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SPD Presentation Raises Questions, Concerns, and Community Discussion.

IMG_9060A recap of INBA’s March Networking Lunch featuring speakers from Spokane Police Department: Assistant Chief Smith, Lieutenant Meidl, and officer Snider.

INBA’s largest lunch attendance in months was also the most engaged. Representatives from SPD covered topics including the use of body cameras, youth programs in Spokane, and the issue of community outreach training within the department.

Questions from the audience posed pointed and challenging questions that led to lots of good discussion afterwards. At least half of the lunch crowd stayed to engage with the speakers to elaborate on certain points or discuss topics that may not have been fully covered.

IMG_9056With the recent surge of community issues involving minority groups, interest in police involvement has skyrocketed. How officers respond to and interact with minority groups in the community remains a high-priority focus.  While the audience’s interest in Department training standards was clearly expressed, A.C. Smith postponed answers on this topic for later in the presentation. However, certain lunch-attendees felt that questions posed to Lt. Meidl on this topic went mostly unanswered.

The lack of direct and insightful answers offered on these topics made some audience members feel that “SPD is not taking ownership of the issues at hand.” Feedback from other members encouraged Spokane Police Department to take a more involved role in the communities that need them most and be proactive in the recruitment and engagement of IMG_9026minority groups.

Although Lt. Meidl and A.C. Smith presented extensive evidence of the groups and activities that SPD has reached out to, the results are elusive. “The proof is in the outcome, not in the activities,” said one lunch attendee. If Spokane Police Department hopes to establish lasting and meaningful connections with the community, it must be prepared to deliver meaningful answers to community concerns.

 Note 3/17: This article represents the views of various audience members who were concerned with the depth of content presented at Wednesday’s luncheon. Inland Northwest Business Alliance supports Spokane Police department in all of its community outreach efforts and continuously provides feedback and dialogue on behalf of the members of our community. INBA seeks to develop a prosperous business community by advocating LGBT and Ally business perspectives while working closely with organizations that actively promote diversity throughout our region.

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