BEND, OR -- Bend Police are cracking down on holiday problems. "There’s this feeling among some people who visit Bend and some people who live in Bend that on the Fourth of July there are no rules," Bend PD's Sheila Miller tells KBND News. "The past few years, we’ve seen a really discouraging increase in very large parties in public parks, with hundreds and hundreds of teenagers openly drinking to excess, doing drugs. We’ve seen overdoses, fights and DUIs come out of a lot of those." Last year, she says, a 16-year-old was arrested for DUI after he was caught going 85 through Broken Top at 4:30 p.m. He told police he had just left a party at Harmon Park.
Over the past few years, the agency receives around 210 calls on any given day. But, "On the Fourth of July during those years, that average has jumped to 279." This year, Miller says, "Bend PD does have a plan to more aggressively handle some of those issues we’ve seen in the past few years."
The goal is to have an increased police presence after noon, when problems start stacking up, "We actually are going to have 20 more cops working full shifts, and that includes members of our command staff. And we’re also going to take a harder line on some of the alcohol-related offenses we see."
Bend PD will not respond to every fireworks complaint, despite the city's ban. Miller says officers are too busy with more emergent calls. If life or property is in imminent danger, call 911. Click HERE for details on reporting non-emergency fireworks incidents.