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August 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM
SPOKANE (AP) — The Spokane School Board is deciding Wednesday whether Spokane Public Schools should have its own armed police force as soon as January.
The Spokane School Board is considering whether Spokane Public Schools should have its own armed security force as soon as January.
The Spokesman-Review reports that 13 district employees could start wearing Glock pistols at their sides if the school board approves the proposal. Each high school and middle school would have an armed officer on duty.
District security director Jason Conley said arming school resource officers is one safety measure in response to the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The district also plans more internal door locks in schools.
“It’s those outside threats that are driving us to this next level of safety,” Conley said.
The district’s officers would participate in weapons training at the Spokane Police Academy, which Police Chief Frank Straub says he welcomes. The district’s officers already train with local law enforcement on a regular basis, he said. The difference is now the training will also include firearms.
Straub says he supports the district’s decision to arm the school resource officers, most of whom used to work in law enforcement.
Only a handful of other school districts in the state arm their employees, said Mark Howard, supervisor of security services. Most school districts with armed officers partner with a local police department or sheriff’s office. In those cases, keeping the officers is contingent on the police department’s budget.
“Also, if there was a major police incident, we’d be left vulnerable,” Redinger said. “When they are our employees, we are their first priority.”
The district would have to work with the Spokane Education Association to change the resource officers’ contracts because their work conditions are changing, said Jenny Rose, union president.
May 22, 2013 at 1:04 PM
Seattle police are searching for a man they say fired a shot inside a bank during a robbery in South Seattle early this afternoon.
The robber was described as a 5’2″ black man in his 30′s who was wearing a “curly wig,” black sunglasses, a light brown raincoat and black gloves, according to police. He may have also been wearing black or dark clothes underneath the coat, police said.
The robbery occurred about 12:30 p.m. at the Washington Federal Bank in the 9300 block of Rainier Avenue South.
Witnesses said the man brandished a black gun with a brown handle, police said.
They also told police that they thought the man had thrown a firecracker on the ground before running away south from the bank.
Police said there was no firecracker. Instead, investigators found evidence he had fired the gun.
No one was injured, but the suspect remains at large. Nearby schools were sheltering students in place while he is sought.
April 7, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Bellevue police are asking for your help in tracking down what they believe is a traveling band of armed thieves that hit two homes in the area in one day last month.
They broke into a Renton-area man’s home on March 22 in broad daylight at about 1:30 p.m., just as he was getting home, according to Bellevue police.
The robbers, three of them, threatened and robbed him at gunpoint and took a large amount of gold East Indian jewelry.
Surveillance video showed them getting away in two vehicles, a black GMC Denali and a Silver Nissan Altima. Some witnesses said that the Denali had out-of-state license plates, perhaps from Oregon or Idaho. While the driver of the Altima was not seen, the driver of the Denali was a woman, possibly in her 20s or 30s.
Just a few hours later, a Bellevue woman and her 9-year-old son passed a black GMC Denali driven by a woman. When they got home, they found three men walking out of their home with bags of stolen goods. These thieves are believed to be the same men who had robbed the Renton-area man earlier in the day.
Police have provided this identification information:
- All three men are black and appear to be in their 20s.
- All are Spanish speakers.
- The woman driver, who is white, was driving a newer model black GMC Terrain Denali.
- In both cases, the same method was used to force their way into the homes.
- The robbers appear to have targeted collections of jewelry.
Police say the out-of-state plates, the descriptions of the robbers and the fact that police haven’t had information about this band of thieves in this area before makes authorities believe they are a traveling group of robbers. Police also think they may be staying in motels in the area.
Police would like to know if you have seen this group or anyone matching the descriptions selling jewelry in the area. Police also ask that if you have any other information that might help the investigation to contact Bellevue Police Detective Bean at 425-577-5656 or King County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sampson 206-296-3311.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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