Felony offenses including robbery, assault, rape, and theft have drastically increased in Medford over the past several years. Assault alone is up 52 percent, with 1,580 incidents last year. Drug offenses increased by 73 percent to 1,914 incidents in 2012.
Law enforcement and other agencies are trying to figure out how to cope with the increase in crime, which is especially challenging due to tight budgets. The county sheriff’s department was already considering layoffs during union negotiations earlier this year. Jackson County Mental Health, which also offers addiction services, laid off 10 people due to cuts during the last legislative session.
The county jail has room for 230 inmates, but with 4,766 forced releases in Jackson County last year, Medford Deputy Chief Tim Doney says it’s hard to keep people there. He says it’s difficult to keep anyone in jail for long when they’ve been arrested for property crimes and drug crimes.
Source: Medford Police Department
Do you live in Jackson County? Has the increase in crime affected you?
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OPB | Sept. 22, 2016