The Downtown Spokane Partnership (“DSP”) has initiated a Request for Information (“RFI”) process to identify a qualified and licensed private security contractor (“Contractor”) to pilot supplemental security services in downtown Spokane for the 2023 holiday season. The purpose of this process is to determine the service provider who best aligns with DSP’s needs and stakeholders. The pilot program shall commence on October 1, 2023 and continue through December 31, 2023, unless extended. While not currently planned, it is possible the contract may be extended by the DSP Board of Directors through December 31, 2024.
DSP serves as the leading advocate for the creation of a dynamic, safe, vital, livable and sustainable Downtown as the basis of an economically healthy region. As a member-based, not-for-profit organization representing a variety of business sectors including real estate, banking/finance, law, transportation, insurance, communications, energy, and tourism, DSP focuses on creating a vibrant urban core for the second largest city in the State of Washington.
A large part of this work includes management of Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) programs that provide special benefits and improvements. These programs aid in economic development, neighborhood revitalization and enhanced municipal services to properties and tenants located within the 83-blocks of the BID (see map). The BID is a special benefit district that levies assessments to fund security, maintenance and economic development programs that have been fundamental to stabilizing downtown and stimulating new investment in Spokane. The City of Spokane collects BID assessments annually from downtown property owners and business tenants located in the BID and, in accordance with Washington state law, contracts with DSP to manage and administer specified services funded by these assessments exclusively within the BID.
DSP is not a public agency but has been the exclusive contractor managing the BID since 1995 and is currently contracted through 2026, with the intent to renew. The DSP has 24 staff members and is governed by a board of directors (“Board”) with 24 members. For more information about the DSP, visit www.DowntownSpokane.org.
Scope of Work
Security and safety support is a core service program provided by the DSP. Downtown Ambassadors are responsible for proactively improving the public’s experience in downtown Spokane, enhancing the public realm and mitigating the issues that may hinder economic vitality within the boundaries of the BID. Ambassadors promote a positive downtown experience throughout the BID area on foot or e-bike from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 7-days-a-week. Ambassadors support positive, friendly, and helpful interactions with all members of the public, providing information and assistance to citizens and visitors to the area while monitoring and reporting issues.
Recent significant increases in crime and homelessness in the BID and surrounding areas are bringing tremendous change, threatening the vitality and sustainability of commerce and tourist activity, livability and quality of life in downtown Spokane. Additional security patrols are being explored to supplement services to expand coverage and uniformed presence into the evening.
For this pilot program, DSP seeks a Contractor to provide a security patrol team to be visible, mobile, and responsive during extended hours in the BID. DSP requires that the selected Contractor provide sufficient personnel who can professionally interact with the public with the skills and abilities necessary when dealing with all members of the downtown community. The Contractor must be capable of providing hospitality, engagement and proactivity respond to situations negatively affecting the district. Specifically, the Contractor is expected to understand the basic philosophies of community-based engagement and must possess the skills and ability to diffuse and de-escalate problems and negotiate with people.
The Contractor shall, only within the approved BID area (see map), supply a minimum of a 2-guard security patrol team with one vehicle, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Wednesday – Saturday from October 1-November 15 and 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m., 7-days-a-week from Nov. 16-December 31, 2023.
- Is equipped with a radio or cellular phone, a Security uniform and Security identification badge at all times.
- Receives dispatch requests from district stakeholders and respond to welfare checks, encampment build up on private property and sidewalks, trespassing, and safety issues.
- Provides proactive district patrol anytime not responding to dispatch calls, including checking identified hot spots on foot, alerting and responding to any property damage or vandalism, monitoring and reporting any unauthorized personnel found on premises after hours of service and be additional eyes and ears for the police department.
- Protects against vandalism, graffiti, theft or any acts of aggression toward property and the tenants and employees’ and customers’ well-being, including challenging any intruder suspected of these acts and notify Spokane Police Department for assistance.
- Assists Spokane Police Department with crime scene investigation as witnesses, as appropriate.
- Collects Notice of Agency forms and issue Trespass Notices, as appropriate.
- Responds to alarm calls, as needed.
- Hands out any notices, submit daily activity reports and complete an incident report for any actions requiring police or medical personnel involvement.
Additionally, a representative from the Contractor shall:
- Meet weekly with Vice President of Safe & Clean Programs and/or Ambassador Team Lead to review current list of hot spots, notice of trespass activity and discuss recommendations for service delivery improvements.
- Attend monthly Public Safety Committee meetings, currently scheduled second Tuesdays of the month at 11 a.m. Meetings are subject to change.
The Contractor must observe and comply with all applicable laws, resolutions, codes, and regulations of government agencies, including all federal, state, municipal, and local governing bodies having jurisdiction over the scope of services.
The Contractor is responsible for:
- Providing a security patrol vehicle that is no older than three years from date of service with DSP approved magnets on both front doors during contracted hours. Electric vehicles are preferred.
- Using DSP data collection and dispatch systems, including Encore system to log all dispatch calls, incidents and hot spots, including before and after photos, notes, location, addresses, and relevant information.
- Remaining in the defined area and be visible throughout the shift in the defined geographic area, including contacting open businesses and visiting specifically designated hot spots multiple times per shift and acting in a professional manner.
- Using DSP provided email(s) and blocking cell phone numbers when returning stakeholder calls to avoid confusion. Additionally, the Contractor should only provide DSP dispatch numbers for future incoming calls and requests.
The Contractor and any subcontractors hired by Contractor shall indemnify and hold harmless the DSP from any and all liability, fines, penalties, and consequences from any of Contractor’s failures to comply with this scope of work, laws, resolutions, codes, and regulations. The Contractor shall, at its expense, procure and maintain insurance against claims for injuries to persons or damages to property which may arise from or in connection with the performance of the Contractor, its agents, representatives, employees or subcontractors. The Contractor shall maintain throughout the contract period:
- General Liability: $2,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage.
- Automobile Liability: $1,000,000 per accident for bodily injury and property damage.
- Employer’s Practices Liability limits of $1,000,000 per accident.
Payment of all applicable federal, state, and local taxes shall be Contractor’s and subcontractor(s)’ sole responsibility.
In rendering services, the Contractor shall be acting as an independent contractor, not as an employee or agent of the DSP. As an independent contractor, neither the Contractor nor the DSP shall have authority, express or implied, to commit or obligate the other in any manner whatsoever, except as specifically authorized in writing by the authorized representative of Contractor or the DSP, as the case may be, which authorization may be general or specific. The Contractor may, at the Contractor’s own expense, use employees or subcontractors as the Contractor deems necessary to perform the services required. The Contractor shall not use employees or subcontractors less than 18 years of age on work performed for the DSP.
RFI submittals should be emailed to email@example.com in PDF format with the subject line “DSP RFI Response” no later than 4:00 p.m. PST on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. Incomplete responses will not be considered. Interested parties with questions should email questions no later than Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
RFI submittals should include:
- Cover Letter: On company letterhead, provide:
- Name of company, principals, address, telephone and email, include name of parent company, if any.
- Number of years in the security or public realm services industry
- A list of applicable licenses and permits currently held including any City of Spokane vendor designations.
- Executive Summary: An overview of the Contractor’s philosophy and approach. Include a narrative summary of experience providing services outlined above. Explain organizational reporting with the job description(s) for each proposed position. Provide details of proposed management and staff training (both initial and ongoing) and include topics and frequency.
- Measuring Performance: Explain how Contractor will measure service effectiveness and the amount and type of performance monitoring and reporting expected to track progress, including regular benchmarking reports and performance outcomes. Describe and provide examples of incident reports, activity reports, progress reports, and any other periodic reports.
- Uniform: Provide a list and image of uniform elements/standards, including vehicles if applicable.
- Facilities & Equipment: Identify specific needs, if necessary, for office, communications, locker/break rooms, storage of equipment and supplies.
- Budget: Detail the expected budget to meet proposed staffing and reporting requirements, including rate enhancements (holidays, etc.), pricing constraints or contract discounts or savings.
- References: Provide at least three (3) professional references: two active clients and at least one prior client.
Submittals are encouraged to provide any suggestions or recommendations that were missed in this RFI.
A review panel of DSP Board executive committee members will review all proposals. DSP intends to select the contractor capable of providing the personnel and services specified in this RFI based on the greatest value proposition. In evaluating proposals, the price will not be the sole factor. The committee may consider any factors it deems necessary and proper, including but not limited to price, quality of service, response to this request, experience, staffing, and general reputation. Contractors should be members of the DSP and those with experience working with business improvement districts and/or local government are preferred.
The Contractor shall not discriminate because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, criminal record older than seven years (other than convictions for crimes of dishonesty or sexual assault) or national origin, nor otherwise commit an unfair employment practice and shall make a good faith effort to utilize minority business enterprises and women-owned business enterprises. DSP reserves the right to reject all quotes or portions thereof. All respondents will receive written notification of the DSP’s decision.
False, incomplete, or unresponsive statements in connection with a Contractor’s information may be sufficient cause for its rejection by DSP. The DSP reserves the right to request additional information from any respondent to this RFI.