OREGON HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE DISTRICT 56
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Rep. Bill Garrard
February 23, 2011
REP. GARRARD, MERRILL CITY MARSHAL URGE PASSAGE OF BILL
TO ALLOW OUT-OF-STATE ASSISTANCE DURING EMERGENCIES
SALEM— Merrill City Marshal Brian Bicknell today joined Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls) in urging the House Judiciary Committee to approve a bill allowing law enforcement officers in neighboring states to assist Oregon agencies if assistance is requested during an emergency.
Rep. Garrard said HB 2274 is needed to help Oregon’s rural law enforcement agencies that may lack the resources to respond to certain emergencies and criminal activities. He said the bill would help communities such as Merrill, which is at the center of an interstate corridor where illegal drugs are commonly transported.
“Our local law enforcement agencies need help, especially when dealing with catastrophes and potentially violent criminals,” Rep. Garrard said. “Under current law, many rural officers and deputies are forced to serve alone when help could be available across the state line. This bill allows officers in neighboring states to continue pursuits and assist when back-up is urgently needed.”
In addition to allowing out-of-state officers to provide assistance in Oregon, HB 2275 eliminates liability issues that typically prevent officers from crossing the border. It allows officers in California, Idaho, Nevada and Washington to assist Oregon officers within 50 miles of the state’s boundaries.
In testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Marshal Bicknell noted that bill would help agencies in Klamath County, which currently does not provide Sherriff patrols from 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
HB 2274 is pending further action in the committee.