SPOKANE, WA. — The Spokane City Council approved two resolutions to relocate a police station to Sprague in the East Central District.
The resolutions were approved by two votes of 4 to 2. They were co-sponsored by Council President Brian Beggs and Council Member Betsy Wilkerson.
It comes after Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward moved the officers to the old space of the former East Central Library, which was met with criticism from city council members who believed the site would be better in another part of the district.
READ: “Where’s the transparency?” Mayor, Council at opposite ends of the new East Central Police Station
The first resolution determined the process of attracting the public and the terms of leasing the building of the former Eastern Central Library. The second resolution, no later than January 1, approved the new location of the site, namely the East Prague corridor.
“Under these proposals, the East Central neighborhood could get a medical or psychiatric clinic on the community center campus AND a new police station in a high-crime area of the neighborhood that needs it,” said Council President Brian Beggs.
Councilman Wilkerson was the first to suggest moving to Sprague.
“This starts the process of engaging people who live in East Central,” said Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson. “It gives our community an opportunity to possibly have a medical clinic and a police station; both are very necessary.”
The public equally pushed for both sides of the resolutions, as some felt that the East Central Library was a good place for the plot.
“I am asking you to leave the police station and the police store in the library on 5th Avenue. It just makes sense to keep it there for ease of access to the community,” said East Central District Councilor Debbie Ryan.
Councilors Michael Cathcart and Jonathan Bingle were the ones who voted against the resolutions.
“I think it’s pretty eloquent, not giving people options, the answers that came in were we’d like police and we’d like precincts,” Bingle said.
“If it’s said immediately, if it’s said tomorrow, we’ll have a police station, tomorrow we’re buying a building? Yes, sure, fine, I’m agnostic, but we don’t have the money and the time, so I can’t support it,” Cathcart said.
With several medical facilities expressing interest in the former East Central Library, Beggs proposed a solution to have both.
“We can use the rent that we’re going to charge for the social services or the medical clinic on East Sprague, and it’s probably going to be cheaper than the rent on East Sprague because it’s smaller, so you get two for one,” he said. I said
Next week, the council plans to vote on an emergency ordinance to make sure all major city infrastructure goes through the city council, including police stations.
Police officers at the East Central Library site will relocate once the City Council selects a suitable location on the East Sprague Corridor.
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