Eugene police say they’re ahead of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that came out this week, that says cities can’t prosecute people for sleeping on the streets if they have no other option.
In a video shared by the EPD, Captain Sam Kamkar says police have tried to connect homeless people with services instead of arresting them. He says training has helped guide procedures related to illegal camping complaints.
“Now having said all that, when it comes to addressing our quality of life issues, the state of public safety in Eugene is in a great deal of stress," he says.
"We don’t have enough police officers, we don’t have enough dispatchers, court staff, prosecutors…we have a total of 15 jail beds that are dedicated to misdemeanor offenses.”
Kamkar says this all has made Eugene police take a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to community policing.
Cities in the northwest are reviewing their policies in light of the 9th Circuit ruling.
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