Oroville Police Chief receives 'Drug Free Zones'

OROVILLE – Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff requested the council approve “Drug Free Zones” throughout Oroville that would double sentencing and fines for convicted drug dealers.

“There’s an RCW that allows municipalities to put in Drug Free Zones in their communities,” Warnstaff told the Oroville Council at their Tuesday, March 3 meeting.

The Police Chief said the zones could be put in around public areas such as City Parks, schools and school bus stops, as well as public housing projects.

“If the community adopts the ordinance it puts a 1000 foot radius around the zones… we could cover nearly the entire city,” said Warnstaff. “Those that are arrested for dealing in the zones can get double time and double the fine at sentencing.”

Chief Warnstaff said the city would need to keep a map on file showing exactly where the zones were. There is already a zone in the areas around Oroville’s school property.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Councilman Tony Keopke.

The council granted permission for the Drug Free Zones to be established.

“We’re talking dealing, not simple possession,” said the police chief.