The plan to put more police on Spokane Valley’s streets when they’re needed most is moving forward.
As expected, City Council members gave the green light Tuesday night to adding 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 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 for the first year 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 two new deputies plus one deputy from each of the existing four platoons would be transferred to a new “power shift” platoon. The deputies in the fifth platoon would augment day and night shift staffing by working from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., which is when Spokane Valley sees its greatest demand for police services.
Also, the rank of corporal is being eliminated. Three of the existing corporals will be promoted to sergeant, two will become detectives and one will be assigned to the power shift platoon.