House of Charity, Spokane Police exploring agreement for specialized patrols

House of Charity, Spokane Police exploring agreement for specialized patrols
Spokane Police, Catholic Charities looking into agreement to provide specialized police patrols to the shelter

The Spokane City Council will consider Monday an agreement to provide specialized patrols in the area around the House of Charity shelter.

According to a proposed Memorandum of Agreement, Spokane Police would staff two officers at the shelter from noon to 8:00 pm every day in an effort to “deter illegal activity in an area of high pedestrian activity in downtown Spokane.”

The agreement, scheduled to be considered by the council Monday, says the city would collect $374,000 from Catholic Charities of Spokane, which operates the House of Charity.

The agreement would include patrols of the two blocks surrounding the shelter, providing security at bed check-in and doing a neighborhood walk at least once an hour.

The agreement also states SPD officers will “help patrol the neighborhood as part of the effort to prevent property crime, vandalism and/or graffiti.”

SPD officers would assist the staff with the de-escalation of verbal or physical altercations inside the House of Charity.

The proposed agreement states the agreement would last until December 31, 2020 and can be terminated by either party with 30 days of written notice. It also states the agreement would end automatically if the City of Spokane cancels, terminates or decreases the present level of funding to House of Charity.

While the agreement is scheduled for a vote at Monday’s council meeting, at least one council member has indicated there may be further discussion about who should pay for the arrangement; the current proposal lists the $374,000 as being paid to the city, but one council member said Catholic Charities may want the city to pay for it instead.