New ordinance targets chronic offenders in downtown Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – People who break the law repeatedly could find themselves kicked out of downtown Klamath Falls under a new ‘3 strikes’ ordinance.

A new city ordinance in downtown Klamath Falls goes into effect February 6th.

“The penalty itself, with the exclusion from the Municipal Court Judge upon the order is a one year exclusion from downtown.”  Explains Captain Ryan Brosterhous of the Klamath Falls Police Department.

Captain Brosterhous says the ordinance gives police one more tool for dealing with repeat offenders.  “It essentially lets us deal with a chronic offender, a person who has committed three crimes and has been convicted by the Municipal Court.”

Those three convictions must be made within a period of one year.

The city ordinance includes many offenses, which include but are not limited to public drinking, use of marijuana in a public place, unlawful disposal of human waste, and smoking and tobacco use in city parks.

The ‘Enhanced Law Enforcement Area’ (E.L.E.A.) covers downtown Klamath Falls and the Timbermill Shores area.

Brosterhous says those who return during their exclusion period can face stiffer penalties.  “If you’re caught downtown during that one year period, the penalty that can be issued by the court is a sentence of $250, or up to 6 months imprisonment.”

The ordinance was approved by Klamath Falls City Council.

Exceptions will be made for offenders going to court, religious services, or medical appointments.

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