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City forced to reconsider penalties for camping in public spaces

(KTVL/Georgia Lawson).PNG

After a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, the City of Medford has to reconsider how it enforces camping out in public spaces.

Law enforcement is no longer able to issue criminal penalties, but Medford Police says it's important that they can still act on the issue in some capacity.

"What we've seen with prohibited camping or people camping is it's an unhealthy environment. It's a huge fire risk because a lot of these camps are on the greenway in the brush," says Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department.

Other issues include blocking the public right of way, and degrading the environment.

The city is considering their options at tonight's council meeting, including whether to issue a violation fine or to not enforce the camping ordinance at all.

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