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In Eugene, Street Crimes Unit Launched


The Eugene Police Department has launched a new Street Crimes Unit, that’ll target routine problem offenders in neighborhoods.

Thanks to more than $8.5 million in bridge funds from the Eugene City Council, the unit will respond to tips and intelligence gathered on violations ranging from property crimes, petty theft, and what EPD Chief Chris Skinner calls “problem houses”…including one in a north Eugene neighborhood where he held his press conference Wednesday.

“Since 2010, we’ve been getting complaints, over 93 calls for service at this house," he told reporters. "Over the last year...we’ve had 46 calls for service, here.  And it really has plagued this neighborhood, they call us, they ask us to take a look, we’ve been writing search warrants, we’ve been working with our partners to try and abate this nuisance, and it has been a drain on resources.” 

Skinner says he’s wanted to form a Street Crimes Unit since taking over as Chief of Police last year. With funding set to end in June 2020, he’s looking to work on a broader public safety initiative to raise money.  He adds having the unit should allow police to answer more calls and improve response time.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.