Fern Ridge Residents Plan Public Safety Levy

Dec 30, 2015

A citizens’ group is crafting a community policing district levy for the Fern Ridge area for the May 17th election. A group backing the measure held a press conference Wednesday in Eugene.

Rick Dancer (left) and Steve Reister talk to the media about their proposed community policing district for Fern Ridge.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Citizens say they’re concerned about increasing crime and not enough sheriffs’ deputies to respond.  Veneta resident Steve Reister says property crime is a huge problem. This month there was a double murder-suicide—it occurred when the Sheriff’s Department was short-staffed.
Reister: “One deputy’s not enough. One deputy can’t even respond to a shooting. You have to have two. We had a victim who waited in excess of 30 minutes to get help because we didn’t have that substation out there and that’s not, that can’t be acceptable.”
Reister points out the shooter, who killed himself and two others, had meth in his system. He says drugs are a big problem in western Lane County. The proposed property tax levy would cost $1.67 per $1000 assessed value. This would fund 24/7 patrols and a school resource officer, through the Sheriff’s office. This is a reduction from a previous proposal for the district.