SPOKANE, Wash. -- More than a dozen business owners met in Hillyard Thursday night to try to figure out how to cut the crime rate in an area known for it.
Police said Hillyard accounted for up to 20% of all burglaries in the city of Spokane but they also said burglaries were down in the area. Some residents claimed that authorities were not doing enough.
"Cops - calling them ain't working, “said business owner Richard Burris. “Crime check ain't working. 911 ain't working."
The only officer on hand at Thursday’s public forum responded by saying police are doing the best they can. Another man, though, said he is taking matters into his own hands.
"I have several properties in Downtown Hillyard,” he said. “I patrol them at night and I carry a rifle now - it's an open carry. I've had a couple standoffs with punks."
Hillyard's recently appointed Neighborhood Conditions Officer, Wayne Downing, said in addition to police, business owners need to work together.
"We need communication across the community,” said Downing, “not just the residential community, but the business community as well. That's where we need to start."
Officer Downing said business owners should continue to use Crime Check, but should also stay vigilant and keep an eye out for one another.