PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville City Councilors unanimously approved an ordinance, Tuesday night, that allows police to exclude people from a park for up to 180 days. Mayor Betty Roppe says initially there were concerns from citizens, but there is an appeals process for those issued an exclusion. "And, I suppose that’s – I have a lot of faith in my particular police department. But, I suppose that it’s feasible that it could be abused."
She tells KBND News the ordinance will make the dozen or so properties run by Crook County Parks and Rec safer for everyone. "The police department say they have found some things that have been disturbing to them – there have been some fights that have been disturbing. And, I know that Parks and Rec has commented on finding some drug paraphernalia. There are some things that have occurred that we want to make sure does not keep all of the rest of the citizens out of the park." She adds, in the past, police had no way to keep out those found fighting or participating in other illegal activity. "They can arrest them. And, when they are then booked they are released. And they go right back to the park."
When the ordinance takes effect in 30 days, exclusions will only apply to the specific park where the offense occurred.