Public space is important in our downtown. Trespass, drug and alcohol use, drug sales, prostitution, robbery and serious assaults typically increase in the downtown area during the spring and summer, as the weather improves. This summer our police department has been working creatively on new programs and also within the current laws and codes to address public safety. One program, in particular, is attempting to help the people, who most often end up in the system, with their situations before they receive additional charges.
Beginning this summer, Community Outreach Response Team began to identify the people who most frequently end up with citations or arrests, assess the factors that may contribute the most strongly to this, and then find the people and offer them services to address their most critical needs. Community partners, including the Downtown Team, CAHOOTS, Whitebird, and Lane County Behavioral Health, identify and reach out to the most frequent arrestees. The goal is to help two to three people per month, which translates to profoundly impacting the lives of 20-40 people in a year.