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Pact allows some city services at COPS shops

Funding will continue this year at 2012 level

The city and Spokane Community Oriented Policing Services have reached an agreement on a contract through the end of 2013.

The 10 neighborhood COPS shops are staffed by volunteers, and the new contract funds the program at the same level as in 2012 – $188,500.

A bone of contention has been the city’s desire to offer some city services at COPS shops.

Jonathan Mallahan, the city’s Community and Neighborhood Services director, told the Planning Community and Economic Development Committee on Monday that an agreement has been reached.

“These are city facilities and we have come to an agreement that will allow us to co-locate some services at COPS shops,” Mallahan said, adding that COPS volunteers will not be asked to do city services. “We will be working together on how to integrate services.”

Jack Brucick, chairman of COPS board of directors, said the organization remains very proud of the service its volunteers have provided to Spokane over the past 20 years.

“Placing programs in COPS shops will be an incremental process,” Brucick said. “It will be by trial and error. But we are in agreement.”

Simple transactions such as paying a utility bill or registering for Spokane Parks and Recreation programs have been mentioned as services that also could be handled at a COPS shop, saving residents a trip to City Hall downtown.

As part of this contract, COPS agreed to move its administrative offices to another facility already owned by the city.

The move will lead to $8,600 in saved rent and utilities. That money, along with any other savings COPS comes up with, will be reinvested in the COPS program.

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