Spokane police officers feel like targets

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by KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on November 30, 2009 at 9:55 PM

SPOKANE-- Officers statewide aren’t hiding the fact they do feel like targets, even in Spokane.

Now Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick has taken quick actions to keep her officers safe.

Almost immediately after Chief Kirkpatrick heard about the shootings Sunday morning, she sent out an email to the Mayor and her own officers. It told them about the four officers appeared to have been ambushed. To prevent something similar from happening to her staff, the chief told police to change certain procedures they may just take for granted.

She doesn’t want officers doing paperwork anymore in their patrol car, which is a pretty common practice since their vehicles are equipped with laptops. She also does not want her officers taking breaks by themselves anymore. For instance sitting at a coffee shop without another officer whose sole responsibility is to be a lookout.

Chief Kirkpatrick says she hopes this defensive mindset is only temporary. She admits these changes may slow down productivity, but says safety comes first, both for her officers and the public they are trying to protect. 

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