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Spokane Top City For Prostitution Last week Local New found out about a new approach to one of the oldest challenges in Spokane, prostitution on Sprague Avenue.

The Spokane City Council is considering an ordinance to tow the vehicles of anyone caught with a prostitute. Citizens Court Watch found out more about where the City got the idea and if it has worked in the past.

Millions of dollars are going to be invested over the next few years along the East Sprague corridor open up to new marijuana shop the city is hoping to east Sprague the top marijuana sell in the state and other projects . However, city leaders said that is not enough to help improve the community. They still need to take on the problem of prostitution and think this new approach is their best bet to make a difference.

East Sprague is often thought of as the part of town where you are most likely find a lady of the night. It is a reputation that many would like to get rid of. However, City leaders said they have to acknowledge it in order to help make it go away.

'If you're soliciting prostitutes, you may think twice if you see a sign that says we're going to impound your car if we catch you," said Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart.

The proposed ordinance only works if the City identifies that part of the city as an area with a high number of prostitutes. The City can then allow police officers to tow someone's car if they are caught in the act.

The ordinance would apply to both the men trying to hire a prostitute and those looking to sell them to other men.

"In every conversation and in every survey, prostitution still comes up as the biggest problem down there," Stuckart explained.

City leaders said Tacoma and Seattle on the west side of the state have created zones labeled for having a lot of prostitutes. However, they are not towing vehicles there.

By classifying neighborhoods as an area with a particular problem, police can try new ways to take on an old issue.

Although the City is not sure if the towing ordinance will work, things they have tried in the past were unsuccessful. For now, this is the best solution City Hall the police department could come up with.

Now, officers can take one more step to stop prostitution without changing their regular approach on the problem.

"This is an extra tool in their tool box, it's not going to make their jobs any harder," Stuckart said.

The City Council reviewed the ordinance Monday and will vote on it next week. We could see the policy in place in a few months.

Now that the city of Spokane is cracking down No More Free Blow Jobs for City Officials !

Traveling Prostitutes Cited Ugly Spokane Competition A group of traveling prostitutes suspected of settling in Spokane told police they were making good money here because the local competition is so ugly.

One woman is in custody and other arrests are possible as part of an ongoing investigation into a 36-year-old California man who investigators believe has been brokering sex deals while living out of motels in Portland, Seattle and Spokane. Two motel rooms in Spokane were searched this week.

Shaquisha L. Jenkins, 22, was arrested on a misdemeanor prostitution charge Tuesday when the Spokane Regional Gang Task Force searched rooms at the Stratford Suites, 11808 W. Centre Lane in Airway Heights, and the Bel Air Motel, 1303 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane.

A Spokane police officer contacted Jenkins and an 18-year-old woman on East Sprague Avenue Jan. 31 and was told “that because there is a lack of attractive prostitutes in the area, they are able to make fairly good money,” according to court documents.

Other officers were familiar with Jenkins - one contacted her Jan. 2 as she stood on Sprague - an area notorious for prostitution - with two other women.

An officer said the women told him they were prostitutes from California who traveled to Spokane via Seattle. Then on Jan. 4, another officer responding to a report of possible prostitution near Sprague and Helena contacted one of the same women, who said she lived in Seattle but “was unable to provide a legitimate reason for being in Spokane,” documents say.

The same officer contacted Jenkins on Jan. 16 after observing her in the Sprague Avenue area for several weeks. He said Jenkins said she was working as a prostitute and had been in Spokane for about a month.

The case began to center on the motels when the owner of the Stratford Suites, Jack Grady, told Airway Heights police he suspected a group of long-term guests were involved with criminal activity. A detective searched the registered renter’s phone number on the Internet and discovered it had been used by female escort services in San Diego, Portland and Fresno.

Task force members started watching the Bel Air Motel and observed several incidents of suspected prostitution.

Then Airway Heights police contacted Jenkins, her suspected pimp and the 18-year-old woman while responding to a possible domestic violence call at the Stratford Suites Feb. 7 about 3 a.m. Officers said they found “crib notes for prostitution” that included phone numbers, names and suspected debt lists.

Hours later, a judge granted the task force permission to search the room and the suspects’ room at the Bel Air Motel.

Jenkins, who remained in jail on $500 bond Thursday, was the only suspect arrested; police say more arrests could occur as the investigation continues.

East Sprague Avenue’s reputation as Spokane’s seedy red-light district could change, if the City Council approves a new law allowing police to impound vehicles used for activities related to prostitution.

The expanded authority is specific to the area surrounding East Sprague, which has many more prostitution-related calls and incidents than any other part of the city. Officers will be allowed to seize the vehicle of someone arrested for patronizing a prostitute or promoting prostitution. On top of costs associated with impoundment, towing and storing the vehicle, according to state law, violators could be fined $500 – or $2,500 if the prostitute is a minor.

The council will vote on the new law Jan. 12.

Councilman Jon Snyder, who chairs the city’s Public Safety Committee, said police “are actually pretty limited” in their abilities to arrest people soliciting prostitutes.

“We almost have to catch things in the act,” he said. “The normal process for getting a john’s car impounded is pretty hard to do. Multiple circumstances have to be met for that to happen.”

Still, when the police department pulled prostitution-related statistics and plotted them on a map, Sprague Avenue glowed, from the East Central neighborhood into downtown. Council documents say the issue “continues to plague” the area.

“No surprise, this is an area that has a problem,” Snyder said.

According to a report by Tom Michaud, a crime analyst with Spokane police, the Sprague area had 41 “prostitution incidents” in the last five years. Citywide, including Sprague, there were 105 such incidents in the same time period.

East Sprague also had many more prostitution-related calls for service, which don’t necessarily lead to arrest or contact with a suspect, during the same five-year span. With 317, East Sprague accounted for almost half of all such calls citywide.

The area affected by the proposed change in law in the East Central neighborhood is between the Hamilton Street overpass and Fiske Street, and the railroad tracks and Interstate 90. State law requires the city to post signs declaring the area as one of “high prostitution activity.”

Deanna Hanley, president of the East Sprague Business Association, said business owners in the area are excited about changes in the area – including big investments from the city and the recent upgrades to what is now called Playfair Commerce Park. Prostitution, however, remains a problem.

“We can’t seem to eradicate it. It just is so prevalent. It’s always there,” Hanley said.

The $32 million in proposed East Sprague to open up new legalizes marijuana shop  city hoping to east Sprague the top marijuana sell in the state and other projects by the city in the next few years should help “make them shy away from the area,” said Jack Strong, who moved his computer business, Strong Solutions, to East Sprague six years ago.

“Especially as the weather warms up, we do see it,” he said. “The busier the street is, the more they stay on the outskirts, which is part of the reason why we’re trying to improve the area.”

Hanley said many business owners believe Spokane residents aren’t the problem.

“A lot of the johns are from out of town,” she said. “We see a lot of Idaho plates.”

Snyder echoed Hanley, noting that the policy change is “focused on the johns and customers of prostitution.”

“It’s not necessarily just the residents of town. I’ve seen trucks that looked like they just pulled off the freeway,” said Snyder, who had an office on the street when he was the publisher of a local outdoor magazine.

Monique Cotton, police spokeswoman, couldn’t confirm that most people patronizing a prostitute on East Sprague aren’t from Spokane, but she didn’t dismiss it either, especially considering the anecdotes came from those who work there.

“Neighbors are our eyes and ears. They can report an incident so we can effectively respond,” she said, adding that the problem can only be effectively addressed by a “coordinated community effort.”

“This (new law) will make it a little more difficult for someone,” she said. “If individuals are aware that there is the possibility of getting their car towed, they will not engage in this behavior.”

Cotton said the project was beginning in a targeted area because it has the most severe problem, but it could become a citywide enforcement tool.

“We’re starting small,” she said. “This could be a much larger initiative if we have the support of the community and support of the council.”

Snyder said council members are considering expanding the impoundment provision.

“When we have a new policy, we need to pilot it somewhere,” Snyder said. “Then we can look at expanding it.”

Six arrests made in prostitution sting Contact: Ofc. Brian Eckersley, 509.209.7187

Incident Number: 09-131161

Spokane Police Officers conducted a plain-clothes special to enforce the prostitution laws. Male Officers posing as potential customers contacted known female prostitutes in the east Sprague area between Division and Freya. Within just two hours they were able to make six arrests for prostitution. In each case, the females solicited sexual services in exchange for money. Those arrested for the charge of prostitution were: Laurie A. Bazemore, 06-16-61 Aubrey L. Shults, 06-14-75 Arwen K. Stepak, 08-13-70 Kimberly Jo Allen, 03-20-65 Lisa M. Gomez 03-31-79 Deborah D. Dempsey, 02-09-71

Prostitution Sting Yields Several Arrests For SPDContact: Cpl. Tracie Meidl, 509.209.7185

The Spokane Police Department conducted a prostitution sting for six hours on Friday, 8-28-09. The area of focus stretched from Downtown Spokane to East Sprague. Two female police officers posed as prostitutes and made a total of ten arrests.

This list contains the subject arrested, their age, and what they were arrested for: Brett D. Schmahl, 35 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Billy J. Bornstein, 31 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Randy A. Ingraham, 46 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Lawrence Lee, 23 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Timothy J. Lanway, 54 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Rand J. Anderson, 60 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute Kalkidan Y. Kebede, 25 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute David A. Anderson, 56 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute and an unrelated Arrest Warrant Angel G. Romero, 39 years old - City Assault Norman D. Carroll, 67 years old - Patronizing a Prostitute and City Assault

The Spokane Police Department is focused on reducing the crime of Prostitution because it often leads to other crimes. These include but are not limited to Thefts, Assaults, Rapes, Robberies, and the Use/Sell of Drugs. Undercover operations will continue until crime trends are reduced.

New legal problems for a Spokane Valley woman caught up in a prostitution raid known as “Operation Red Light.”

More than a dozen people were arrested back in the summer of 2012 after Airway Heights Police confirmed most of Spokane's Asian spas were actually brothels.

Brandy Birkland, 36, is suspected of selling sex out of her Trent Avenue massage parlor. After the raids and her arrest, she hired an attorney but left the area and failed to enter any type of plea negotiation with her lawyer. 

So, when Airway Heights Police learned Birkland was back in town from Arizona, they got a warrant and arrested her Thursday night.

The case against Birkland got its start in April of 2012 when a female informant went to her spa looking for a job and was told she would be expected to have sex with her massage customers for $100 to $200 an hour. 

She was told to do “heat checks” and that if the John didn't take all his clothes of he was probably an undercover cop. 

All of the other defendants in the sting, known as Operation Red Light, have entered plea negotiations and their cases will be wrapped up shortly.

Her defense attorney, Travis Jones, says Birkland was never formally charged and she didn't see the need to meet with prosecutors.

“Also, Miss Birkland did, while she was waiting for this to be filed, kept checking in to see whether there was a report, if there had been information filed, and nothing had until yesterday,” Jones said. 

Birkland was originally booked on Promoting Prostitution and Money Laundering charges. Thursday night, she was booked on Leading Organized Crime.  

Prostitution sting nets 21 arrests Oct 21, 2008 10:22 PM PDT Spokane, Wash. - Spokane police say that several officers joined forces and made numerous arrests to try and curb the prostitution occurring in the City of Spokane Tuesday.  After several businesses complained about prostitution in the East Central area, Neighborhood Resource Officer Strassenberg came up with a plan.

For about five hours Tuesday, officers were out posing as prostitutes and as patrons of prostitutes.  Officers Strassenberg and seven other officers from the Spokane Police Department conducted the special enforcement which resulted in the following charges:Loitering for the Purpose of Prostitution-4 arrests Patronizing a Prostitute-6 arrests Felony Drug Offense-1 arrest Misdemeanor Drug Offense-3 arrests Drug Paraphernalia-3 arrests Warrants-4 arrests

Corporal Tacie Meidl said, "The arrests today verified that prostitution is a crime that leads to a larger problem of drug use.  It is commonly known that drug use leads to the majority of property crimes in our city, which has been on the rise". 

The toughest criminal charges to date in a multiagency prostitution sting have been filed against the owner of an alleged Spokane Valley brothel, almost two years after “Operation Red Light” began.

Brandy Birkland, 34, former co-owner of Montana’s spa on East Trent Avenue, was booked into Spokane County Jail on Thursday. Police arrested her after prosecutors, looking to wrap up the long-running case, were unable to contact her, according to investigators.

Birkland faces a charge of leading organized crime, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. She previously was arrested on lesser charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering.

Montana’s was one of eight alleged Spokane brothels raided in July 2012, a multiagency bust of businesses catering to pay-for-sex customers that started after complaints from Northern Quest Casino employees.

The investigation was launched by the Airway Heights Police Department, which began recruiting suspected prostitutes as confidential informants to go after the ringleaders of the alleged racket. Airway Heights Police Detective Kelly Justice said Friday that Birkland was arrested because prosecutors hadn’t heard from her as investigators look to wrap up legal action against the businesses within the next month.

“This thing should be coming to a close relatively soon, with either charges and/or pleas,” Justice said.

An informant working for the department applied for a job at Montana’s in April 2012, according to court documents. When asked by a manager, identified as “Jewell,” whether she’d worked in a spa before, the informant replied only that she’d received work through an online website known by police as a bulletin board for solicitations.

“Well, you know what goes on here,” the manager told the informant in reply, according to court documents. A subsequent police search of the business by Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies revealed condoms and other items thought to have been used in promoting prostitution.

Law enforcement agents from the Kalispel Tribal Public Safety Department, Department of Homeland Security and Washington state Gambling Commission also assisted in the raids.

Birkland’s business associate, Mikal Chandler, remains at large but is also wanted, Justice said. The legal process has stretched into another year, raising red flags about defendants who have gone off the radar, he added.

“That’s the concern, whenever you go into a lengthy investigation like this,” Justice said.

Birkland was granted monitored release without bail by a Spokane County judge Friday. Her attorney dismissed notions Birkland had failed to remain in contact with prosecutors and said his client delivered a child two weeks ago.

Spokane Police sergeant resigned after having sex while on duty, report says 03/13 /2014

Spokane Police Sgt. Chet Gilmore had sex while on duty with a woman he met at church, according to police internal affairs investigation records.

Gilmore resigned from the department on March 3 after having been placed on paid administrative leave at the end of January. At the time of his resignation he was working in the Special Victims Unit.

The investigation, released through a public records request, found that Gilmore and the woman had sex while he was on duty on at least three occasions in December. Two of the encounters occurred in his home. In addition, they had sex in an unmarked Spokane Police vehicle in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby while Gilmore was on duty, the records say.

The affair came to light when the woman’s husband became suspicious and confronted her. The husband informed police.

The report says that the two exchanged text messages from late October until December 9. “These often are exchanged every few minutes,” it says, including “an enormous amount of texts” during Gilmore’s work hours.

The report concludes that Gilmore had sex while on duty and solicited sex while on duty, both violations of department policy. “The allegation of conduct unbecoming a Spokane Police Officer, Canon 4/Standard 4.9, is unquestionablesustained,” the report concluded.Sgt. Dave Staben authored the report.

Gilmore and the woman met at Turning Point Open Bible church and had acted in plays there together, she told investigators.

She said her husband initially wasn’t going to tell police about the affair, but he ran into “a Captain he knows” and told that officer about it.

In his interview with investigators, Gilmore said he had been a member of the Spokane Police Department for 25 years.

He acknowledged that as a supervisor, he would view behavior like his as “abominable.”

When the department announced his resignation, a news release said only that he had been under investigation for a non-criminal matter.

“Spokane Police Department employees, both civilian and commissioned, are held to a high standard of behavior,” the news release said. “Misconduct will not be tolerated as the Spokane Police Department works to reduce crime and protect the community we serve.”

Spokane deputy fired for having on-duty sex  08 / 16 / 2013 A Spokane County sheriff’s deputy caught having sex on duty is now out of a job.

Deputy Scott Kenoyer was fired Thursday by Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich after an internal investigation revealed Kenoyer had sex, while on duty, with the same woman linked to a Spokane police officer who resigned in June.

The Sheriff’s Office discovered evidence of a relationship between Kenoyer and the woman while investigating the case involving Spokane police Officer Jeff Graves, according to a news release. The woman alleged Graves was stalking and harassing her after they met on Facebook and had sex. Graves was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing but resigned his position.

When investigators approached Kenoyer, he admitted to having sex with the woman, according to the release.

“He was honest, he was straightforward,” Knezovich said. “This was sex on duty, and you just don’t do that.”

Knezovich offered Kenoyer a last-chance agreement, saying he would be terminated but reinstated under strict guidelines. Kenoyer and the Deputy Sheriffs Association objected to the use of the word “termination,” in the agreement, so he was fired permanently, the department said.

“This was a very harsh last-chance agreement,” Knezovich said. “Let’s face it, it’s sex on duty.”

The relationship between Kenoyer and the woman occurred around the same time as Graves’ relationship with her occurred, Knezovich said.

Knezovich said this does not change anything about the Graves investigation.

“We couldn’t find any direct relation other than they dated the same person,” Knezovich said.

Kenoyer began working for Spokane County in 1998, when he was assigned to the jail. In 2002, he joined the Sheriff’s Office, working as a graveyard patrol deputy for five years before being shifted to East Valley High School, where he worked as a resource officer. At the time of his resignation, Kenoyer was working as a patrol deputy, Knezovich said.

Since he took office in 2006, Knezovich has fired or forced the resignation of at least 48 employees, including eight commissioned deputies, according to news reports.

Kenoyer is the second Sheriff’s Office employee to leave this week. Detective Dale Toliver resigned effective today after he was arrested on suspicion of striking his girlfriend and another man at a party near Odessa, Wash.

If your a sheriff and you break the rules like having sex on duty while being paid you get fired. I have no problem and support that action. However if your a Spokane Police Officer you can beat, choke and kill and unarmed disabled man. You will not be fired, you will receive help to cover up the crime by fellow officers and supervisors. If you are brought in to court kicking and screaming and found guilty your fellow officers will stand and salute you in front of the family of your victim. Stay classy Spokane

Check the SOP of all departments, it is covered under the "morals charges" and wasting and abusing your status as an officer. If you work at 7-11 and are tapping a customer in the freezer, you deserve to be fired.

I would be much more critical of any LEO who is dishonest when dealing with the public face to face,, committing perjury on the Stand, withholding evidence in an investigation, refusing to arrest someone because of their "social status", (Mayor, etc.. for example) or a pet peeve being "badge heavy" when dealing with people face to face.

I've personally seen a couple of LEO's (both WSP troopers) who lied to me who knew, I knew they were lying and I called them both on their "integrity". Once was before even getting to court,, where the Judge dismissed the case before any trial.
The other scenario Trooper got befuddled and not being able to lie his way out of his original lie, simply refused to issue me a ticket.

Sheriff issues memo addressing arbitrator sex-on-duty ruling 06 / 04 / 2014 + Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich released an internal memo this week reiterating that employees who violate office policies forbidding sex while on duty and falsifying official reports may be fired.

Knezovich wrote that “sex on duty is a breach of not only the public trust but also it is a breach of our code of ethics, core values, officer safety, etc.” in the memo released to media outlets Wednesday. He also said providing false reports of any kind “will not be tolerated.”

The memo was prompted by a state arbitrator’s decision to reinstate Deputy Scott Kenoyer last month. Kenoyer admitted in August 2013 to having sex with a woman while on duty, and Knezovich also determined that Kenoyer lied about his actions to dispatchers.

Knezovich fired Kenoyer after an investigation, which the deputy appealed. A state arbitrator from the Public Employment Relations Commission, Starr Knutson, reinstated Kenoyer last month on a probationary basis following a grievance hearing.

Knezovich says in the memo he does not want that decision to “be seen as precedent setting.”

“I know and understand that the vast majority of you do not think this type of conduct should be tolerated at our agency,” Knezovich wrote in the memo, which can be read in its entirety here.

Arbitrator reinstates deputy who had sex while on duty A Spokane sheriff’s deputy fired for having sex on duty has been reinstated by a state arbitrator.

Deputy Scott Kenoyer will have to sign a last-chance disciplinary agreement to get his job back along with back pay. The agreement will essentially put him on probation for two years, during which time he could be fired if he has any new disciplinary problems.

The discipline includes a 60-day suspension without pay.

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich dismissed Kenoyer in August 2013 after he admitted having sex with a woman while on duty earlier that year. He initially told Knezovich that he was on break, but the sheriff later discovered that Kenoyer had told dispatchers he was on a citizen contact.

Knezovich offered Kenoyer a last-chance agreement that called for his termination and then immediate reinstatement on a five-year probationary period.

Kenoyer declined the offer from Knezovich and was fired. He appealed to the state Public Employment Relations Commission, which sent an arbitrator based in Hawaii to Spokane for the grievance hearing.

Arbitrator Starr Knutson said Kenoyer had a clean record in his 15 years on the force and was truthful when confronted about the incident.

“The grievant expressed remorse over his actions several times,” Knutson said in her decision.

“Contrary to the employer’s assertions, I believe that the grievant’s clean record and the sheriff’s willingness to offer the grievant an opportunity to correct his behavior indicate that the grievant is capable of being rehabilitated,” Knutson said.

The arbitrator also rejected as flawed the county’s offer of a last-chance agreement following termination and reinstatement.

The arbitrator acknowledged two other Spokane cases in which deputies were fired for sex on duty. One involved a minor and another involved exposure of genitalia at a drive-up coffee stand in Airway Heights.

“I do not believe this case involved misconduct of a similar level; this instance took place in a private residence with a woman who admitted dating the grievant,” Knutson wrote.

The decision was issued May 15.

On Friday, Knezovich said that having sex on duty is a serious violation. Deputies must be available during their shifts to respond to life-threatening emergencies at a moment’s notice, he said.

“I find it very disturbing that sex on duty is OK as long as no one sees it,” Knezovich said.

The incident came to light during an investigation of a Spokane police officer suspected of stalking and harassing the same woman. The police officer, Jeff Graves, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing, but he subsequently resigned. The woman told investigators in the Graves case that Kenoyer went to her home and solicited oral sex. She also said that they had a dating relationship and that Kenoyer would get her drunk and then they would have sex.

Knezovich is facing fellow Republican Douglas Orr in this fall’s election.

Orr noted that the sheriff had initially sought a 60-day suspension and last-chance agreement, which was the appropriate discipline for the case.

“I agree with the sheriff,” Orr said.

Knezovich said Friday he believes firing is the appropriate discipline.

Knezovich has lost two other grievances that resulted in a deputy and a jailer getting their jobs back after being fired despite evidence they had violated the law. The sheriff has unsuccessfully sought legislation to limit arbitrators’ ability to reinstate officers.

Deputy Walter Loucks, president of the Spokane County Deputy Sheriffs Association, said he had expected Kenoyer to win his appeal to the Public Employment Relations Commission. Loucks pointed out that the woman involved in the incident declined to be interviewed by investigators, leaving the sheriff without a strong case.

The county was charged $3,600 for the arbitrator’s work and travel expenses in the Kenoyer case.

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