SPOKANE, Wash. — Anti-terrorism training for police, community assessments of preparedness for homeland security issues and integrity training for law enforcement are some of the projects to receive funding recently, with $750,000 in support coming to Spokane from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

A briefing for media will be held from 10-11 a.m. Monday (Oct. 6) at the WSU Spokane Health Sciences Building, Room 260, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd. to describe the content and impact of these programs and other community policing projects under way.

Participants will include:

  • U.S. Attorney Jim McDevitt;
  • Steven Tomson, former Whitman County Sheriff now with the U.S. Attorney’s office as local law enforcement coordinator;
  • John Goldman, director of the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety at Washington State University Spokane and former Spokane County sheriff;
  • Mike Erp, director of the Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policing at WSU Spokane and former Clarkston police chief;
  • Michael Smith, an associate professor and coordinator of the graduate program in criminal justice at WSU Spokane, and a member of the WRICOPS executive board.

Chief Roger Bragdon, Spokane Police Department, and Sheriff Mark Sterk or a representative will also be available to discuss the impact of these programs in local law enforcement agencies.

Projects funded under this appropriation include:

  • State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) for law enforcement agencies, as one of the Homeland Security projects funded by the grant; training begins October 2003.
  • Community Preparedness Project for Regional Community Policing Institutes: Intended to build on the WRICOPS organizational assessment model developed by WSU researchers to create a national model for small and medium-sized municipalities to assess their level of preparedness related to homeland security issues and help them create a planning tool. Anti-terrorism response is especially challenging for these small agencies.
  • Integrity training curricula for police including ethics for individual officers; early identification and intervention systems that identify patterns of potentially problematic behavior and then conduct appropriate intervention to change behaviors; use of force; and responding to citizen complaints.

Other community policing projects involving the U.S. Attorney’s office and community policing institutes at WSU Spokane include:

  • “Weed & Seed,” a five-year effort to reduce and prevent crime (weed), and improve quality of life and revitalize economic environment (seed), in the Edgecliff community of what is now the city of Spokane Valley. Funds were originally awarded to Spokane County and overseen by the sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE). The Edgecliff Weed and Seed Steering Committee is continuing the project in the city of Spokane Valley.
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods, aimed at eliminating guns on the street that are used in crimes. The project is starting its second year; the first was focused upon setting up the data analysis process and analyzing and interpreting gun crime trend data in Spokane County. During the second year, these efforts will be replicated in the Tri-Cities (Benton and Franklin Counties), and during the third year in Yakima County.

What: Media briefing on federal law enforcement funding and activities
Date: Monday, October 6
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Location: WSU Spokane, Health Sciences Building, Room 260, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd.
Parking note: Please park at meters on east side of building. Note that Riverpoint Blvd. is closed at the west end for street work. From Division Street, continue east on Trent Ave. to the bridge construction site, turn left/north on Riverpoint Blvd., turn left/west into the parking lot and go to the Health Sciences Building at the far west end of the lot. HSB 260 is up one floor from the entrance, across the “catwalk”, and to the left.