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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community Comment

Grant Money available to SPD…

Good evening, Netizens...

The Spokane Police Department is about to garner some fairly substantial grant money, and tonight we're going to help them spend it. That isn't officially what is expected to happen. In fact, I can hear the sounds of machinations taking place at the highest levels of the SPD on what complies with the terms of the grant, and how best to portray the need.

The money, part of the economic stimulus package, was added to an existing program known as the Edward Byrne Justice Assistant Grants, designed to get more police on the street, more training and equipment to agencies, and more help for crime victims, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said.

The White House has promised to review all requests and approve or reject them within two weeks, a Cantwell spokeswoman said.

The program divides the money between states and local governments. Under its formula, the city of Spokane could request more than $824,000,

No, this is about law enforcement, enforcing the laws of the State of Washington fairly and decently, something that seems to have fallen on hard ears in the last few years.

One priority: fix the incongruous public release of crimes that is released to the news media to where ordinary citizens can read it. Most of the police activity logs are worthless, at least to those unfamiliar with Police jargon. Plus half the time, the actual address or location of where the crimes took place are never published. Unless it happens to be a really big crime, the criminal reports, as seen in the Spokesman-Review, are not worth boiling in linseed oil. Fix it!

Create more police on patrol; less cops behind desks in City Hall. Some of the new technology in police cars is designed to reduce the amount of time police otherwise spend filing their reports. Is it truthful that these reports are still not being filed online? I want an Internet Tsar for the Spokane Police Department, someone who will help streamline the police and bring them into a new awareness of and full use of the Internet, making certain no cops are looking at indecent sites online.

Make the faces of the police as we know them to be more human, less like automatons programmed to suspect everyone in sight. Stop incidents such as the murder of Otto Zehm before they ever get started. We trust them. When will they learn to trust most “ordinary” citizens?

There undoubtedly are others. Feel free to contribute.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.