78-year-old grandma helps keep Spokane neighborhoods safe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

78-year-old grandma helps keep Spokane neighborhoods safe

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

It’s not possible for police to be everywhere, so to keep your neighborhoods safe, that’s where local organizations like Spokane C.O.P.S. come in.

Volunteers with the organization’s Neighborhood Observation Patrol drive around and check areas that neighborhood conditions officers got reports of issues. But what happens when there aren’t enough volunteers? They can’t go out as much.

Donna Gadau is 78 years old and has been volunteering for 23 years.

She and her partner are eyes and ears for officers, recording suspicious license plates and observations.

“He's always saying well you want to go out and fight crime tonight? He's being kind of funny because obviously we're not fighting crime like the police do but we're doing it in our own way trying to help,” she says.

Those records are used by officers in their own cases, and in the past, have also been used by the FBI and DEA.

Her family is still getting used to the idea.

“Some of them think I'm crazy. They think I'm endangering myself. But part of the training is learning not to endanger yourself,” she says.

They are have to go through training before they can patrol, and Donna was actually trained by police officers.

“We used to stay out until 2, 3 in the morning. But I don't stay out quite that late anymore because I'm getting too old,” she says.

But she has no plans to stop. She loves making sure her neighborhood is safe, especially knowing that some of the information she records can help solve problems.

“I still feel like it does a lot of good and I'm glad I've put in all these years doing it,” she says.

If you would like to volunteer, http://www.spokanecops.org/neighborhood-observation-patrol-nop

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