As Police Budgets Shrink, Responding To Car Thefts Becomes Diffi - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

As Police Budgets Shrink, Responding To Car Thefts Becomes Difficult

SPOKANE, Wash. – In this strapped economy, budgets for local law enforcement agencies are getting chopped, meaning unsafe staffing levels, and fewer resources to respond to car thefts and break-ins.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office has lost 36 deputies in the last three years, and if the budget picture doesn't change, it may lose another 6 by the end of this year.

The Spokane Police Department is not faring much better.  KHQ learned today it's short 70 officers compared to recommended ‘safe' staffing levels for a city this size.

A situation that won't change until the mayor allocates for funding, and the city council approves it.

The lack of manpower is putting things like property crimes and car break-ins on the back burner for investigators, because they're overloaded with work and simply don't have the resources they need.

In just a week's time earlier this month, almost 100 calls to Spokane Police came in of car break-ins or thefts.  Most times, victims are asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233, but an officer will rarely respond, and people are frustrated.

"I've known a few people to get their laptops and bikes stolen, some right out of their cars, some just right out in front of a coffee shop or bar," said Jeremy Clark, who lives in Browne's Addition.  "We actually had a friend up on the North side, she had her car broken into 3 times in one week."

Saturday night, the surveillance cameras outside the KHQ studios in downtown Spokane even caught two suspects on camera, as they keyed a parked car on Sprague then slashed its tires.

It's just another example of the prevalence of such crimes. 

Still, Spokane Police tell KHQ if you're a victim of a car crime, still call Crime Check to file a report.  Even if an officer can't respond, they say it's still important to identify crime trends in certain neighborhoods.  If they see a spike in a concentrated area, police have a better chance of catching the crooks behind it.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Victims in Lewiston double homicide identified

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 9:38 PM EST2017-11-23 02:38:39 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Autopsies have been performed on the two women who were found dead in Lewiston on Tuesday. One victim was identified as suspect Richard Allen Carlin's ex-wife, 72-year-old Raetta Dee Carlin. The other woman was identified as 50-year-old Michelle Lynn Carlin, the daughter of Raetta and Richard Carlin.

    >>
  • Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Semi crash on I-90 in Coeur d'Alene blocks eastbound lanes for hours

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 10:41 PM EST2017-11-23 03:41:53 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - One person was taken to the hospital after a crash with a semi truck in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Wednesday morning. It happened around 11:45 a.m. Idaho State Police report a white 2017 Freightliner truck towing three box trailers driven by 40-year-old Ricardo T.J. Saenz of Pasco, Washington. was headed eastbound and attempted to change lanes.

    >>
  • Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed 3-year-old

    Man charged in police pursuit crash that killed 3-year-old

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 7:31 PM EST2017-11-23 00:31:28 GMT

     WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A teenage driver who authorities say crashed his car at an intersection while fleeing police, killing a 3-year-old and injuring four other people faces charges.    Eighteen-year-old Zekhi Lee was charged Wednesday with first-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility in connection with the Tuesday afternoon crash. He's being held on $1.2 million bail.

    >>

     WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A teenage driver who authorities say crashed his car at an intersection while fleeing police, killing a 3-year-old and injuring four other people faces charges.    Eighteen-year-old Zekhi Lee was charged Wednesday with first-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility in connection with the Tuesday afternoon crash. He's being held on $1.2 million bail.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/