Medford could soon see increased police presence downtown

MEDFORD, Ore. —The city of Medford is taking steps to change how it polices the downtown area. NBC5 told you last month, that the city was considering a Pilot Program, that could bring more police enforcement.

The idea came from the city from business owners concerned about crime. The hope with this new Pilot Program is to expand the livability team’s presence. But right now, it’s only in the trial phase.

Today, the livability team works primarily on the greenway to help connect individuals with resources.  The city says the Pilot Program would move a foot patrol officer from that team to the downtown area. They would make contact with businesses, observe behaviors, and increase the police presence downtown.

The trial run would go from May 1st through July 2nd. We’ve learned, that the council will now get to weigh in on exactly that will look like.

“People that are picked for the livability team have the ability to connect with people in a way that’s much deeper, honestly they are a part social worker, part case manager, and part police officer they are fully invested in the community and want to make a difference,” said councilman Tim D’Alessandro.

D’Alessandro says the council bill gives 3 options for the amount of time the officer would patrol downtown. He says option 1 is 30 hours, option 2 is 36 hours, and the final option is 40 hours per week.

The council will vote next week on which option they want to implement for the trial run. After the trial period is up, the city will evaluate if they want to adopt it, on a full-time basis.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship 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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