Medford could temporarily exclude troublemakers from downtown area

Medford, Ore. — The City of Medford is one step closer to temporarily banning consistent troublemakers from the downtown area. It would be an expansion to an ordinance that gives police officers the ability to ban people from city property.

Medford Mattress owner Rod Broderson has had a store on the corner of 10th and Front since 1989. But in the last five years, the location, and some of the people who frequent the area, have become a problem.

“We’ve had a lot of issues with transients, tagging, gang member stuff,” Broderson said.

His complaints cover everything from keyed windows to graffiti on walls and trash cans, but he says recently, it’s gotten even worse.

“Every morning we come in, we pick up garbage and trash, human excrement near the door in the parking lot,”¬†Broderson said.

Now it’s an issue that City Council members are taking up.

“Businesses in the area, are concerned with damage being done to the property,” Councilman Tim D’Alessandro noted.

On Thursday, the council voted five to one to expand an ordinance that’s already in place, and enforced in city parks. It would allow police officers to exclude people from the downtown area, for a certain extent of time, if they had committed a crime, and continued to be reported as a nuisance.

“This is not to pick on different demographics that are in the downtown area,” Medford City Manager Brian¬†Sjothun said. “This is for people that are constantly violating rules, regulations, and the law.”

While there’s still more hoops to jump through before it becomes the law, Medford Police Chief Randy Sparacino is already aware of the pending changes.

“This is just one more tool that they’re looking at to allow the Medford Police Department to ensure the safety of downtown,” Chief Sparacino said.

The solution sits well with Broderson.

“What we do need is more police show, you know, have more people here to help out,” Broderson said.

The issue will go before City Council again in the next few months for a final vote.

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