The latest FBI statistics show that Spokane’s serious crime rates have risen over 40 percent this past year. There were 13 homicides this year. The rising crime rate is a sign of a failing city. Newspaper reports and the city statistics show that crime has fallen in the downtown area. The crime rise is occurring in the residential areas surrounding the downtown.
Yet the mayor’s office and City Council seem to be focused on trying to control the crime rate by passing laws for bikini-clad coffee vendors and indigent people wandering the streets downtown. The actions demonstrated by city leaders show a complete misunderstanding of their prime responsibility of protecting the people, not just the business district.
The city has a major shortage of qualified, trained police officers patrolling the streets. The city leaders need to find the funding for this increase in the police force, which could include going to the voters and selling a tax increase. Failure to provide adequate public protection will only result in less local tourism dollars, more migration out of the city, falling property values, and higher property insurance rates for all, just like what happened in Detroit.