ALBANY, Ore. -- The Albany city council passed two new laws on Wednesday night aimed at curbing illegal camping and other nuisance crimes.
Effective immediately, most of the city, including downtown, west Albany, the Hackleman district, and the riverfront, are considered an "enhanced law enforcement area." Under the new law, if a person is convicted of three crimes in the enhanced area within six months they will be banned from the area for at least three months, up to one year.
The crimes could be for anything, including drug use and prohibited camping.
Also approved on Wednesday, camping is prohibited in all public property, not just city parks.
Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa said the changes will give law enforcement another tool to curb drugs and crime in the city.
"Neighbors don't want to find a drug needle in their front yard or along our open spaces," Konopa said. "So that's where its really able to help a lot of neighborhoods and private property and businesses."
She said they have received public support for the ordinances, but some people had concerns these ordinances would target certain groups of people.
Konopa said this isn't the case because the ordinances applies to everyone who commits crimes in those areas.