ASHLAND, Ore. — Costumes of all types were seen at the Ashland Plaza, and so were police. They wanted to make their presence known to make sure no super heroes were needed if things got out of hand.
Halloween is a tradition in Ashland, but one that has had a rocky past.
“We had some bad years, 2004 I remember, 2005, 2006 were rough years,” said Ashland Police Deputy Chief Cory Falls.
Ashland Police Deputy Chief Cory Falls remembers several years ago when the crowds got out of control and ended up in handcuffs.
“2004 there was a lot of people who went to jail, a lot of assaults, people climbing onto the roof tops and throwing things down at police officers. We had a police car get its windows smashed out,” said Deputy Chief Cory Falls.
Since those days nearly ten years ago, changes have been made and more resources have been brought in. Medford Police and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office are among the agencies who now assist Ashland Police.
“We come down every year now and just help out,” Medford Police Sgt. Josh Reimer.
The potential problems stem from those out and about downtown and not necessarily on the road.
“Most of our jobs are foot patrols, so we’re out on foot, we don’t have a lot of vehicles out,” said Sgt. Josh Reimer.
Police said the idea is to have a presence and to take care of problems before they get out of hand. The Halloween operation takes about a month to plan and police said it has made all the difference in assuring people have a safe and happy Halloween.
“Just having the extra bodies and the presence in the downtown area to stop problems before they start has really helped us,” said Deputy Chief Cory Falls.
Over the past several years since other agencies have come down to help with foot patrols, significantly fewer problems have been reported.