MEDFORD, Ore. —With help from an outside agency, Medford Police is learning more about its level of service. A new report is applauding the work of one of the agency’s teams.
According to the city of Medford, it’s the first time this assessment has been done in over 25 years or MPD. It highlights staffing, community demographics, and calls for service, but the biggest accolades in the report are going to the Livability Team.
“Looking into the future we had to do something, Medford is going to continue to grow in population so obviously the police department needs to grow and other services,” said Medford Police Chief, Justin Ivens.
Last December Medford Police contacted an outside agency, Washington-based Center for Public Safety Management to conduct an assessment of the department. The 177-page report was presented to the city council last week.
“They really put the Medford Police Department in a good light showing that we are looking to the future, looking to ways to be more efficient and better serve the public,” said Chief Ivens.
In the report, the livability team stood out. Since July 2020, a total of 1,279 people were referred to Rogue Retreat’s Urban Campground. Of those, 1,042 moved in after the referral efforts, that’s 81%
“I do have to commend the work of our officers and that team they go out every day they make a difference in people’s lives and that’s a great number and the end goal is to get their feet back under them and get them back to being productive,” said Chief Ivens.
The team was formed in hopes of connecting with the homeless people living throughout the city and areas like the Bear Creek Greenway, and assisting them in securing services and permanent housing.
Medford Police Chief, Justin Ivans says the team couldn’t be a success without its partners, local advocacy groups, service providers, and Rogue Retreat, its kelly shelter, and mercy flights.
“We know our jail is limited on space, you’re not gonna arrest you way out of the problem so to look for creative ways to try and extend a hand and help people is really what this team does,” he said.
The report reveals that MPD’s Livability Team has taken, “a holistic approach towards the quality of life issues related to interacting with the homeless community. We applaud their efforts.”
The team first launched in 2019.
Currently, the Livability Team has three officers, a full-time Community Service Officer, and a Corporal. The report recommends adding three police officers and one CSO to the Livability Team to deal with livability issues. You can view the report here.
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