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MailTribune.com
  • Police can enforce laws anywhere in the state

  • Several times recently, I've observed Talent and/or Phoenix police officers, lights ablaze, pull over motorists heading north out of Ashland on Highway 99. Clearly the offense took place within the Ashland city limits. It used to be — I'm a lifetime resident of Jackson County — that city police took care of their ...
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  • Several times recently, I've observed Talent and/or Phoenix police officers, lights ablaze, pull over motorists heading north out of Ashland on Highway 99. Clearly the offense took place within the Ashland city limits. It used to be — I'm a lifetime resident of Jackson County — that city police took care of their cities, county sheriffs took care of the "territory" and secondary roads in between, and the Oregon State Police took care of highways. Now it's not unusual to see any particular officer anywhere.
    — Michael K., Ashland
    Michael, Oregon police officers are authorized to enforce laws anywhere in the state, so you're not off the hook if you're speeding by a Talent police officer in Ashland.
    Ashland police Deputy Chief Corey Falls said officers are sometimes called to assist an agency in a neighboring city or will pull over a driver outside the city for a traffic violation that occurred in the city.
    Officers outside their city jurisdiction may choose to report traffic violations to the appropriate agency, but if it's a matter of public safety, they will get involved, Falls said.
    Talent police Chief Mike Moran said that since the Jackson County Jail is located in Medford, it's not uncommon for local police officers to be outside their city limits.
    "And just because we are en route to Medford doesn't mean we can't take care of some violation we see on the way," he added.
    Moran wasn't sure how many citations Talent police officers have issued outside the city this year, but he said it wasn't "unusual."
    Just so you know, you're not alone in wondering, Michael. Moran said he hears this question about once a week, and he thanks you for saving him a few phone calls.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com.
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