West Glen neighbors turn to C.O.P.S. after being fed up with crime

SPOKANE, Wash. — Damaged garages, stolen vehicles, and needles lying around their complex have pushed neighbors living in the West Glen neighborhood of Spokane to say “enough is enough”. Neighbors say they have trouble getting police to help with property crimes in their area. Now, they’re turning to each other for help.

Jenee Springer, who lives in that neighborhood said she has to walk around with mace to feel safe.

“When we walk the dogs we have bear spray with us,” Springer said.

Springer has lived in the West Glen neighborhood for about two years now, in that time she’s battled crime near her apartment almost constantly.

“We’ve tried all different kinds of things to keep it from happening…they’ll take the chairs off the patios and put it beside the cars. A couple of vehicles around here have been stolen, mostly pickups and motorcycles.”

Springer keeps her truck’s gas tank locked, and keeps things out of it, but it’s still been damaged and things have been stolen from the back. She says she and other neighbors have even tried taking matters into their own hands, but when they did, she was attacked.

“There are 11 garages in this place just you can see where they crowbarred to get in, they figured that out, and caught them in cameras. We’ve approached a few…I got assaulted when I did that.”

Springer said she wants to put an end to this crime once and for all.

“I think if we would stand together I don’t think we’d have near this problem,” she said.

Spokane C.O.P.S has programs to help neighbors band together, to keep their communities safe.

“When you get the neighbors talking and communicating with each other and seeing things and working with each other you just see less of a risk,” said Patrick Striker, Executive Director of C.O.P.S.

Striker said the block watches work because they send the message not to mess with that neighborhood.

“The reality is when it comes to the bad guys, they know what neighborhoods they can get away with their stuff and which ones they can’t, so we want to send the message you’re not going to get away with it here”, Striker said.

To start a block watch in your area, you can visit your neighborhood cop shop, call, or email, and send in an application. The process takes a few days, then a C.O.P.S representative will reach out to help you start a watch.

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