot has been in police custody since mid-October. He is being held on multiple warrants.

Kicked door nets man burglary charge

In what appears to be a case of she said/he ran, Spokane Valley Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 50-year-old man who was accused Thursday of breaking into a woman’s home.

Deputies, who are contracted to provide police service in Spokane Valley, responded at about 11 a.m. on Thursday to the area of 6800 E. 8th Ave. to a report of a burglary in progress.

The female homeowner said that Kevin Bunch, 50, had kicked in the back door of her residence and remained in her home. Deputies went to check and saw Bunch running westbound on 8th Avenue away from the home, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

The deputies set up a containment area and searched with a police dog. They found Bunch hiding between a fence and nearby house and took him into custody, Chamberlin wrote in a news release.

“Bunch told deputies he and the victim were in a relationship, which the victim said was not true whatsoever,” Chamberlin wrote.

Bunch was booked into the Spokane County Jail on the charge of residential burglary.

Investigation just beginning in homicide

A 25-year-old man was found dead Sunday morning in what Spokane Valley authorities are investigating as a possible homicide.

Spokane County Sheriff’s detectives believe they know the identity of the deceased man but don’t know how he died, sheriff’s spokesman Deputy David Thornburg said in a news release. Thornburg said he doesn’t expect any more details about the case until today.

A driver discovered the man at about 6:20 a.m. on Raymond Road near the intersection with Mission Avenue.

“The male victim was found in the roadway only wearing a pair of shorts,” Thornburg said.

The man had injuries consistent with being struck or dragged by an unknown hit-and-run vehicle, Thornburg said.

“There was no evidence of the male being shot or stabbed,” Thornburg said. “There was a pair of shoes and blue jeans found near the body, but there was no identification to positively identify the male.”

He did have a number of unique tattoos that lead investigators to believe they know his name, but the sheriff’s office will not release that name until his family can be notified, Thornburg said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today. 

“Given that the exact manner of death is unknown at this time, investigators are treating this incident as a homicide,” Thornburg said.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here