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The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission is collecting applications for an anti-theft grant program established by OBI-backed legislation in 2023. The Organized Retail Theft Grant Program will distribute a total of $5 million to local law enforcement agencies, the Oregon State Police and community-based organizations to cover costs associated with addressing and prosecuting organized retail theft.

The program was created by Senate Bill 900, one of three bills introduced in 2023 at the urging of the Oregon Retail Crime Task Force. OBI played a key role in establishing the task force and advocated zealously for the passage of its 2023 anti-theft package.

One-time money distributed through the Organized Retail Theft Grant Program will prioritize proposals that preserve the safety of retail employees and the public, target fencing networks, and identify people or groups likely to commit organized retail theft. Also prioritized will be proposals designed to have a regional or statewide impact.

In addition to passing SB 900, the 2023 Legislature provided funding for personnel within the Department of Justice focused on organized retail crime and changed state criminal code to ease the prosecution of those engaged in retail theft.

Entities eligible to apply for money through the Organized Retail Theft Grant Program must do so on or before July 1.