Grants Pass Police tent removal changes

MEDFORD, Ore. – Grants Pass Police believe the homeless situation is improving at city parks this fall.

Police are still posting advisories to move tents in city parks.

But city leadership still holds out hope that the supreme court will take up the court case, that is limiting their options with the homeless next year.

The city’s advisories give tent owners in city parks, 72 hours to relocate.

Due to the circuit court injunction, the city allows unhoused individuals to set up their tents to rest but not to camp, long term.

The city is putting out its postings on Thursdays now, so tent owners have until Monday to move.

GPPD says this is because there are newly hired officers who are still waiting to attend the police academy and, in the mean,-time, they’re being put on community response.

This summer city council adopted new parks rules, like a 20-foot buffer around city park sidewalks, athletic areas and structures, as well as 50-foot buffers around play areas.

People can sit and sleep within those buffers, but can’t set up tents in them.

Both the city manager and police department say the changes have helped the parks.

By giving several days-notice, it also allows people to move or to be helped to move.

Grants Pass Police Department Captain Todd Moran said, “we also partner with PATH and MINT couple of advocacy groups here in Grants Pass and what this does is it also allows them to get enough notice, to help those who need a little extra help moving from the park that they’re currently in, to a different park.”

GPPD says that they let advocacy groups know where the notified campers are, so they can help them move and even follow up on services.

They say that this along with other rules, like where people can set up tents, is an effort to balance the needs of the unhoused and the public.

The department also says that they’ve noticed less complaints after these implementations.

But they say it’s still too early to tell if they’re effective.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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