By Kenny Jacoby and Morgan Theophil
According to Eugene Weekly’s analysis of Municipal Court data, one out of every four people whom the Eugene Police Department (EPD) tickets or arrests for a non-driving charge is homeless, and more than one-third of all the charges brought in the city’s municipal court are filed against people who lacked permanent addresses at some point last year. [See “Criminalizing Homelessness,” in the June 1 issue.] Homeless advocates have been asking the city and the police to make data regarding the homeless available for years — the police routinely make data and other reports available regarding calls for service and downtown safety.
EW asked the mayor and Eugene City Council if they would, in their oversight role for city government, ask EPD to release data about the department’s interactions with the homeless.
Neither the mayor nor any member of the City Council agreed to do so.
We also asked the mayor and city council members if they could do one thing tomorrow to make the homeless situation better in Eugene, what would it be?