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Greenway Sweeps estimated to cost taxpayers $72,000 per year

Police work to clean up debris left at homeless camps following an overnight Greenway Sweep. (JCSO)

Medford Police said their now twice-monthly Bear Creek Greenway Sweeps cost taxpayers about $72,000 a year.

According to MPD, each sweep runs about $3,000. About $2,200 of the budget goes towards officers' paychecks, while the remaining funds cover the cost of trash removal from homeless campsites.

The department used to conduct the operations on a monthly basis, but have since boosted patrols.

"It's really coming down to a necessity," said MPD Lt. Mike Budreau.

RELATED| Behind the Sweep: An in-depth look into Medford's monthly Greenway operations

MPD is required to pay their officers overtime for the service, as they do not have enough staff to cover the shifts. The department says it's money well spent.

"We care about the safety of the Greenway and the perception of safety," said Budreau. "If we were not to do it, then it would get pretty bad."

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office typically partners with MPD on sweep operations.

According to Dep. Julie Denney, participating deputies normally stay within their scheduled hours, with some exceptions.

"It's a minimal financial impact," she said.

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