House of Charity looking to hire Spokane Police Officers

House of Charity looking to hire Spokane Police Officers

House of Charity is looking to hire Spokane police officers to patrol both inside the shelter and outside.

President of Catholic Charities’ Robert McCann said at about $84 an hour per officer it’s the most expensive protection available, with an estimated total for a year projected at $300,000-but they are the best and it will be worth every penny.

In the past, they’ve hired security firms and their own staff. Now, the plan is for off-duty officers to help House of Charity keep watch over the 400 chronically homeless who come in for help each day. The hope is that they would work during the busiest four to six hours of House of Charity’s day.

Councilman Breean Beggs shared support for the idea after the meeting, stating that when officers are present at House of Charity, people behave more calmly.

“Mostly they are just supposed to be a presence to show that law and order is there and secondly they can intervene quickly if some sort of conflict arises,” said Councilman Beggs.

President of Catholic Charities Robert McCann said in statement to KXLY:

“We have an obligation to serve the homeless. We also have an obligation to be good neighbors and when you have 400 people coming in, many of whom have mental health and addiction issues, sometimes that can be a lively situation on our block and we want to be respectful of our neighbors and hiring the Spokane Police Department is really just the next step in what’s been going on for fifteen years in terms of doing the right thing.”

As of now there is no start date for the officers as talks are still ongoing between the Spokane Police Department and House of Charity.

Looking further ahead, Councilman Beggs said the city is also working on a long-term proposal for five years of funding for homeless services. They want to add an additional three locations, which will spread out the beds and not have so many people concentrated in one area.