An increase crime in the Garland District now has neighbors and concerned business owners taking a stand.
On Wednesday, more than 50 people packed inside City Church Spokane on W. Garland to support and encourage a Spokane C.O.P.S. shop to set up shop in their neighborhood.
"There's been an armed robbery scare over at U.S. Bank and a stabbing down the alley," Bonnie Quinn, Garland Business District President, said.
Quinn is also owner of the Quinn Group, an advertising and marketing agency based in the Garland District. She's now spearheading the effort to bring a C.O.P.S. shop to the neighborhood
"There's no place like it . . . so we decided instead of moving out, we're going to do our best to improve it," she added.
C.O.P.S. stands for Community Oriented Policing Services. The mission of C.O.P.S. is to educate citizens on how to prevent crime, keep their neighborhoods safe and a place to report suspicious activity or crime. Police officers also use C.O.P.S. shops to write reports and meet with neighbors.
Right now there are 11 C.O.P.S. shops throughout Spokane.
Christy Hamilton, Director of Spokane C.O.P.S., said it will cost approximately $14,000 to set up a shop and then an additional $1,000 every month for rents and other bills.
The City of Spokane funds C.O.P.S. and volunteers raise money for extras at individual locations.
Hamilton said the city doesn't have the money right now to fund another shop, but she's working closely with the council to come up with a solution.
Heather Trautman, Director of Neighborhood Services and Code Enforcement, believes the money is in the current budget, adding some things will need to shifted around to make the new shop a reality.
In addition to money, the Garland District will also need at least 20 dedicated volunteers to make the shop a success.
"If there's enough interest, enough demand, I'm sure it will happen now," Quinn said