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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

STA considering new funding for downtown police officer

The Spokane Transit Authority may renew funding to pay for a downtown Spokane police officer.

The STA had funded a downtown officer since 2005, but its board of directors chose not to renew the agreement for 2016 following a police decision to move its downtown precinct away from the STA Plaza. That change meant $86,900 in lost funding for the police department.

At a Monday meeting of Spokane’s Public Safety Committee, police Maj. Justin Lundgren told City Council members the department has been working with STA on a deal to pay the department $58,000 per year to fund a downtown officer position.

The agreement specifies the officer should spend as much time near the downtown STA Plaza as possible during peak bus service hours from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Lundgren said.

The STA board has not yet voted on the proposal.

The department did not lose any officers following the loss of STA funding at the end of 2015 and is not planning to hire a new officer if the agreement is renewed, Assistant Chief Craig Meidl said.

Meidl said the agreement helps STA security officers enforce city laws.

“If a person from the STA Plaza crosses the street, they can’t do anything about it,” he said.

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