Medford considering increasing police presence downtown

MEDFORD, Ore. —The city of Medford is considering making some changes, in how it’s policing the downtown area. The downtown Medford Association and the Medford Police Department are teaming up.

They’re looking to try and create a safer downtown Medford, both for businesses, and the entire community. “They know that every morning when they come in, there’s going to be someone sitting at the entryway of their businesses and that every day, they have their supplies on hand to repair damage and vandalism,” said Courtney Toll with the DMA.

Small crime has become a sad reality for many downtown Medford businesses. And now the downtown Medford Association and Medford Police, are discussing making changes to improve the business environment.

A group of business owners and the DMA met with police early this week. Among the items discussed, was increasing the police presence downtown. People don’t want to come downtown due to safety concerns as well as just the perception of dirtiness and vandalism

A Medford spokeswoman says the city’s in the very early stages of developing a plan. Medford Police Lt. DJ Graham did a brief phone interview with me on the subject Wednesday.

“We talked about the possibility of developing a pilot project to increase the resources in the downtown Medford business district,” said Lt. Graham.

Courtney Toll with the downtown Medford Association says the discussion centered around expanding Medford’s livability team. It works with other local agencies to connect people with resources, to help get them off the downtown streets and the Bear Creek Greenway.

“The proposal on the table is to say the downtown business community would like their to be a livability focus downtown,” said Toll.

Local business owners Jami and Steve Ronda own Rogue City Comics. She thinks putting more police on the street downtown would be a great call. Their business is no stranger to crime, they had a break in 6 months ago

“We just want downtown to be a place where people feel safe to come and shop, to come to enjoy the fantastic restaurants, there’s so much potential to create this incredible hub that people can really enjoy.

While the city works out the plan, Lt. Graham did say the city council should get to review it, in early April. Police urged the business community to utilize the non-emergency line, for police matters when people or property aren’t at risk.

That number is (541)770-4785. And of course, always call 911 in emergencies.

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Jenna King
NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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