Do you feel safe downtown? In your neighborhood? Survey says ...

Do you feel safe downtown? In your neighborhood? Survey says ...

EUGENE, Ore. - Do you live in Eugene?

If 'Yes': Do you feel safe downtown? In your neighborhood?

"The Eugene Municipal Court is conducting a survey to gather public feedback on public safety concerns," the City of Eugene said in a press release. "The feedback will be used to focus work and gauge support for the inclusion of a Community Court into the current municipal court structure. The survey’s aim is to assess the needs of the community based on the public’s perception of the most prevalent offenses."

So, if you think public urination is a small problem downtown, but graffiti is a big problem in where you live, the survey wants to know.

"I feel safe downtown," said Zach Gideon, who lives in Eugene. "You know, during the day it's all the hustle and bustle, so it's good. But at night it's a little busier with night life, but you know it just comes with the territory. But honestly I feel safe downtown."

The "hustle and bustle" stems from one of the survey subjects: alcohol.

"I think a lot of it is alcohol-related," said Rick Hauck, who lives downtown. "When they have too much to drink they maybe don't think about those things and they act out of emotion."

The community survey is available online. Hard copies are available at Municipal Court, 1102 Lincoln Street in Eugene.

In addition, students from the University of Oregon and other community volunteers will be conducting "intercept surveys" with members of the public beginning in the downtown neighborhood. 

The City will collect survey responses through March, 2, 2014.
Survey responses will be used to evaluate the public’s support of a community court program as well as hone the types of crimes that would be best served in an initial phase of community court.
"A community court combines penalty and help, such as sentencing offenders to perform community service and receive social services, with the purpose to address public safety concerns by providing offenders with the tools to help them not reoffend," the City of Eugene said in a press release. "The first community court in the country was the Midtown Community Court, launched in 1993 to address quality-of-life crime in Times Square. Since then, dozens of community courts have opened throughout the country including Multnomah County, Oregon. The goal of a community court seeks to create safer, stronger, and healthier communities."
“The Municipal Court often sees the same offenders repeatedly pass through the justice system for similar offenses often without treating the underlying causes to prevent reoffending. The community court model will better serve the root cause of some of the underlying behaviors that contribute to recurring crime and affect the overall quality of life for both the offender and our community as a whole,” says Presiding Judge Wayne Allen. “It is my hope that we will receive wide community participation in the survey. We will then carefully select offenses and offenders for participation in community court.”