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Spokane Valley blog

Posts tagged: Spokane Valley Police

Forensics and DUI patrol

Spokane County Sheriff's Office Air 1 helicopter. SR file photo.

Last night was another interesting night at the Citizen's Academy class offered by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office that offers a peek into the department. We heard from people working forensics, DUI patrol and Air 1. The head of the forensics unit, Carrie Johnson, talked about how she got started in the business 35 years ago. “I was the first girl,” she said. “I started as a secretary and worked my way up.” The unit may have been all men when she started but in recent years it has been all women. The unit does include one man right now.

Johnson said that a relatively simple crime scene can take several hours to proceess. A more complicated one can take anywhere from 12 hours to three days. “We were at Robert Yates' house for two weeks,” she said, referring to Spokane's serial killer.

Deputy Todd Miller talked about his work in the Spokane Valley traffic unit as the only DUI patrol officer. The unit includes two deputies on day shift and two deputies on night shift. He's a BAC instructor and a drug recognition expert. “Basically I drive around all the city of Spokane Valley and look for drunk drivers,” he said. His peak time for finding drunk drivers is between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Sgt. Dave Ellis spoke about Air 1, the Sheriff's Office helicopter that was donated to the department by the U.S. Army. The helicopter is able to fly about 300 hours per year for only $92,000 because all the pilots are volunteers and parts are purchased from the military at a discount, Ellis said. The crew includes a pilot and tactical flight officer at a minimum. The 10 volunteer pilots include three certified flight instructors, four military pilots, one MedStar pilot, one retired LAPD pilot and a Holleywood stunt pilot.

School zone patrols today

The Spokane Valley Police Department is conducting emphasis patrols in school zones today. The special patrols are sponsored by the Spokane Regional Health District. Police are concentrating on schools south of Mission, north of 32nd Avenue, east of Pines Road and west of Sullivan Road. The emphasis is focusing on pedestrians and drivers who don't yield to pedestrians will get a $124 ticket. Pedestrians who cross the street illegally will get at $56 ticket.

The schools included in the emphasis area are: Sunrise Elementary, McDonald Elementary, Evergreen Middle School, Central Valley High School, Adams Elementary, University High School, South Pines Elementary, St. Mary's Catholic School, Progress Elementary, Barker High School, North Pines Middle School and Summit School.

High speed chase leads to arrest

Reporter Meghann Cuniff has details on this morning's high speed chase in Spokane Valley that had a part of Sprague near Willow shut down for a while. Joshua G. Garvin, 27, reportedly drove the wrong way down the one-way section of Sprague and hit a police car before he was stopped. He was arrested on multiple charges. Click here for more details.

Thieves rob Redeemer Lutheran Church

Someone stole thousands of dollars in electronic equipment from Redeemer Lutheran Church, 3606 S. Schafer Road, this week. The theft was discovered Wednesday. Since there was no sign of forced entry, Spokane Valley Police believe someone may have hidden inside the church Tuesday night when it was locked up. Click here for more on the story. Anyone with information on the theft is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

Burglary just reported in Spokane Valley

A burglary in the 14200 block of East Eighth was just reported. The caller said three men ran out the back door. All are decribed as white males. One was wearing brown flannel and the second is decribed as having curly hair and wearing a hoodie and jeans. There is no description for the third man. They were last seen heading east and then south. Police are coming into the area now.

11:54 a.m. update: The burglars got away with a cell phone, wii and other items. The search continues.

11:55 a.m. update: Adams Elementary, located only a couple blocks away, is going into lockdown. Dispatchers are also notifying nearby St. Mary’s Catholic School. An officer reports there are children outside on the playground.

11:58 a.m. update: An officer reports the burglars may be armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

12:22 p.m. update: Officers are being released from perimeter duty as the Sheriff’s Office helicopter is almost on scene to take a look from the air. The search is still continuing, however.  

2:24 p.m. update: The search has apparently come up empty. The scanner is quiet. Spokane County Assessor’s Office records show the home is owned by Ernest Creach, son of the Rev. Wayne Creach. The school lockdowns were lifted some time ago. Click here to read a story by reporter Thomas Clouse.

Bank robbery update

No arrest has been made in yesterday’s bank robbery. A K9 team was unable to track the suspect and people in a home that drew police’s attention for a time turned out to be uninvolved, according to police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The robber got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, which was placed into a green and blue bag. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233.

In other police news, detectives pursuing leads in a counterfeiting investigation seized drugs, guns and cash from a home in an undisclosed location in Spokane Valley yesterday. When detectives arrived at the home they smelled the odor of marijuana and the residents gave them permission to search the home, Reagan said.

Police found two pounds of harvested marijuana, more than two pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, a small amount of ecstacy, a 12 gauge shotgun, a stolen 9mm pistol and $5,000 in cash. No additional details on the identity of the residents is being released at this time.

Update: Crimes Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is now offering a cash reward for information that solves yesterday’s bank robbery. Anyone with information can call (800) 222-TIPS or visit the web site. Tipsters do not need to identify themselves.

Bank robbery near Sprague and Bowdish

The Sterling Savings bank near Sprague and Bowdish was robbed just before 2:30 p.m. Police are flooding the area. Dispatchers say the suspect is discribed as a white male, age 25-30, about 5’ 6” tall and 130 pounds. He was reportedly wearing a dark coat, stocking cap and blue jeans. He brandished a chrome .45 caliber automatic handgun. More details when available.

2:40 update: Police found a piece of cloth the robber used to cover his face. A K9 is on the way to start tracking efforts.

2:49 update: Broadway Elementary School, located a few blocks from the bank, is locked down.

3:07 p.m.: Attention is focusing on a house on Skipworth. I have to leave the scanner, but check back tomorrow for more information.

Mail theft and fire hydrants

I’ve gotten a couple pleas for for Valley residents to follow some safety tips. The Spokane Valley Police Department is advising that thieves have broken into mailboxes at the Franciscan Apartments twice in the last month. Mail theft is often up this time of year because thieves are looking for Christmas cards with cash or gift cards. People sending such cards are advised to mail them at the post office rather than in their streetside mailbox. Those expecting such cards should get their mail as quickly as possible after it is delivered.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department is also asking residents to make sure all fire hydrants are shoveled out. Now that most of the streets have been plowed, snow berms are covering many hydrants. If there is a fire in a home, firefighters could lose several minutes if they have to shovel out a fire hydrant before they can start putting out the flames.  

Stolen property found in Valley

Spokane Valley Police detectives got a search warrant for a storage unit at Secure-It Storage at 18815 E. Cataldo after learning that stolen property was being stored inside. On Monday police found stolen motorcycles, engines, transmissions and a trailer mounted generator worth $10,000 taken from the Barker Bridge construction site in July, according to a press release. The generator was one of four stolen from the construction site; two were previously recovered.

Police arrested Kim D. Johnson, 55, and Neal T. Johnson, 45, when they arrived at the storage unit. They have been charged with felony first degree theft. The value of the stolen property is estimated to be more than $30,000.

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Welcome to the Spokane Valley blog. Here we cover news, events and information from the greater Spokane Valley area, including Millwood, Otis Orchards, Liberty Lake, Newman Lake, Rockford and Fairfield.

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Nina Culver Nina Culver covers city of Spokane Valley, Spokane Valley Fire Department, Newman Lake Fire and Rescue, Spokane County Fire District 8, Liberty Lake Police Department and the small towns of Fairfield and Rockford.

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