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>>

  • Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:34 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:34:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>
  • Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:37 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:37:31 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>
  • Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:16:06 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/