Spokane Valley deputies help respond to Tuesday's shooting | Crime
Answering the call of their down comrades, local law enforcement raced to the edge of Spokane County to assist any way they could. By seeing the amount of patrol vehicles veering through Spokane streets, you’d think the remaining streets were police free, but not in Spokane Valley.
The chief of police, Rick VanLeuven says many of his men left to respond to Tuesday’s shooting of two deputies shot by Charlie Wallace, including himself. They had to drive about 19 miles to get to the first location of the incident at Highway 365 and Elm. Meanwhile, VanLeuven left his number two man in charge, the precinct manager.
“This is a critical incident, the worse that you can get - multiple deputies shot and down,” VanLeuven explained. “I had our precinct manager stay behind to handle all our incidents that could occur in Spokane Valley.”
Because the Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services to Spokane Valley since 2003, all the officers are actually deputies. Mutual aid agreements mean they’ll offer their assistance when needed.
“What happened on Tuesday when that info went down that an officer was shot and they’re down... almost every agency within Spokane County, all law enforcement in Spokane County, both state and federal, will respond to help with every way they can,” VanLeuven said.
They had six of their property crime detectives respond to the shooting along with some supervisors. Any patrol deputies that were not currently on a call responded as well. When VanLeuven arrived to the scene in north Spokane County, he started handling things at the command post to help secure the suspect, Charlie Wallace.
“We had seven on-going scenes and they kept coming out one right after the other. That drains our resources. We’re very fortunate that the different agencies that came into help were able to come to our aid,” VanLeuven described. “There was an immense amount of tasks that needed to be done quickly. To the general public it looked like chaos, but once we get there and get organized, we have a protocol we utilize that the general public doesn’t get to see because they see everyone run around. We have a flow of organization we use to get all our tasks done.”
When Spokane Valley was the site of major incidents in the past, surrounding agencies came to their call. As events develop, it changes the prioritization of call response. Tuesday’s shooting was the priority which took away some resources, but they were able to maintain their precinct.