KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8, 6:30 pm Wednesday, February 12, 1997

[Precede:] Announcer Larry Shoop: New at 6:30, "Turning Up the Heat." Tonight, a war on drug dealers in Portland cranks up a notch. Find out why and take a ride with police on the front lines for a first-hand view.

Turning Up The Heat

Announcer Tracy Barry: Tonight drug dealers could find it much tougher to do business in Portland. The city council is expanding Portland's drug-free zones.

Announcer Larry Shoop: As the NewsChannel's Walden Kirsch reports, it is the largest expansion of those zones in five years.

Announcer Walden Kirsch: When Portland police nailed Olaf Johnson today for allegedly possessing cocaine, they ordered him to stay completely out of downtown for three months.

[Police are shown putting a young black man with a hooded sweatshirt into the back of a police car.]
Officer John Grable, Portland Police : Right now it's an inconvenience for 'em, but you still go to jail every time you get arrested for it.

Announcer Walden Kirsch: Because Olaf [sp?] Johnson was carrying what police say was a loaded cocaine pipe fashioned out of a broken car antenna, they haul him back to the precinct office and write him a so-called exclusion order. Translation: Do not come back to this neighborhood or we will arrest you, book you, jail you and make your life hard.

Sgt. Greg Hendricks, Portland Police: And then what you decide to do in response to that is up to you, but what we hope the response is is that these people are gonna leave.

Announcer Walden Kirsch: Sgt. Greg Hendricks is among the architects of Portland's Drug-Free Zones. Cruising the downtown bus mall, which is infested with drug sellers and buyers, Greg Hendricks says he is pleased that the city's Drug-Free Zones have just grown larger.

Sgt. Greg Hendricks, Portland Police: The thing we found is that there isn't any one answer, and that it is a very difficult problem to solve, but it takes steady, consistent pressure.

Announcer Walden Kirsch: They keep a book. Last year alone, Portland police booted roughly 1,000 people out of the downtown Zone. The faces belong to people of all races, all ages, both sexes. So will expanding the Drug-Free Zones work? As they arrest Billy Ray Davis here for violating his Drug-Free Zone exclusion order, police do face critics. Those who say drug dealing is merely being shifted around, nothing more, and that exclusion orders violate a suspect's civil rights. Regardless, police and many others believe that Portland streets will soon be measurably safer. I'm Walden Kirsch, KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8.

Announcer Larry Shoop: The Portland City Council did several things today. First, it expanded the downtown Drug-Free Zone by about 30 percent. And it added two entirely new Zones along Beech and Alberta streets in North and Northeast Portland. The new Drug-Free Zones take effect early next month.



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