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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Getting There: Spokane airport buys land near future runway

Spokane International Airport is expanding its land holdings to the southwest with the acquisition of 844 acres of unimproved land off the end of a future runway. Louisa Mager of Park West Properties Inc., of Kirkland, Wash., contacted the airport and offered to sell the land. The $2.35 million sale price is 2 percent above a market appraisal, said Todd Woodard, airport spokesman.

Spokane Police Department to open two new precincts

The Spokane Police Department will open two new precincts by the end of the year, police Chief Frank Straub said Monday. The announcement brings the department closer to a community policing model that’s been proposed for years but never implemented because city leaders said it required additional staff.

Tracking device alerted police to relationship between officer, suspected burglar

A tracking device placed on a car as part of a burglary investigation is how authorities uncovered an intimate relationship between a Spokane police officer and a suspected burglar, according to records released last week containing previously undisclosed details about the case. Officer Darrell Quarles was suspended in July without pay or benefits for two months for associating with a person who has violated state laws and for checking law enforcement databases without authorization, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Spokane City Council moves toward police leadership changes

The appointment of the Spokane Police Department’s managerial team moves forward Monday as the City Council considers shifting city money to help pay for a new captain’s position and a deputy director of the department’s business services division. The moves, which are said to save the city $30,000, are part of Chief Frank Straub’s effort to “streamline our operations and continue to create a department that runs more like a private business,” said Monique Cotton, the department’s spokeswoman.

Police chief touts progress on Use of Force recommendations

Spokane police Chief Frank Straub said Wednesday that his department has made significant progress on every one of the 26 recommendations issued by the city’s Use of Force Commission in February, including an anticipated purchase contract for body cameras that will be worn by officers at all times. Straub’s lengthy presentation, which came a day shy of marking his first year as the city’s top cop, took place in the City Council chambers before a crowd of community members, city department heads and about 20 police department employees.

Spokane police force hires fraud investigator

A fraud investigator from the federal public defender’s office has joined the Spokane Police Department to focus on improving the city’s seizures of drug assets, implementing new laws legalizing marijuana and updating records management. Tim Schwering, 40, will serve as deputy director of tactical and strategic initiatives, a new position that will be a point of contact between the department and the city attorney’s office.

Spokane police officer suspended for ties to woman

A Spokane police officer has been suspended for two months without pay after the department determined he had been associating with a woman engaging in prostitution, drugs and burglary. Police Chief Frank Straub issued a “last-chance agreement” to Officer Darrell Quarles, according to a news release Monday.

Chief: Department didn’t sell Stephens submachine gun

The Spokane Police Department is denying that it sold a submachine gun to former Assistant Chief Scott Stephens, despite its own internal affairs investigation saying Stephens’ possession of the SWAT-style weapon contributed to some officers feeling he was “capable of carrying out the threat” to “go home and get a rifle” and resort to violence. “Scott did not buy an MP-5 from the Spokane Police Department,” police Chief Frank Straub said Wednesday, explaining that Assistant Chief Craig Meidl was mistaken when he claimed otherwise in internal affairs documents from last December’s investigation into reports that Stephens had made threatening comments after learning of his demotion.

Police officers feared Scott Stephens’ intent

When fellow police officers heard Assistant Chief Scott Stephens say he wanted to “go home and get a rifle” after hearing of his impending demotion last December, they feared it might be more than an idle threat. After all, they knew Stephens had recently purchased a used submachine gun from the department’s armory and that he felt embarrassed, betrayed and cast aside by a City Hall administration that once praised his leadership abilities. Within hours, new Chief Frank Straub discussed the possibility of sending officers to Stephens’ home to confiscate his firearms collection, but decided against it in part because of concern it could trigger a violent backlash.

Getting a handle on Spokane’s property crime problem

When he was 7, Aaron Crummett got his first bicycle for Christmas. It was stolen from his front yard.  He got his second bicycle for his eighth birthday. It was soon stolen from his side yard.  He got his third bicycle last Christmas. It was stolen in May, gone within five minutes after he parked it on his front porch to run inside and get a snack. In three years, the Crummett family, which lives near Gonzaga University, has been the victim of five property crimes. Aaron’s dad’s bike was taken from the yard, and his mom’s keys recently were stolen from a locker at the downtown YMCA. If it seems like thieves and criminals are running amok in Spokane, it’s probably because they are. One out of every 11 Spokane residents was the victim of a theft, burglary or other property crime last year.

As Spokane’s gang activity grows, police expand tactics

Police are adding hundreds of gang members to a sophisticated Spokane-area database, using technology to track crime and criminals. It’s part of a law enforcement effort to better understand gang-related crime in Spokane.

Stolen property investigation nets police chief’s bike

It was a bad day for Andrew J. Koffel. Police were investigating a possible theft ring operating from a motel room in west Spokane on May 27 when officers spotted Koffel, 27, and another man walking away from the motel with four bicycles.

Spokane officer subject of inquiry resigns from force

A Spokane police officer under internal investigation resigned Tuesday, the same day the investigation into allegations that he stalked and harassed a woman was turned over to prosecutors to determine if charges are warranted. Officer Jeff Graves resigned “effective immediately,” police Chief Frank Straub said.

Spokane officer resigns amid investigations

A Spokane Police officer under internal investigation has resigned and the investigation has been turned over to Spokane County prosecutors to determine if charges are warranted. Police Chief Frank Straub said today that Officer Jeff Graves has resigned “effective immediately.”

Officials, mum on cop, let felon off

A gun charge against an outlaw biker – considered so dangerous that Spokane police last year called in a SWAT team to apprehend him on an unrelated assault charge – was dropped Thursday when prosecutors and city officials declined to disclose in court why his arresting officer in an unrelated case is now on administrative leave. Jerry W. Clark, a 41-year-old convicted felon with reputed ties to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, had been facing up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted at his trial for unlawful possession of a firearm.