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Police pinpoint crime calls

A day after Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich declared war on property crimes, the Spokane Police Department sent out a news release highlighting a previously announced initiative designed to combat property crimes by focusing resources on problem areas.

The information in the release allowed The Spokesman-Review to create an interactive map showing the hot spots of reported crime throughout the city. Interim Chief Scott Stephens said that he fully supports the sheriff’s efforts and has been working to find ways that the two departments can work together.

“The goal is to provide the best service we can with the resources we have,” he said.

The “Focused Area Emphasis” is based on scientific research that focuses on putting resources where the most crime is occurring. The pilot program will run through the end of the year.

When officers crunched the numbers, they found that about half of the department’s calls for service came from about 7 percent of the city’s 17,000 blocks. About half of the top 10 hot spots are located in and around downtown, with other problem areas near Northtown Mall, West Central and apartment complexes north of Francis Avenue.

Both Knezovich and Stephens are discussing eliminating redundant drug units and other task forces to funnel more resources toward solving property crimes. “Everywhere it makes sense to share resources, we are looking at it,” he said.

This story has been updated.