Clean and Safe Teams Continue Patrols Amid “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order

While the streets of downtown have emptied significantly since the “stay home, stay safe” order went into effect, the Downtown Business Improvement District’s Clean and Safe teams have continued to serve the downtown community. Seven days a week our teams are on patrol, continuing to assure our city center’s vitality and maintain its aesthetic.

One downtown resident, Karin Engström, praised the Clean Team for remaining hard at work. “As downtown residents in The Morgan Building we woke up this morning to look outside and see so sadly that someone had dumped over the flower planters on Sprague,” she wrote the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP). “Now it’s not even 9am and we see a Downtown Spokane truck outside and someone cleaning up the planters and shoveling the dirt back into them.”

Even with most of the daily workforce of 33,000 people furloughed or working from home, the Clean Team is still collecting large amounts of litter from sidewalks and other public spaces, as well as and preparing for seasonal activities. The Clean Team plants and maintains nearly 200 sidewalk planters within the BID each year. Typically in April the Clean Team staff would be working with volunteers preparing those planters for annual planting following Mother’s Day. This year’s planting will look a bit different, but the team is committed to keeping downtown as clean and beautiful as possible under the current restrictions.

Out of consideration for the health and safety of its staff, the Clean and Safe teams are taking precautions as suggested by local, state, and national health authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Daily patrols usually include Clean and Safe team members traveling in pairs on foot throughout the downtown area. Now, team members patrol using official DSP vehicles to reduce the amount of contact with pedestrians and their surroundings. Staff leave these vehicles only when necessary to perform their work, always prioritizing social distancing.

“We didn’t know the Clean and Safe teams would still be operating during this pandemic,” said Engström. “But we still see them all the time and their presence is so reassuring.” Engström was born and raised in Spokane. After moving out of state after graduating high school, she returned in 2015 and has since been living in downtown. She says as a result of the “stay home, stay safe” order, downtown has been noticeably different. “It’s distinctly quiet…I actually miss the noise.”

Once it is deemed safe to do so, the DSP will increase patrols back to their full sizes, including foot patrol. Until then, skeletal crews will continue their duties seven days a week practicing safe precautions while serving the downtown community.

If you are downtown and notice any issue, you can contact the Downtown Spokane Partnership’s Safety Ambassadors at 509.353.9111, or the Clean Team at 509.624.9111.
If you would like to thank or comment on our team’s work, find us on social media at @DowntownSpokane, or write us using our contact form. We always appreciate your input and feedback.