News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $500,000 in a Senate spending bill for new technology equipment and services for Spokane law enforcement. The funding that Senator Murray secured can be used for intelligence and information sharing, wireless network expansion, or mobile computers for officers.

"These days, first-rate police work and first-rate technology go hand in hand," said Senator Murray.
"Spokane understands that and that's why they've developed an information sharing system that provides officers with maps, photos and crime tracking information. This funding will give officers in more rural regions access to that system so that they can better protect their communities."

"I cannot stress enough the importance of this project for the safety of this region," said Anne Kirkpatrick, Chief of Police, Spokane, WA. "The participants in this regional project are taking a systemic approach to the use of intelligence information gathering, analysis and dissemination. With these much needed funds, we will be able to increase the number of participating communities to include wide areas of Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and even into Western Montana. We will also be able to connect and share real time data with our law enforcement counterparts in Western Washington, Oregon and Arizona."

Spokane will be able to utilize the funding Senator Murray included in today's bill for the following:

Mobile Data Computers - To replace aging systems with enhanced mobile data computers that have state-of-the-art digital and video capability.

Regional Wireless System Expansion - To expand the regional wireless network so that more officers in the field can access data via high-speed wireless connections. This will allow transmission of graphical data such as photos, reports and maps. 

Intelligence/Information Sharing - Spokane is the regional hub for public safety intelligence and information sharing serving Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana, and is the site of the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force. Given the need for intelligence and information sharing, 11 agencies in the region have formed a consortium called ARREST, led by the Spokane Police Department.  These agencies include the Spokane Police Department, Cheney Police Department, Medical Lake Police Department, Airway Heights Police Department, Liberty Lake Police Department, Post Falls Police Department, Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff, Bonner County Sheriff, Sandpoint Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff.

This funding provides the opportunity to invest in hardware and software to extend access to Pullman and Clarkston in Washington and Moscow and Lewiston in Idaho to the regional crime database.

The funding was included in the 2009 Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill which passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the Senate floor. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.