April 3, 2014 | 117 50

Medical Lake/Espanola SCOPE office now operates out of City Hall

County makes the suggestion to move to smaller space

Medical Lake/Espanola SCOPE station volunteers have a new base of operations.

SCOPE is now operating out of the Medical Lake police substation at 124 S. Lefevre St. At the suggestion of Spokane County, SCOPE moved out of their previous location at the old Ball and Dodd funeral home, located at 111 W. Brooks, which is owned by the city.

SCOPE director Rick Scott said moving into a smaller space was challenging at first, though volunteers have been able to establish an office area. He also said the station provides security for volunteers.

Scott said having the volunteers operate at the station is good for the public, as it allows them to come in and seek help. He also said that volunteers do routine victim callbacks.

“This is well received from the victims,” Scott said. “It lets them know that someone is still on their case.”

Volunteers also do several tasks to assist Spokane County deputies, such as gathering evidence and information.

“Staffing for deputies seems to be lower,” Scott said. “Anytime our volunteers can help them, it’s a big help to law enforcement and for the community.”

Scott said SCOPE is also looking to expand their presence in the city such as having volunteers mentor high school students. He added that he would like to establish a Citizens on Patrol program in the city, where volunteers would patrol the neighborhoods.

“This might be a determent to some of the criminal activity in town,” Scott said.

Medical Lake City Administrator Doug Ross said that while SCOPE is under the authority of the county, it provides a “great service to the community.”

“We are fortunate to have them provide their services,” Ross said. “It feels like they are a part of the city.”

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

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