Members of Grants Pass Police and the Streets Division were in Medford today to receive training in the deployment of the Meridian Vehicle Barrier System. Lieutenant Mike Miner said, “The grant-provided barriers will be shared between cities in Josephine and Jackson County to help safeguard special events, such as the Boatnik and Pear Blossom festivals.”
The Cities of Ashland, Grants Pass, and Medford received the barriers through a Regional State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment (SPIRE) Grant. The anti-vehicle barriers will be used to help ensure the safety of residents and visitors attending outdoor events in Southern Oregon.
According to a press release by the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, “The SPIRE Grant provides practical equipment to help save lives and property during emergencies by allowing for a more efficient response at the local level,” said OEM Grants Coordinator Carole Sebens. “Oregon Department of Emergency Management is prioritizing filling gaps in communities across Oregon to ensure our partners have the equipment they need to respond to emergencies and disasters that may impact their region.”
Each city received a Vehicle Barrier System that includes a trailer and eight barricades that can easily and quickly be set up by city staff. The cities will share their kits with other municipalities within Jackson and Josephine counties, so up to 24 barriers can be deployed during specific events.
This project equips Southern Oregon with the shared capability to rapidly deploy an effective anti-vehicle barrier system to protect people attending large public gatherings against vehicle-borne threats (vehicle-ramming attacks, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or vehicles unintentionally striking pedestrians).
“Recent events across the country have shown that there are new safety concerns for public gatherings. The barriers will be used to help safely close streets to ensure the safety of all participants from accidents and intentional acts involving motor vehicles,” Miner said.