In Liberty Lake, the Sheriff Community Oriented Policing Effort (SCOPE) has taken on the characteristics of the community.
A community that has embraced golf carts as summer transportation, the volunteers at SCOPE have their own cart to patrol the city trail system.
“We are just the eyes and ears of the community,” said member Sally Duenow.
The Liberty Lake SCOPE Station, 23127 E. Mission Ave., is inside the Liberty Lake Police Department after stays inside the sewer building and city hall.
Vice president Rochelle Renninger said the community had a SCOPE station before the city was incorporated – probably sometime around 1998. Since then, volunteers have been actively involved in many programs to maintain a presence in the city and help out when they can.
“I think our school patrol is probably the most unique effort,” Renninger said. The group will be out in force when school starts next week, patrolling around the schools, reporting suspicious vehicles and helping the students get there safely. They are also in radio contact with the school as well as the crossing guards.
Members also participate in their own pet causes in the community.
Renninger said she participates in the SCOPE Sheriff Mounted Patrol, which patrols rural areas on horseback. She spends time on her horse in the Liberty Lake County Park, and once broke up a homeless camp. She takes along a first-aid kit and leashes for lost dogs.
President Joe French works with the Liberty Lake Veterinary Clinic when he finds lost dogs. He will take them to the vet’s office and have them scan the animal for a microchip to reunite them with their families.
“Otherwise, it would go to SCRAPS,” he said.
He has also helped set up radio communication between the Liberty Lake Police Department and the SCOPE station.
They also participate in evening patrols, alert residents who may have left their garage door open, and help with traffic during big events in the city, most recently during the Mutt Strut, a fundraiser for SCRAPS.
The station has about 15 active members and it is looking for more. When asked, most of the volunteers will tell you they love the training they get from the Spokane County Sheriff’s office.
Duenow said she has taken a defensive driving course. Renninger said she’s done a CPR class and once took a class in how to drive on ice – classes that benefit them even when they aren’t on patrol.
French said volunteers don’t have to commit to a lot of hours, just as much as they can.
The office is open Monday through Friday, depending on the availability of volunteers, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“I try to make it in every day,” said Cindy Adolph who works as the office secretary.
Adolph said the group’s monthly meeting is held at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive, on the first Wednesday of every month.
Renninger said she gets satisfaction from the SCOPE station just knowing that she is helping the community. She said they really never know how much crime they may curb, but many people often thank them.
“Just being out there is good enough,” she said.