Hermiston trespass program an early success

HERMISTON, OR. - Local businesses in Hermiston are fed-up with the after hours damage and crime.It's a new point of access that can stop burglars in their tracks. We found out, police are finding early success.

The Agape House offers a helping hand to those down on their luck. But in recent months, the non-profit has been the target of thieves and trespassers.

It's why the Agape House signed up to be part of a new anti-trespass program with Hermiston Police. Officers have permission to check on local businesses after hours.

"Just knowing that I don't have to worry about coming down in the middle of the night, saying 'no they shouldn't be there,' it has let us focus more on what we are here to do, and that is serve the community," said Agape House owner Dave Hughes.

Pendleton started a similar program more than a year ago. It's credited with leading to a 60 percent drop in property crimes. Not even two weeks old at Hermiston, and the new system is credited with two arrests.

"It saves a lot of heartache if they stop them before they break into the building or something like that, it's amazing," said Hughes.

Hermiston Police say the new trespass program was not put in place to only protect businesses in the area, but to also protect the residents who live nearby.

This includes people like Shaun Randall. He lives off Elm, not far from local businesses. For Shaun, the trespass program comes down to safety.

"A nice, secure feeling, when you lay your head on the pillow, knowing that minutes later your not going to have to worry about waking up and finding someone stealing your personal property out of your shop and coming through your front door," said resident Shaun Randall.

Security for Shaun and for those running businesses and non-profits in Hermiston.

"I can just smile at night and be happy," said Hughes.

Hermiston PD says they expect more businesses to sign up in the next few weeks. There is no extra charge or fee.