Knezovich requesting an emergency proclamation for Camp Hope

Spokane County commissioners plan to sign an emergency proclamation on Tuesday related to Camp Hope, the 450-person homeless encampment along Interstate 90 in east Spokane.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich met with the commissioners Monday to explain the need for the proclamation.

“It gives structure and it brings people together to work on the problem,” Knezovich said. “It gives us the ability to plan.”

Knezovich said the emergency proclamation will allow the county to activate its emergency coordination center, which is the Spokane Fire Department’s training facility at 1610 N Rebecca St. It will also allow the county to bypass competitive bidding requirements for contracts and help stakeholders coordinate as they work to reset people living at Camp Hope.

Spokane Interim Emergency Manager Brian Schaeffer, who also serves as the city’s fire chief, requested the emergency proclamation.

He said it will help create one centralized response effort for Camp Hope.

“This brings everybody together,” Schaeffer said. “Instead of having all these different lines of effort, we’re only going to have one and there’s to be a focus and there’s going to be accountability to the taxpayer.”

This story will be updated.