Funds allocated to fight Spokane property crime - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Funds allocated to fight Spokane property crime

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$300,000 of the Washington state budget was allocated to help fight what one state senator called "the epidemic of property crime here in Spokane." $300,000 of the Washington state budget was allocated to help fight what one state senator called "the epidemic of property crime here in Spokane."
SPOKANE, Wash. -

$300,000 of the Washington state budget was allocated to help fight what one state senator called "the epidemic of property crime here in Spokane." 

It's been a huge issue with Spokane ranked among the top in the nation for vehicle theft in 2014 and it seems to be growing. 

Senator Michael Baumgartner (R) says these were his first efforts to the legislature about local property crime. 

"We have a property crime surge in Spokane and it's time to get serious about it," said Sen. Baumgartner.  

The Senator says the problem has gotten so bad that he felt the need to give additional resources to improve the problem.  The funding willl be divided between the city, county and Spokane Valley, each receiving $100,000.   

$60,000 will be used to hire an advertising firm to coordinate media buys to promote crime reduction through education.

$90,000 wil be used to advance the hardware and software for already existing automated license plate readers.

$135,000 will be devoted to county-wide property crimes task force and neighborhood canvas efforts.

But the money only goes so far.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl say there is a problem with the legal system, including the fact that Washington is the only state in the nation that doesn't supervise property crime offenders after they're released from prison.

Sheriff Knezovich and Chief Meidl are also calling for longer sentences for repeat offenders.

Both also say there needs to be more drug and alcohol treatment centers that will continue to work with offenders.

The Spokane Police Department and the Sheriff's Office are forming a Vehicle Theft Task Force to help fight the problem.

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