Your city • inside and out

Making Their Case

In Here & Now on February 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

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Entering the Spokane police property warehouse from the street, the aroma of pot is potent. “By the end of the day, I’m a little ‘woooo,’” says Shannon Hallam, facilities manager for the evidence storage building, an aging cinder-block structure tucked into the West Central neighborhood.

There, inside a 17,000 square-foot facility housing 140,000 items of police evidence, confiscated marijuana plants are dried and stored, along with some $2 million-worth of other controlled substances. During a recent media tour of the 60-year-old warehouse, Mayor Mary Verner acknowledged the building’s ventilation could be better. “These are not good working conditions,” she said.

Verner and Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick are drumming up public support to build a new, $11.8 million facility to house the growing inventory of drugs, cars, TVs, weapons, money, DNA and other criminal evidence. Verner says she’s concerned the existing premises are so dilapidated that items could be compromised or destroyed. Verner said she also is concerned for the safety of the seven city employees who work there.

To read more about the proposed police warehouse facility (and to see more eerie photos of the existing one) click here.

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