Salem considers ban on daytime sidewalk sitting

Portland's similar law was struck down by a court in 2009

In this photo made on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, a homeless man sits on a sidewalk in Chinatown in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Honolulu City Council is considering several bills that would expand the ban on sitting and lying down on sidewalks in commercial districts. The prohibition began in Waikiki and has been extended to a growing list of neighborhoods on Oahu. (AP Photo/ Cathy Bussewitz)

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.