Local Law Enforcement Stretched Thin - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local Law Enforcement Stretched Thin

Resources are stretched so thin for both the Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office that Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says staffing levels are close to a public safety emergency level.

Sheriff Knezovich told KHQ there are not enough officers to cover all of the calls for service and with the events of the week, officers are working a lot of overtime.

"Our major crimes unit, some of those folks have not had a day off in almost a month and some of them have been running anywhere from 16 to 20 hour days," Sheriff Knezovich said.

The week started with a SWAT situation near the 600 block of South Arthur Street, at a home where bank robbery suspect Scott Ruziecki was taken into custody. From there, Spokane Police have had an officer involved shooting, a stabbing in downtown Spokane, and the beating death of 89-year-old Delbert Belton.

"Those type of weeks happen," Sheriff Knezovich said. "It really is cyclical, the problem is, it's becoming more and more the trend."

Then on Friday, both SWAT teams from the city and county were called in to deal with the events at Double Eagle Pawn.

"A lot of overtime went into this week," Sheriff Knezovich said. "With the events of today, we started calling in off duty officers to help fill, back fill for the void that was being made by the city's hostage situation."

While all of those events were happening, deputies still have other cases to deal with.

"The problem is, we're really not handling everything," Sheriff Knezovich said. "When we have major issues like this, we get tied up on those and there are cases that are not being worked right now."

Sheriff Knezovich says that although the city and county work well together when big incidents like Friday's standoff occur, the department is severely understaffed and Spokane does not have enough law enforcement officers on the streets.

"That means the deputies and officers are doing a lot of work and they're trying to keep our crime in check," Sheriff Knezovich said. "The problem is, there's just not enough of them to do the job and they're starting to burn out."

However, even if they are burnt out, there is no time to stop.

"When you have an incident like that there's no just shutting down, you have to keep moving forward," Sheriff Knezovich said.

Both the city and county are currently hiring. However, Sheriff Knezovich says it is time to look at staffing levels and add more money to the budget, so they can get to a point where they do not need to call in officers off duty to cover incidents like Friday's SWAT situation.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    US Army Officer from Spokane killed in helicopter crash in Iraq

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 1:14 PM EDT2018-08-21 17:14:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Department of Defense identified the man who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as 34-year-old Taylor Galvin from Spokane. The DOD says Chief Warrant Officer 3 Taylor J. Galvin died as a result of injuries sustained when his helicopter crash in Sinjar, Ninevah Province, Iraq on Monday. The crash is still under investigation. 

    >>
  • One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    One killed, neighbors lose everything in Spokane Valley condo fire

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-21 06:10:55 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.- Spokane Valley firefighters say a condo fire that happened Sunday night killed one person and destroyed at least nine units at the Central Park Condominiums off of 6th Avenue. Billowing smoke and flames was all anyone could see. "It's hard and it all happened so sudden. Within two minutes, everything gets taken away from you. 

    >>
  • DEVELOPING: Hammer Kills Woman In N. Idaho; 3 Others Hurt

    DEVELOPING: Hammer Kills Woman In N. Idaho; 3 Others Hurt

    BAYVIEW, Idaho - A woman is dead and two others remain in serious condition after a man armed with a hammer attacked their family in their Bayview home Sunday afternoon.>>
    BAYVIEW, Idaho - A woman is dead and two others remain in serious condition after a man armed with a hammer attacked their family in their Bayview home Sunday afternoon.>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Spokane Public Schools tightens asthma rules, requires students to submit paperwork

    Spokane Public Schools tightens asthma rules, requires students to submit paperwork

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 3:04 PM EDT2018-08-21 19:04:35 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Public Schools is now enforcing a state law requirement regarding children with asthma. State law requires the district have a signed Asthma Care Plan and Medication Order on file, updated by a health care provider each year. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Public Schools is now enforcing a state law requirement regarding children with asthma. State law requires the district have a signed Asthma Care Plan and Medication Order on file, updated by a health care provider each year. 

    >>
  • Olive Garden "Never Ending Pasta Passes" are back

    Olive Garden "Never Ending Pasta Passes" are back

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 3:03 PM EDT2018-08-21 19:03:15 GMT

    Olive Garden's coveted "Never Ending Pasta Passes" will once again be available for purchase on August 23rd.  Along with a new, more gluttonous version that will be good for an entire year.  In addition to the 23,000 eight-week passes available this year, Olive Garden is offering 1,000 annual pasta passes.  The annual pasta passes will cost a little more than the normal Never Ending Pasta Passes, $300 as compared to the original's $100. 

    >>

    Olive Garden's coveted "Never Ending Pasta Passes" will once again be available for purchase on August 23rd.  Along with a new, more gluttonous version that will be good for an entire year.  In addition to the 23,000 eight-week passes available this year, Olive Garden is offering 1,000 annual pasta passes.  The annual pasta passes will cost a little more than the normal Never Ending Pasta Passes, $300 as compared to the original's $100. 

    >>
  • FDA extends expiration dates on some EpiPens by four months

    FDA extends expiration dates on some EpiPens by four months

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 2:47 PM EDT2018-08-21 18:47:00 GMT

    WASHINGTON - The FDA is extending the expiration dates for some EpiPens by four months. The decision comes in the midst of a national shortage of the life-saving allergy drugs. The extensions apply to the .3 milligram dose of EpiPen and its authorized generic with expiration dates between April and December of 2018. It does not apply to EpiPen Junior, which is used for kids weighing between 33 and 66 pounds. 

    >>

    WASHINGTON - The FDA is extending the expiration dates for some EpiPens by four months. The decision comes in the midst of a national shortage of the life-saving allergy drugs. The extensions apply to the .3 milligram dose of EpiPen and its authorized generic with expiration dates between April and December of 2018. It does not apply to EpiPen Junior, which is used for kids weighing between 33 and 66 pounds. 

    >>