EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene police want the City Council to extend the sunset date for the Downtown Public Safety Zone by 150 days to give the Police Commission and City Council more time to review the results of the two-year-old effort.
The Downtown Public Safety Zone, sometimes called the "Exclusion Zone," allows a municipal judge to order people arrested for certain crimes to stay out of the downtown core for 90 days. If a suspect is convicted of the crime, the judge can exclude the person from downtown for a full year. | How the Exclusion Zone works
The city ordinance went into effect in September 2008 and is scheduled to end Aug. 11 unless the City Council takes action.
Police said other policy matters delayed a report on the safety zone mandated by the ordinace, which in turn delayed ordinance-mandated review of that report by the city's Police Commission.
"The Eugene Police Department staff needed additional time to prepare the activity report and due to the extended time required to process other policy work there has been insufficient time to review the DPSZ activity report and receive public comment," according to the staff report.
City staff have asked the City Council to give the Police Commission until Oct. 13 to review the report and make a recommendation to the City Council. The proposed ordinance also recommends extending the safety zone through Jan. 8, 2011, to provide more time for reivew and public comment on whether to continue - or end - the safety zone.
A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is on the July 26 council agenda. Staff have asked the council to act on the proposal at their Aug. 9 meeting.
What do you think? Is the Exclusion Zone working? Share your thoughts and experiences by posting a comment. Have you been excluded from downtown? Do you live and work downtown in the zone? Are you willing to be interviewed? Contact KVAL News at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 685-KVAL (5825).