SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Salem officials are considering an ordinance that would outlaw sitting or lying on public sidewalks during the day.
The Statesman Journal reported on Wednesday that the ordinance would give police the option to cite and remove violators from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The proposal also bans people from camping and sitting in chairs on sidewalks except during events and for businesses with outdoor seating.
Salem Police Deputy Chief Skip Miller says they’re “in no way trying to make homelessness a crime.” The department tries to connect people with resources, but police also have to deal with business and safety concerns.
Oregon American Civil Liberties Union officials say ordinances like this violate rights and don’t curtail homelessness.
Portland approved a similar ordinance that a court struck down in 2009.