by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor David Condon has said one of the qualities he's looking for in Spokane's next police chief is experience with a Metro Policing Model.
But what does that mean?
Essentially, it refers to the partnership between city, county and regional law enforcement agencies, and can mean anything from sharing services to completely merging departments.
Already, Spokane Police and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office share some resources, like one forensics team, one records unit, one property room, and one bomb squad.
But there's more work to do.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told me, he's been in favor of full consolidation since day one.
"Why are there four drug and gang units in Spokane? Combine them, their size and scope of work, take what's remaining and build a property crimes task force," Sheriff Knezovich told KHQ.
Spokane Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens says, he would want the community to weigh in on the level of merger – if any, but agrees it could be beneficial.
"Even though there may not be a dollar savings, there would be efficiency, and that's very important, looking at efficiency versus effectiveness, and what it will cost you," Stephens told KHQ.
The issue of Metro Policing has been debated for the last 30 or 40 years, so this conversation is nothing new. However, there are differing opinions on whether city and county government would first need to consolidate before it would work with law enforcement.
The extend of the overlap between local agencies in the future will likely be determined by local leaders, including the mayor and of course, the new Spokane Police Chief, whomever that will be.
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:12 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:12:15 GMT
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