Marysville Police now have another tool in their arsenal against drug use. The Marysville City Council unanimously approved the designation of a new Stay Out of Drug Area (SODA) in the north Marysville and Lakewood areas adjacent to Smokey Point.
“Our residents and businesses are fed up with seeing drug-related behavior,” Mayor Jon Nehring said. “Marysville continues to take an aggressive stance against drug trafficking and associated crimes, and this is one way to do that.”
Under this designation, people convicted of drug crimes that occurred within the SODA area may be prohibited for two years from returning there. Municipal court judges have the discretion to impose SODA orders, often upon recommendation of police and prosecutors. If police later see a person with a SODA order in that designated area, they can arrest the individual for violating the order.
“This is one more tool for police to keep drug trafficking in check,” City Attorney Jon Walker told the City Council as it approved the action Oct. 9.
Since 2015 police have documented nearly 300 drug-related incidents within the new SODA boundaries plus more than 600 thefts and nearly 400 nuisance and trespass incidents commonly associated with drug-related behavior.
“The newly enacted northern SODA area supplements the police department’s ongoing proactive policing measures to address drug-related criminal activity as part of our rigorous enforcement strategy,” Police Chief Rick Smith said. “The crimes associated with drug addiction remain a priority to ensure community livability and safety.”
Marysville’s new SODA area is directly adjacent to one adopted by the City of Arlington in August. Together, they encompass the Smokey Point, Lakewood and Twin Lakes business and residential neighborhoods surrounding Interstate 5.
The city previously enacted a SODA area in the southern downtown business area in 2012 to deter drug-related criminal activity there and impose stiffer penalties on repeat offenders.