Neighborhood Works with SPD to Shut Down Problem House

Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.835.4568,

Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 1:08 p.m.

A neighborhood in the Shadle Park area has come together, worked closely with the Spokane Police Department, and has successfully closed a chronic problem house. The nuisance abatement of this home was a long process that has effectively ended the criminal activity on this block.

Neighbors near the house at 4519 N. Hawthorne, through cooperation with their Neighborhood Conditions Officer and the City Attorney’s Office, succeeded in shutting down the problem property. For years leading up to this moment, neighbors have had to live in constant fear of the non-stop criminal activity. SPD attempted to work with the property owner in an effort to curb the activity, but all efforts were fruitless. In fact in recent months, the drug and illegal activity increased. Spokane Police officers have responded to this problem house fifty four (54) times in the past year alone.

Drug activity, prostitution, assaults, hit & run, DUI, vehicle thefts, and trafficking in stolen property are just a few of the calls that SPD have received regarding 4519 N. Hawthorne. The home is located just one block from the Poor-Clare Nunnery and is situated in a neighborhood with children.

Public safety and health concerns, combined with the neighborhood’s rapid deterioration in quality of life, created the necessary momentum for the neighbors to organize and partner with their Neighborhood Conditions Officer. Working the SPDs Civil Enforcement Unit, they successfully petitioned to the Spokane County Superior Court to immediately shut this property down. Officers and contractors were on hand to clear, secure and board up this property. If the tenants or home owner return they will be arrested for trespass.

This community made a decision to stand up together, and by partnering with their Neighborhood Conditions Officer and Civil Enforcement Unit, they were able to take their neighborhood back. If you have a problem property in your neighborhood, contact your Neighborhood Conditions Officer for more information on the abatement process.

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