ROSEBURG, Ore. -- After a business owner told the Roseburg City Council about recent problems with the downtown area, Roseburg Police Chief Jim Burge told the group that he thinks the program to crack down on issues downtown is working.
Linda Sims, owner of Sims Electric, told the council about recently having to call police when a man was urinating in the planter in front of her downtown business. Sims told them when they decided to remove the planter, they found syringes in it.
Chief Burge told the council that the police department still has some work to do with the problem camping and other behavior downtown.
He reiterated that the police were not targeting homeless people, but bad behavior. "We have to enforce the issue, and we have to do that fairly," said Burge. "It's not just the 99%, not the 1%, it's everyone."
Burge says they are doing the best they can with limited resources.
Jessica Hawn, who told the council she was from the Occupy Roseburg group, says the homeless are still being, "harassed," and called on the police department to do a better job of helping the people find resources, as some of them that are ticketing for camping can't go to the mission for various reasons.
She suggested a legal camping area, where homeless people could camp legally, without fear of being ticketed.
Burge told the council that his officers have been directed to point people they interact with downtown to local resources that could help.