Man turns life around with help from C.O.P.S. shop - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man turns life around with help from C.O.P.S. shop

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Eric Hansen turned his life around. Eric Hansen turned his life around.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Eric Hansen spent years in the system. As a child, he often bounced between foster homes. When he grew up, he accumulated a rap sheet filled with petty theft crimes and a domestic violence charge.

Then he turned his life around.

“I later learned I didn’t have to live in that cycle,” Hansen said. “I’ve been growing up.”

He moved to North Central Spokane, where he lived across the street from a C.O.P.S. shop (Community Oriented Policing Services). They’re a volunteer organization that helps conduct police fingerprinting and guides people toward services that could help them. They also house Department Of Corrections officers.

Hansen initially didn’t work there, but he’d noticed the snow accumulating around the building, and the older employees that struggled to keep the shop in shape. So Hansen became a volunteer handyman, often shoveling and tidying up just to lend a hand.

One day, one of the D.O.C. officers told him he should sign up and volunteer.

“I told him, ‘I don’t think I’ll pass the background check,’” Hansen said. “He told me to try anyway.”

Hansen did pass. Two years later, he’s been voted president of the entire North Central shop. And earlier this week he was honored at the annual Spokane C.O.P.S. dinner.

“It really empowers me,” he said. “I look at myself as a guide I guess.”

He hopes to guide the visitors who come for the wrong reasons toward a better path.

“I love it,” he said.

“I’ve made bad choices, but there’s life after bad choices.”

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