Oregon bill proposes stricter penalties for assault on state, city Parks & Rec employees

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 5:23 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Clark Beatty and his dog Max like going camping in the winter at state parks around Oregon and in Washington.

“Our favorite time is September through May or June which is kind of the shoulder season so, easier to get campground spots and I’m just about retired so we do a lot of winter camping,” Beatty said.

When they visit state parks, Beatty said he likes chatting with park rangers walking around camp sites.

“They’re very friendly, most of them. We like telling them, you know, how much we enjoy the state parks,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Investigation underway after body found following Happy Valley apartment fire

So, he was surprised to learn a new bill is proposing stricter penalties for assaults against parks and recreation employees, including park rangers, because he figured those already existed.

“I have heard of assaults happen on our rangers so I think having this...will help, you know, be a detriment to future assaults,” he said.

House Bill 2011 proposes a $125,000 fine or five years in prison for anyone who assaults a park ranger at the state level or at a local city park.

Beatty said he supports these penalties.

“We don’t want our rangers assaulted, especially being a frequent camper like we are,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Community responds to record number of homeless deaths in Multnomah Co.

The bill, requested by the Oregon Recreation and Park Association, is still in the very early stages. It was introduced last month and referred to the house committee on judiciary.