Of course, there is no way of telling whether or not the data Chief Meidl provided the public is accurate without an audit, so we have to take a look at what he did provide.
As you can see Chief Meidl stated that in 2022 SPD Officers responded in person to almost 100,000 calls he went on to state that that was an average of 273 incidents each day, which if my math is correct correlates to an average of approximately twelve incidents per hour in a 24-hour period.
Obviously over a 24-hour period some shifts will have more incidents per hour and other shifts perhaps less, so as a rule of thumb when doing a staffing analysis you use the data to identify where the most patrol staffing is needed.
Getting actual staffing levels for the various units within SPD is nearly impossible today and SPD quit doing an Organization Chart years ago so one can’t really make a good quality judgement on whether or not Patrol Division is properly staffed to deal with calls for service, but the common complaint I hear from SPD Officers is Patrol Division is not properly staffed and there are all kinds of specialty units using Patrol Officers which takes away from the patrol function.
The last time any real analysis of SPD was done was in 2006 by the Matrix Corporation which wasn’t at all complimentary and the City Administration at the time did everything they could to hide it from the public, but my old friend Bill Morlin (RIP) managed to get a copy and sent it to me so I could take a look and provide my perspective.
Going back and reviewing the SPD portion of Matrix Report I find some interesting comparisons with the data disseminated in “Meidl’s Minute.” In 2005 (data collection period) the population in the City of Spokane was approximately 198,300 and as you can see from the images below the Patrol staffing level was 199 sworn plus support staff.
The population of Spokane today is around 295,000. Back in 2005 SPD averaged 175 CFS per day or approximately 7.3 per hour. Based upon the Meidl’s Minute data that would demonstrate an increase of 98 CFS and an increase of around 5 CFS per hour between 2005 and 2022, which I think is kind of interesting.
You can review the entire SPD portion of the Matrix Report at this link.