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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Outreach Workers, Police Praise Relationship-Building Approach to Policing

Outreach Workers, Police Praise Relationship-Building Approach to Policing

THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales recently convened a work session on managing the homeless population on sidewalks and in parks to brief City Council on the Portland Police Bureau’s work toward relationship-building as policing.

Mayor Hales, police, street performerHales, commissioner in charge of the police bureau, in the summer joined a police walking beat on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, and was impressed with the evident relationships those police officers had built with the homeless population and business owners. Hales plans on growing the police-community connection, with a vision of a walking patrol in every neighborhood.

“As Sir Robert Peel said, ‘The police are the public and the public are the police,’” Hales said. “That’s our guiding principle.”

At the meeting, Hales asked police, outreach organizations, and others to share with the rest of Council their experiences with the pilot programs.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO (2 HOURS)

Israel Beyer, executive director of Street Roots:

Street Roots wants to say the walking beat has been great success. It can be national model for police bureaus across the country, which are looking for formulas that may work to solve these problems. In 15 years been doing this work, this is the best program I’ve seen.”

Dennis Lundberg, associate director of Janus Youth Programs:

“I deeply applaud Central Precinct’s work. This is something that, at Janus, we’ve been striving for for at least a decade—this level of partnership. It’s not a matter of shifting back to community policing, it’s a matter of putting the right officers with right training out of the street. I deeply respect all the men on the police foot patrol.

“For me, and I’ve doing street outreach for over 13 years, it’s like having a whole ’nother team of street outreach workers out there. Their level of empathy, compassion, the way they’re engaging young people experiencing homelessness should be applauded. And I agree with Israel: This should be a national model.

Mark Jolin, executive director of JOIN:

“All of us who do this work, we know it’s a process of coming back over and over again, and building trust to the point people actually believe that your offer of services is an offer of ongoing support and relationships that go beyond recommendation to a service that’s already very full.

“We at JOIN have had a relationship with police for close to 20 years. This approach to the work has been present, but now it’s organized and it’s getting support at the highest levels of the Police Bureau.And it’s going to make a world of difference—it did this summer in the pilot area, not just in addressing these problems, but also in bringing to community attention to them.

“It didn’t solve the problem of camping, and of people generating complaints; we still have thousands of people living personal private lives out on the street.

“What changed was the way the officers tasked with responding to that were engaging people. It wasn’t just, ‘this is the impact you’re having on the neighborhood.’ It was recognizing, ‘asking you to move has an adverse impact on you,’ and addressing that.”

Sgt. Ric DeLand, Portland Police Bureau:

For the walking beat pilot program, Sgt. Deland wanted a team of officers who volunteered for the duty; 12 did. Since the success of the program, more officers have e-mailed him, interested in joining, he said.

“We welcomed an entire community of people back to Portland after they’ve been told, ‘we don’t want you here.’ We invited them back in and said, ‘We want good people here. We want good people invested in community.’ We talked to them about how they present themselves, and they responded in droves.”

DeLand said the officers this summer led by example. For instance, he said, “Uniformed officers picked up garbage this year.”

One day on Hawthorne, he saw that someone had knocked over the newspaper boxes in front of Bagdad Theater, leaving a mess of newspapers strewn across the sidewalk and in the street. He walked over and started picking them up. A person sitting at a table put down his beer to help. The traveler asking for change in front of the building got up to help. The three found a business with a recycling bin to toss the papers. When DeLand walked back along the stretch, people at the tables outside the Bagdad raised their beers.

“We brought a scalpel to this broad brush problem—that’s the change we made this year. We dealt with people on an individual basis, with the families they create for themselves, with tribes, as they call themselves.”

DeLand pointed to an example another speaker had, of a sign on the porch saying, “If you’re going to sleep here, please leave by dawn and clean up after yourself”; people have done just that. “That’s the experience we’ve had with people,” he said.

“That’s the vast majority of people. If you present the issues and how they can help, they’ll be responsive to that. Only a handful of people haven’t been,” he said.

He pointed to the Waterfront Park cleanup, when 100 travelers worked shoulder-to-shoulder to clean up garbage in the park.

“Invite them to be part of the solution rather than being part of the problem, and they’ll jump at the opportunity.”

Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick Mark Fulfilled 'Back-to-Basics' Promise

Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick Mark Fulfilled 'Back-to-Basics' Promise

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick on Monday announced they had bested their “back-to-basics” promise, with more than 100 miles of streets paved in one year.

Mayor Hales paving the 100th mile“We paved a lot of streets with a limited amount of money,” said Hales, standing in front of the paver that will complete the city’s 104th paved mile of 2013-14 alongside the Lloyd Center MAX tracks. “The bad news is, to keep this up we need new revenue for our transportation system. Our mindset needs to be taking care of what we have by investing in what we need in order to build world-class neighborhoods.”

Portland Bureau of Transportation spent $11 million paving 100 miles; 53 miles were treated with fog seal and 47 miles with grind-and-pave. Low-traffic streets, such as residential streets around schools, were treated with the less pricey fog seal, and high-traffic streets were ground down and repaved.

Before the mayor took office, only around 30 miles of streets were repaved annually. Hales and Novick, Transportation commissioner, last year vowed to get “back-to-basics,” with city government taking care of its assets.

Streets are like teeth, Novick said Monday: Just as brushing is a lot cheaper than a root canal, maintaining streets as they’re beginning to show signs of wear is a lot cheaper than rebuilding them. 

Street Fund

City Unveils Plans to Pay For Maintenance, Safety on Portland Streets

 Portland Transportation Leaders Pause Street Fund Vote as Legislature Crafts Transportation Bill

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015  – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick today temporarily halted the paperwork necessary to take an advisory vote to the May ballot, regarding options to pay for city street maintenance and safety.

"Today, I am announcing a pause in our local efforts to fund our streets and safety projects within the City of Portland," Mayor Hales said. "Over the past week, I have had conversations with Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and with Gov. John Kitzhaber. They have each assured me that a statewide transportation package is a top priority for them this legislative session."

The Legislature is set to convene in February. The deadline for Portland to submit paperwork for the May election was 5 p.m. today.

"Because they recognize the importance of efforts to fund transportation infrastructure, they will hear the needs of local governments and ensure they are part of state transportation conversations as they work to give communities the tools to build and maintain critical infrastructure," Hales said.

"We are pleased to know that the Legislature is very interested in a transportation funding discussion this year," Commissioner Novick said. "We have said all along that the street fund we have proposed will not address all our needs, and that we are counting on the state and federal governments to step up."

The city has conducted more than 14 months of hearings to craft a proposal to pay for street maintenance and safety.

"During the passionate conversations we have had in Portland regarding transportation funding, many options were discussed, none of which prove to be popular," Hales said.

"Some options were put forward by Portlanders that we do not have the authority to enact. As your mayor, I will go to Salem to seek that authority."

Hales said he also will enlist the aid of mayors throughout Oregon to push for more authority for cities. "Together, we can represent the needs of cities, all of which will benefit from new options to fund infrastructure at a time when the existing options don’t satisfy our communities," he said.

"The completion of this work comes when all three levels of government have acted; when Congress, the Legislature and the Portland City Council have all authorized new revenues to pay for streets and roads," Hales said. "This cooperation between the State of Oregon and local governments gives us, as Oregonians, the best way forward toward that objective."


Commissioner Novick announces two-part strategy to fund safety and maintenance

MONDAY, DEC. 29, 2014 -- As a year of debate over city transportation funding draws to a close, City Commissioner Steve Novick today announced a two-part strategy to ensure funding for transportation maintenance and safety priorities.

“We are proposing a revised residential user fee, with a hearing on January 8 at 6 p.m. and a vote scheduled for January 14. If that fails, either in Council or through a subsequent referral to the ballot, we will prepare to campaign for a progressive income tax in 2016,” Novick said. The proposed non-residential fee is unchanged.

The proposed user fee will vary by income, based on national statistics showing the extent to which gasoline consumption varies by income quintile. “Gasoline use is one proxy for ‘road use,’ and gasoline use varies somewhat by income level,” Novick said.

Under the proposed fee, tax filers in the lowest fifth of the income distribution would pay $3 a month; filers in the second fifth would pay $5 a month; filers in the middle fifth would pay $7.45 a month; filers in the second-highest fifth would pay $9 a month; and filers in the top fifth would pay $12 a month. The fee is projected to raise $23 million per year.

If the user fee fails, Novick said, he plans to propose a progressive income tax to be sent to the ballot in May or November of 2016. “What I would propose is an income tax that, for married filers, exempts the first $35,000 in income, and then applies graduated rates as follows: one-tenth of one percent of income between $35,000 and $60,000; two-tenths of one percent of income between $60,000 and $100,000; three-tenths of one percent of income between $100,000 and $250,000; and four-tenths of one percent of income above $250,000.” Such a tax is also projected to raise $23 million a year. That proposal includes a $5000 per dependent deduction and is tax deductible on the state and federal returns.

“My personal preference is for a progressive income tax, which is also the most popular option among Portlanders generally. But pursuing that option would involve a campaign that would not end until at least May, and possibly November of 2016 – which means postponing actual work to repair streets and make them safer. As the Mayor and I have repeatedly said, the longer we wait, the worse the problem gets. It seems possible that we could pass a user fee in Council that would not require a campaign, which would mean that we could get to work much sooner,” Novick said.

Table 1 shows the monthly fee that would be charged under the Residential Transportation User Fee. This proposal will be presented to the City Council at a public hearing Jan. 8.

Table 2 shows the monthly charge estimated for a residential income tax that may be introduced to voters if the Residential Transportation User Fee proposal is not approved.

Table 1: Residential Transportation User Fee proposal

Annual Income Range

Average Annual Gas Spending

Monthly Fee

≤$13,000

$1,231

$3.00

>$13,000 - $27,000

$1,850

$5.00

>$27,000 - $46,000

$2,622

$7.45

>$46,000 - $82,000

$3,284

$9.00

>$82,000

$4,071

$12.00

Notes: Income ranges apply to single filers and married or joint filers. Average Annual Gas Spending is based on national averages calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics..

Table 2: Residential Income Tax proposal

Annual Income Range

Annual Transportation Income Tax Rate

Annual Income Examples for Couples Filing Jointly

Examples of Income Tax Per Income Example

$0 - $35,000

Exempt

$35,000

Exempt

$35,000 - $60,000

1/10 of 1%

$50,000

$1

$60,000 - $100,000

2/10 of 1%

$80,000

$5

$100,000 - $250,000

3/10 of 1%

$100,000

$9

> $250,000

4/10 of 1%

$300,000

$63

Notes: A $5,000 deduction per dependent would reduce tax bill. Income ranges apply to single filers and married or joint filers, based on Adjusted Gross Income. Average Annual Gas Spending is based on national averages calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Mayor Talks to 'Think Out Loud' About Proposed Street Fund

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19, 2014 -- Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, this afternoon talked about the street fund on OPB's "Think Out Loud" program.

They were joined by two vocal opponents of the proposal, which would use a small fee and modest income tax to generate about $46 million to repair streets and improve safety. One guest on the show, a woman who owns a business, said that although her fee would be $3 per month, she objects to the fund on principle. 

Hales challenged the basis for opposition, saying the city needs to do this -- the street fund -- or do nothing, or do something else. Opponents were unable to offer alternate revenue-generating proposals. 

Listen to the full interview here: https://soundcloud.com/thinkoutloudopb/city-rolls-out-the-latest-1


Mayor Talks to KATU About Proposed Street Fund

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19, 2014 -- Mayor Charlie Hales last week talked to KATU News' ‪"Your Voice Your Vote‬" program about the street fund, which will be heard at City Council tomorrow, Thursday, at 2 p.m.Hales tells the program: "Taxes aren’t popular. I want to remind people that we have a crumbling street system in the city of Portland. It’s been crumbling for decades. And we have three options: Do this. Do nothing. Or do something else."

Hales has heard from residents and businesses that the new street fund is a manageable solution. The fee for businesses and income tax for residents (starting at $5 per month for households with, after deductions, a $40,000 annual income) will cover basic maintenance and paving (56 percent) and basic safety, such as building sidewalks (44 percent). Hales emphasized that the fund is only a start: "We also need state and federal governments to step up and raise revenue."

Why push is the mayor pushing for this revenue? "It ought to be possible for children in Portland neighborhoods to walk to school on a sidewalk. That’s not true today. It ought to be possible to get across streets with heavy traffic, and right now that’s not the case. Last year, we had 35 Portlanders killed in traffic in a city that only had 16 homicides. Each of those people was lost to a Portland families. Safety is a big deal."

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW: http://www.katu.com/politics/video/Your-Voice-Your-Vote-Mayor-Hales-on-proposed-street-fund-282981081.html?tab=video&c=y


Council Hears Public Testimony on Revised Street Fund Proposal

MONDAY, NOV. 10, 2014 – After months of public input, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick proposed a Portland Street Fund that will more than double the City’s pavement maintenance budget.

Mayor Hales on paving machine The Street Fund investments also will make it safer for children to walk to school and for seniors to walk to transit stops, by filling in missing sidewalks and making crossing improvements at dangerous intersections.

The Portland City Council will conduct a first reading and public hearing on the proposal at 2 p.m., Nov. 20 at City Council Chambers. A second reading and vote are expected at 10 a.m., Dec. 3.

The fund will provide about $15 million per year for preventive maintenance for street pavement in the first three years – investments that are estimated to prevent the need for more than $650 million in costly rebuilds, over a 10-year period.

“I had said: When it comes to street maintenance and safety, you can do this, do something else, or do nothing. And I wasn’t interested in ‘do nothing.’” Mayor Hales said. “These proposals come from community members who stepped up and designed a great plan.”

Businesses will pay between $3 and $144 per month, with a 50 percent discount for non-profits, under an approach developed by a business workgroup, which included representatives from Venture Portland and the Portland Business Alliance.

Individuals, meanwhile, will pay rates related to their ability to pay. For example, a couple making between $40,000 and $60,000 per year will pay $5 per month, while a couple making between $60,000 and $75,000 per year will pay $7.50 per month.

The Portland Street Fund results from the Our Streets PDX transportation funding conversation that started in January. The City Council considered a Transportation User Fee in May, but decided to seek more public input on ways to reduce charges for low-income residents and businesses, and provide a discount for non-profits.

The fund will allocate 56 percent of net revenue to maintenance, and 44 percent to safety projects, with the understanding that many projects accomplish both goals. Just under 40 percent of the first three years of safety improvements will be made in East Portland.

“Preventive maintenance saves money in the long run,” Transportation Director Leah Treat said. “The Portland Street Fund will provide $45 million in the first three years, and at that rate after 10 years, we can avoid spending more than $650 million in more expensive road rebuilds. Our crews are working hard to provide the right treatment at the right place, at the right time.”

People with questions regarding this effort can contact project staff at ourstreetspdx@portlandoregon.gov. People also may join the conversation on Twitter, at @PBOTInfo and use the tag #ourstreetspdx.


Oregon League of Cities Op-Ed: Portland Prioritizes Maintenance, Safety Needs for Transportation

MONDAY, NOV. 3, 2014 -- Mayor Charlie Hales wrote about Portland's transportation needs in the Oregon League of Cities magazine, Local Focus. The issue was dedicated to transportation funding as a city issue. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE, starting on page 20 of this PDF: http://www.orcities.org/Portals/17/Publications/localfocus/Nov2014web.pdf

An excerpt:

"For too long, the streets of Oregon’s largest city have withered under the wear and tear caused by population growth and years of deferred maintenance. Now, almost half of our busiest streets are rated in “poor” or “very poor” condition. We still have many neighborhoods where people don’t feel safe walking to a bus for lack of sidewalks and safe crossings.

We’ve talked about this for decades here in Portland. And while we have talked, 28 other Oregon cities have enacted street fees.

The time has come for Portland to act.

And act we must, because as city government leaders across Oregon know, transportation funding has been short for decades. The last time the federal gas tax was raised, Beanie Babies were the popular toy. That was 1993, when the gas tax was increased to 18.3 cents per gallon. If it had been adjusted for inflation over the years, the U.S. gas tax would be 30 cents today.

Not only has the federal gas tax not kept up with inflation, it hasn’t kept up with the demands of technology and our growing population. An audit by Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s office this summer reported the trend toward fuel-efficient cars is reducing the gas tax revenue traditionally used to pay for transportation. Young people are less interested in driving than prior generations. As our cities grow, people expect public transit and safe bicycle options to get where they need to go.

When Oregonians consume less gas, they pay less into the system that maintains the streets they rely on. The state constitution prohibits us from spending gas tax dollars on public transit and many of the other needs of modern cities. The city of Portland supported the Legislature’s approval of gas tax and vehicle registration increases in 2009. While helpful, the city’s share was just enough to cover the debt service on our contribution to replacing the Sellwood Bridge, a regional asset."


Street Fee Package Handed to Council; Mayor Comments

MONDAY, OCT. 13, 2014 -- Mayor Charlie Hales, following the street fee work session this afternoon, commented on the progress of the street fee:

"I appreciate all the work that was done this summer to really “Portland-ize” this street funding proposal. We have come away with a much better product than we started with — one that provides revenue for street maintenance and safety improvements without being overly burdensome.

I’ll emphasize that this package would pay PART of the cost of street maintenance. We’re still counting on the Oregon State Legislature to adopt a bill to help properly fund our roads. We’re still counting on the federal government to pass legislation to raise the gas tax. We’re hoping taking this action will inspire action by two other levels of government.

The street fee work has now been handed back to Council. While a few criteria need to be finalized, we are close to putting a proposal together that I believe emphasizes fairness, while starting the process of repairing our system.

Ultimately, it’s not going to be a perfect mechanism, but I knew that when we began. But we’re within striking distance of something that’s fair for all Portlanders and that begins the critical work of repairing our biggest city asset: our streets."

More information:

Work group summary: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/504260
How money will be spent: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/65945


Chief of Staff talks Transportation Need in Portland

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17, 2014 -- Gail Shibley, the mayor's chief of staff, at the Oregon Coast Economic Summit in August was interviewed about transportation needs in Portland -- how the mayor fulfilled the 100-mile paving promise, the street fee, and taking care of what we have and investing in what we need.

"In the city of Portland alone we have 56 miles of unpaved streets -- unpaved, nothing there, gravel. No sidewalks, no crossings for kids," Gail said. "Better streets are a real need -- a public safety need, a mobility need."


Congressman Calls on Mayor, Other Leaders Discuss Transportation Issues

TUESDAY, AUG. 5, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales on Monday joined some of the most influential leaders in transportation for in-depth discussion of funding streets, roads and highways at U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s “Forum on the Future of America’s Transportation Infrastructure.”

Mayor Hales on a street paver“Portland is in competition with other cities for quality of place — and other cities are being more aggressive, improving their streets, sidewalks, bikeways and public transportation,” Hales said. “When 40 percent of our streets are in ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ condition, we need to do something.”

Blumenauer organized the forum to discuss federal, state, regional and city transportation funding issues, and to brainstorm ways to pay for transportation infrastructure outside of federal funding. Leaders also discussed “climate smart” transportation planning, emphasizing sustainable modes of transportation that also reduce wear and tear on roadways.

Ultimately, leaders said, transportation improvements boil down to more revenue. Representatives from trucking and associated industries supported higher taxes to pay for infrastructure, which would benefit their industries in the long run. Likewise, Hales said, Portlanders and Oregonians paying for their streets and sidewalks today will have long-term payoffs.

“Right now we call our highways in this country ‘freeways,’” Hales said. “That’s unrealistic. We’re going to have to get used to paying as we go. It’s taking care of the infrastructure we have and investing in long-term growth.”

In other parts of the country, sales tax and highway tolls pay for transportation and other needs. With the federal Highway Trust Fund stagnant at 1993 funding levels and inadequate state gas tax revenue, Hales said, eventually that also will be Oregon’s reality.

“We’ve gotten used to a state of affairs that can’t last,” he said.

The street fee proposed by Hales and Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick would raise the revenue for pavement maintenance, safe routes to schools, building sidewalks, improving crosswalks, and building protected bike lanes.

Community task forces are meeting this summer to help design the residential and non-residential fees. Council is slated to vote on the fee in November.

“It’s a clumsy method to raise revenue,” Hales said. “I’m open to other ideas that can raise the $53 million we need for streets. But so far, there hasn’t been a viable alternative.

“Streets are only getting worse. There are unpaved gravel roads in the city limits,” he added. “Potholes are driving neighborhoods crazy. Kids in some neighborhoods don’t have proper sidewalks or crosswalks. We need revenue to address these problems.” 


Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick Agree to Pull Back Charter Amendment; Push Forward with Street Fee in 2015

THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2014 – A proposed change to the city charter from Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, designed to lock in the use of the proposed street fee for maintenance and safety, will be pulled off the table.

Mayor Hales at a town hall“The issue was confusing to people,” Hales said. “We listened to hours of testimony. We’ve received hundreds of emails and calls. Local media claim it confuses them. We’re listening. If the charter change is muddying the real message – that we must take care of our streets – then we’ll take it off the table.”

Hales and Novick have held 10 town hall meetings and have discussed a street fee at many City Council meetings this spring and summer. In 2012, Hales ran on making street maintenance a priority. And he’s talked about it since arriving in office 18 months ago.

“The independent auditor tells us we need more than $75 million per year to take care of the largest thing we own: our streets. We haven’t even gotten close to that. Our streets are in disrepair, the state and federal governments are not going to swoop in with a more robust gas tax to save us. It’s up to us.”

Hales and Novick are committed to ensuring that revenue from any new funding mechanism would be dedicated to improving the maintenance and safety of our city’s transportation network, including paving and sidewalks. The charter amendment that would go to voters in November is one way of codifying that commitment.

But residents who attended town halls, or who contacted the mayor’s office, have said the proposal is confusing.

“We don’t want any confusion on this: We have not taken care of our streets; we have to turn that around; we don’t have the millions-per-year necessary now to do it; no one else is going to do this except us; we need a street fee,” Hales said. “None of that has changed. We’re told that the charter amendment was adding confusion. So we’ll take that off the table for now, until we’ve reached a consensus on a funding proposal.”

Work groups will be created this summer to examine the best way to enact a residential fee and a non-residential fee. All meetings will be open to the public.

Hales and Novick expect a council vote on the transportation fee by this fall. It is expected to be enacted by July 2015.


Hundreds Line Up to Speak at 10th Street Fee Hearing

THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2014 – An estimated 120 people jammed into a community space at Kaiser Permanente Interstate on Wednesday to express their views on the proposed city street fee. Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Leah Treat, director of the city Transportation Bureau, sat through more than two hours of emotional testimony.

PBOT Director Leah TreatThe street fee has been proposed by Hales and Novick to address the backlog of maintenance and safety repairs to the city’s streets. Historic funding mechanisms – federal and state gas tax – have become woefully inadequate in the 21st century.

“Our options are to do this, to something else, or to do nothing,” Hales said, noting that more than 40 percent of the city’s streets are rated at “poor” to “very poor” condition. “Frankly, ‘doing nothing’ is not an option. I refused to leave this to our children and our grandchildren to pay for.”

Treat said the city formerly had repaired about 30 miles of street per year. Last year, Hales and Novick vowed to repair 100 miles – of the estimated 5,000 lane-miles owned by the city.

Transportation crews will hit the 100-mile mark within a week.

“At this rate, it would take 48 years to repair all our roads,” Treat said.

Hales and Novick are proposing a street fee for residents and non-residents, to begin in July 2015. They have held 10 public hearings on the topic. Work groups for both the residential and non-residential will be formed this summer. All meetings will be open to the public.

“Nobody wants fees,” Hales said. “We hear you. But our largest asset is our streets. The feds won’t bail us out. The state won’t bail us out. It’s up to us.”


Street Fee: Residents Sound Off at Town Hall

TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014 — Business owners expressed their concerns, complaints, and support for a street fee Tuesday morning at the Oregon Convention Center during the ninth town hall addressing the mechanism proposed to improve Portland’s streets and sidewalks.

Mayor Hales, Commissioner NovickThe transportation user fee would raise around $53 million annually for street maintenance, safety and projects, such as paving gravel roads — less than the billion dollars in need, but enough to prevent street maintenance from becoming cost prohibitive in the future.

“We have not taken care of our largest asset: our streets,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “If we do nothing, your children and your grandchildren will get the bill. And it will be much, much higher than it is today. We cannot do nothing.”

Mayor Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat noted people’s concerns about the flawed trip-generator model and regressive nature of the fee, as well as some suggestions for alternate sources of revenue — a 40-cent higher gas tax, tax on studded tires, and a sales tax. Some business owners asked to broaden the scope of the fee to raise more revenue.

Most of the 30 speakers acknowledged a need to improve streets; one speaker read a news story about potholes in Southwest Portland, and several business owners said they were aware that better streets and sidewalks are good for business.

The town hall drew about 140 people. A 10th town hall to discuss the residential fee will be Wednesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Kaiser Permanente’s Town Hall, 3704 N. Interstate Ave. 


Street Fee Town Hall Moves to Larger Venue

JUNE 20, 2014 – With higher-than-expected interest in the transportation funding proposal, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has decided to relocate Tuesday’s town hall to the Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 255.

The event is free and open to the public. The Tuesday meeting is intended to focus on how the transportation fee would work for businesses, non-profits and other non-residential land uses. Participants are encouraged to discuss ways improve the proposal or suggest alternative ways of raising money for transportation safety and maintenance. A Wednesday night meeting will focus on the fee for households.

Participants will discuss a proposed charter amendment, which would go to voters in November, and which would lock in the use of the utility fee money for transportation only.

“Portlanders are passionate about participating in local government,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We welcome ideas about how they want to improve the transportation fee, or alternative proposals on par with the $53 million it would raise. There’s no question we need to invest in basic transportation maintenance and safety.”

The Tuesday event is the first of two town halls coming up:


Town Hall on Business and Non-Residential Fee: 8 to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 24, at Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 255, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Directions and visitor info.

 
Town Hall on Residential Fee: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, at Kaiser Permanente’s Town Hall, 3704 N Interstate Ave.

The town hall meetings will provide an opportunity for the public to speak with transportation staff, ask questions and make comments to Mayor Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat.

The City Council delayed the proposal June 4, after five months of Our Streets PDX town halls, online surveys, advisory committee meetings and a five-hour public hearing May 29. Two upcoming town halls will kick off the next phase of outreach through October, designed to gather input to address the needs of businesses, non-profits and low-income households.

For more information about the Our Streets PDX funding conversation and the proposed Transportation User Fee, see the project web page: www.ourstreetspdx.com.

See updated information on the proposed fee the council amended May 29:

Updated online calculator: PBOT has updated an online calculator that estimates the monthly fee for residential and non-residential ratepayers. PBOT has updated the web calculator from the proposed $11.56 fee to the 3-year phase-in starting at $6 a month for single-family properties.

Transportation User Fee rate details: Details on the way the fee is calculated, to help business owners find the right information.

Frequently Asked Questions: This series of questions and answers will help the public learn more about why the fee was proposed and what it would pay for.

Email us for more information at TUF_Administrator@portlandoregon.gov

Talk about it on twitter, using hashtag #ourstreetspdx or see @pbotinfo


Street Fee: Council Vote Delayed, but Not Fee Itself

TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2014 -- The proposal by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick to launch a street fee in 2015 remains on schedule. However, the council vote on how to structure the fee will be pushed back until November.

"We have not taken care of our largest asset: our streets. We have to change that," Mayor Hales said. "We’ve been talking about this for 13 years, and we held several town halls this winter and spring to hear from people. Despite that, many constituents still haven’t been heard yet. We get that. Postponing the Council vote will give people time to weigh in on whether this is the best solution to this dire need, and to consider changes to make it work better."

"The last street fee proposal in 2008 was derailed by a lobbyist filing a referendum petition," said Commissioner Novick. "This one has been temporarily delayed due to concerns voiced by small business owners and low-income people and advocates. We are in a hurry to get to work, but if we’re going to be delayed, it’s for the right reasons."

The City Council on Wednesday will still vote on referring a charter change that would lock in the use of any street fee for transportation purposes. "Voters need to be assured that we will spend this money the way we say we will," Hales said. "A charter change will ensure that we stay true to that commitment, administration after administration."

However, the council vote on both the residential fee, and the non-residential fee, will be pushed back to November.

Further public forums will be scheduled to hear from residents and the business community.

And two work groups will be formed. Their charges:

● To analyze city policy regarding low-income residents and fees. The work group will look at the street fee as well as fees for other city utilities, including water and sewer, to see how well low-income residents are being served and how widely discounts can be applied.

● To further engage with small business, nonprofit and government partners on design and implementation of the fee.

"Think of this as a track race," Hales said. "We haven’t moved the finish line, which is July 2015. But we’re moving the starting blocks. We heard from the community: We are taking our time to hear a more robust debate on the details of this fee. But we have not wavered in our resolve. It is our intention to finally address our deteriorating streets."

Incoming Chief O'Dea Announces Organizational and Command Changes

Incoming Chief O'Dea Announces Organizational and Command Changes

THURSDAY, DEC. 11, 2014 -- Incoming Chief Larry O'Dea announced today organizational changes and personnel assignments for the Portland Police Bureau. Assistant Chief O'Dea will be appointed Chief of Police on January 2, 2015; these changes will be effective, January 8, 2015.

Chief O'Dea and Mayor Hales at a community meeting.The Bureau currently has three branches: Operations, Investigations and Services. Under Chief O'Dea, the Bureau will add a fourth branch called Community Services. This branch will be responsible for: the Traffic Division; Transit Police Division; Youth Services Division; and Tactical Operations Division. Emergency Management will also be in this branch, under the direction of the Traffic Division. These divisions were previously part of the Operations Branch.

"I fully support Larry O'Dea's changes and assignments," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "The incoming chief believes in engagement with the community; a personal passion of mine. He believes in the importance of diversity; another passion of mine."

Hales serves as Police Commissioner for the City of Portland.

The Operations Branch will contain: the three precincts; Rapid Response Team; Critical Incident Command; and Crowd Control Incident Command.

"The most important reason for this change is to provide the senior leadership team the opportunity to oversee increased community engagement," said Chief O'Dea. "I discussed this priority when I was named Chief in October; it is vital that we increase our efforts in regard to community engagement. We must continue to build community relationships and trust. The value of these relationships is unmeasurable and critical as we move forward."

Adding a fourth branch will not cost any additional money and is fully supported by the staffing study that will be forthcoming in the first part of the year.

"Just as we moved ahead with Department of Justice (DOJ) recommendations prior to the settlement agreement being finalized, it's important that we adopt this reorganization that the staffing study will be recommending," said Chief O'Dea. "I can tell you from firsthand knowledge the workload in both the Operations Branch and the Services Branch is very heavy and doesn't allow for the necessary time to tackle additional initiatives such as community engagement."

Other changes include: The Department of Justice (DOJ) responsibilities and the new Equity/Diversity Manager will be direct reports to Chief O'Dea. The Information Technology Division will move from the Services Branch to the Investigations Branch.

Chief O'Dea also announced personnel assignments for the senior leadership team.

"I made these decisions after thoughtful consideration, and they were based on these individuals' ability to engage the community," Chief O'Dea said.

 ● Commander Kevin Modica, currently assigned to the Transit Division, will be promoted to Assistant Chief, Community Services Branch.

●  Commander Bob Day, currently assigned to Central Precinct, will be promoted to Assistant Chief, Operations Branch.

● Assistant Chief Donna Henderson will remain as Investigations Branch Assistant Chief.

● Assistant Chief Mike Crebs will remain as Services Branch Assistant Chief.

● Commander Mike Leloff, currently assigned to North Precinct, will move to the Transit Police Division.

 ● Commander Sara Westbrook, currently assigned to East Precinct, will move to Central Precinct.

 ● Captain Dave Hendrie, currently assigned to the Tactical Operations Division, will be promoted to Commander of East Precinct.

● Captain Chris Uehara, currently assigned to Youth Services Division, will be promoted to Commander of North Precinct.

● Lt. Tom Hunt, currently assigned to North Precinct, will be promoted to Captain and assigned to Central Precinct.

●  Lt. Robert King, currently assigned to East Precinct, will be promoted to Captain and remain at East Precinct.

●  Lt. Matt Wagenknecht, currently assigned to Central Precinct, will be promoted to Captain, and assigned to the Tactical Operations Division.

● Lt. John Scruggs, currently assigned to the Chief's Office, will be promoted to Captain and assigned to the Youth Services Division.

●  Lt. Vince Elmore, currently assigned to the Records Division, will be promoted to Captain and remain in the Records Division.


Mayor Talks to Oregonian About Impact of Protests

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10, 2014 -- The Oregonian's Casey Parks talked to Mayor Hales this morning about recent demonstrations, and the meeting that followed the mayor's invitation to Don't Shoot Portland to discuss the group's top issues.

READ THE FULL Q&A: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/12/mayor_charlie_hales_says_fergu.html

An excerpt: 

Q: Why did you want to meet with the members of Don't Shoot PDX?

A: "There are two levels to this conversation. Both are valid. There's pain and outrage. One way to express that is going to the streets. People are doing that, and I respect that.

"There's also conversations about what we do to make change. Are we doing the things as a community to not be Ferguson? That's a conversation that I as a mayor and police commissioner need to have with a lot of people. The people who have organized themselves are some of the people who need to be in that conversation. So I wanted to hear what their ideas were. I wanted to ask, 'How can we as a community learn from what has not worked here and elsewhere?' That's not a one meeting conversation."

Q: What did you learn yesterday?

"A number of people there talked about the experience of kids in Portland, both in the school system and in their interactions with police officers. That really demonstrated that there's still real fear that kids of color will be treated differently. That's legitimate. It's not just a fear. It's a fact. Kids of color are disproportionately more likely to be disciplined or suspended. That starts a disconnection and a discrimination that's going to haunt those kids until they're adults. The connection from what happens to a young kid and what might happen 10 years later as they're interacting with a police officer, that was clearly drawn from those discussions." 


Mayor Hales Invites 'Don't Shoot Portland' To Conversation about Top Issues

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales on Tuesday talked to approximately 50 people involved in "Don't Shoot Portland," a group that has been organizing protests in Portland in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men. 

The mayor invited key organizers to talk about policy action items for an hour, but the group showed up with about 70 people, chanting in City Hall. Hales allowed Teressa Raiford, a primary organizer, to select groups of people to talk directly with the mayor in his office's conference room for an hour and a half. The group live-streamed the conversations online. 

Mayor Hales and his staff said despite the unplanned large group, the discussions were respectful and productive. 

"The most important issue highlighted by these initial conversations," Mayor Hales said, "is that all of our institutions have a role in, and have a choice in, either perpetuating or eliminating the racial inequities that persist in our nation."

Below are action items Mayor Hales identified in conversations, and notes on the groups' primary issues:

Mayor’s possible action items

GENERAL:

  • Request for the mayor to be out in community spaces more often. "There was a sincere request for me to be out in different communities even more," Hales said. "We attempted to have this meeting at the Urban League last week, but scheduling didn't work out. So now that we have a month to plan our next conversation, we will be sure to have it in a more convenient community location."

RESPONSE TO PROTESTS:

  • Post policy for use of flash bangs.
  • Research media credentials: Who qualifies as a member of the media? Law enforcement nationwide best practices?
  • Research belief that PPB violated federal law, US Code 218.241 conspiracy against rights.

DOJ AGREEMENT

  • Improve communication: Misunderstanding about what the appeal is actually about; not appealing settlement, asking for clarity in the order the judge added to the settlement agreed upon by parties.

HOMELESSNESS:

  • Go undercover for as a homeless person, “Undercover Boss” style.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY EQUITABLE POLICIES:

  • Follow up: Mulntomah County Jail’s processes for refunding money and the cost of video visits.
  • Follow up: Money returned after booking and release in jail is placed on a debit card with fees, which for some individuals can eat up a significant amount of their remaining cash.

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

  • Discussion around PPS disparate treatment of youth of color.
  • Praise for wrap-around services of the Gang Impacted Family Team; suggestions that PPS use similar style.

Feedback from group members

RESPONSE TO PROTESTS

Mayor Hales: “There were a few very specific concerns about handling of particular free speech events during the past weeks’ series of events. Complaints regarding these incidents have already been filed with the Independent Police Review, and the Auditor’s Office is investigating. Overall, I am very pleased with the many hours of strategic response from the Police Bureau, creating a safe environment for demonstrators and the general public.”

Don’t Shoot Portland:

  • Specific concerns with some behaviors of police; contradictory orders at the time of the die-in and arrest.
  • Concerned about the use of the flash bangs.
  • Film Portland Police; praise for officers downtown; concern about contradictory orders at the protests that led to arrests during the die-in.
  • Selective arrests.
  • Thinks we violated federal law: US Code 218.241 conspiracy against rights.
  • Arrested but not taken into custody.
  • Thought the charging of the crowd was reckless; recognized that PPB was trying to disengage but the crowd was not allowing them to do so.

DOJ AGREEMENT

Mayor Hales: “We need to clarify that we are 100 percent committed to implementing the DOJ settlement agreement both in spirit and letter. The appeal pertains to a portion of the judge’s order that came after the settlement agreement; the order adds vague participation by the judge. We are seeking clarity on the judge’s role — all the while implementing the terms of the agreement. We continue to move ahead with major police reform in training, managing, documenting and evaluating use of force. We continue to invest financial and personnel resources to achieve the reforms laid out in the document. The appeal of the judge’s order — not the agreement — has absolutely no impact on the implementation of these reforms.

“When the form becomes available this week, community members may apply to become at-large members of the Community Oversight and Advisory Board. We are looking for a diverse group of people to closely review police activities and tell us where we have been successful and what we need to do more work on.”

Don’t Shoot Portland:

  • Asked to drop the appeal of the judge’s order.
  • Other participants stated that they believe appeal meant we were trying to get out of the entire settlement agreement. 
  • Stated that they believe we were not implementing the agreement. Weren't aware of Behavioral Health Unity cars, additional training, policy review, discipline guide, or that people had been fired or arrested.
  • Don’t want body cameras unless the cameras are always on.

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS:

Mayor Hales: “Portland Public Schools has done tremendous work in reducing overall rates of out-of-class suspensions and expulsions. There’s still work to do in addressing disparate numbers based on race and students with special needs. A community member suggested PPS take on a model like our Gang Impacted Family Team program, providing wrap-around support services to parents and children of who are having significant struggles in the schools. That’s useful insight, and possibly a way we can assist the school district.”

Don’t Shoot Portland:

  • Disproportionate expulsion and suspension of children of color, especially with special needs. School to prison pipeline.
  • Doesn’t have effective strategies and accountability for teachers, nor appropriate supports for parents. Especially related to children with special needs.
  • Schools need to listen directly to voices of parents. They feel as though they are only being rerouted through support agencies, which do not have adequate feedback loop with schools to actually change the outcomes for the children in school.
  • Suggestion that PPS take on the operational style of the mayor’s Gang Impacted Family Team Program, which provides supportive wrap-around devices for the whole family.

    Mayor Hosts Photographer, Police Sergeant of Famous Hug

    Johnny Nguyen, Mayor Hales, Sgt. BarnumFRIDAY, DEC. 5, 2014 -- Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Bret Barnum and photographer Johnny Nguyen had one thing in common on a chilly afternoon at a demonstration: They both asked 12-year-old Devonte Hart if he was OK.

    The boy, holding a sign advertising “Free Hugs,” had tears streaming down his cheeks.

    Nguyen, a 20-year-old Portland Community College student, captured the moment when Sgt. Barnum cashed in on the free hug. He was moved to hug the child for the same reason he’d hug his children, who are Devonte’s age: “You do what’s human,” Barnum said Friday morning.

    Barnum and Nguyen met with Mayor Charlie Hales on Friday. Nguyen delivered his first prints of the photographs, and the photographer and sergeant signed them. One print will be displayed in the mayor’s office. The other will be delivered to President Barack Obama next week, via a Portland business owner who serves on a presidential commission.

    Johnny Nguyen signs his photographNguyen told Mayor Hales as he was editing his take, he was moved to share the image: “There are images of all the violence out there. But I knew there are other images out there. I think I went out subconsciously looking for that image.”

    Barnum told Mayor Hales that in the context of Devonte’s mother’s reaction (read it here: https://www.facebook.com/jen.hart.79/posts/10152358416736261:0), “tears come to my eyes when I think of her story, and that hug, and that moment.”

    Hales expressed gratitude for Devonte’s big heart, for Barnum’s kind response, and for Nguyen’s compassionate eye. “In this business we don’t get a lot of good news,” he said. “This gives us all some hope.”

 

 


Oregonian Explains Legislative Barrier to Police Body Cameras

FRIDAY, DEC. 5, 2014 -- The Oregonian today explained the last step to outfitting our officers with body cameras: Amending privacy legislation at the state level.

"I've budgeted the funding, the Police Bureau is preparing a request for proposals for hardware," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "We're working with stakeholders on details of the legislation, and are ready to go as soon as the Oregon Legislature acts."

READ THE FULL STORY: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/12/body_cameras_for_police_portla.html#incart_2box

EXCERPT FROM THE STORY: "Portland police want to outfit officers with body cameras in the next fiscal year. ... But first, police say, they need state lawmakers to adopt an amendment to Oregon's eavesdropping law.

The law requires anyone who audio-records a conversation to tell all parties that the conversation is being recorded. An exception was approved for law enforcement when using dash cameras, providing the officer is in uniform and displaying a badge, unless a reasonable opportunity exists to tell people they're being recorded.

Portland police will push lawmakers to extend the exemption to body cameras, according to the city's legislative agenda.

The city also wants the Legislature to curb the public release of body camera recordings and footage. City officials said they're concerned about footage taken inside private homes or that involves 'traumatic and sensitive interactions with citizens.'"


Street Roots Editorial Praises Police Walking Beats

FRIDAY, DEC. 5, 2014 -- Street Roots, the homeless advocacy newspaper, praised Portland Police Bureau walking beats in a recent editorial. 

"I'm thankful for the validation from Street Roots regarding the walking beat patrol," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "My vision for the future: Walking beats in every neighborhood."

READ THE FULL EDITORIAL: http://news.streetroots.org/2014/12/04/walking-beat-positive-impact-streets

From editor Israel Bayer: "With more than 2,000 interactions with people experiencing homelessness and the general public, the 10 police officers only wrote 21 citations this summer. The officers made just over 200 arrests, mostly for outstanding warrants. We will take those odds any day of the week.

Being able to find the right formula that doesn’t criminalize any one group of people in public spaces is a real breakthrough for Portland."


Outreach Workers, Police Praise Relationship-Building Approach to Policing

THURSDAY, DEC. 4, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales recently convened a work session on managing the homeless population on sidewalks and in parks to brief City Council on the Portland Police Bureau’s work toward relationship-building as policing.

Mayor Hales, police, street performerHales, commissioner in charge of the police bureau, in the summer joined a police walking beat on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, and was impressed with the evident relationships those police officers had built with the homeless population and business owners. Hales plans on growing the police-community connection, with a vision of a walking patrol in every neighborhood.

“As Sir Robert Peel said, ‘The police are the public and the public are the police,’” Hales said. “That’s our guiding principle.”

At the meeting, Hales asked police, outreach organizations, and others to share with the rest of Council their experiences with the pilot programs.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO (2 HOURS)

Israel Beyer, executive director of Street Roots:

Street Roots wants to say the walking beat has been great success. It can be national model for police bureaus across the country, which are looking for formulas that may work to solve these problems. In 15 years been doing this work, this is the best program I’ve seen.

Dennis Lundberg, associate director of Janus Youth Programs:

“I deeply applaud Central Precinct’s work. This is something that, at Janus, we’ve been striving for for at least a decade—this level of partnership. It’s not a matter of shifting back to community policing, it’s a matter of putting the right officers with right training out of the street. I deeply respect all the men on the police foot patrol.

“For me, and I’ve doing street outreach for over 13 years, it’s like having a whole ’nother team of street outreach workers out there. Their level of empathy, compassion, the way they’re engaging young people experiencing homelessness should be applauded. And I agree with Israel: This should be a national model.

Mark Jolin, executive director of JOIN:

“All of us who do this work, we know it’s a process of coming back over and over again, and building trust to the point people actually believe that your offer of services is an offer of ongoing support and relationships that go beyond recommendation to a service that’s already very full.

“We at JOIN have had a relationship with police for close to 20 years. This approach to the work has been present, but now it’s organized and it’s getting support at the highest levels of the Police Bureau. And it’s going to make a world of difference—it did this summer in the pilot area, not just in addressing these problems, but also in bringing to community attention to them.

“It didn’t solve the problem of camping, and of people generating complaints; we still have thousands of people living personal private lives out on the street.

What changed was the way the officers tasked with responding to that were engaging people. It wasn’t just, ‘this is the impact you’re having on the neighborhood.’ It was recognizing, ‘asking you to move has an adverse impact on you,’ and addressing that.”

Sgt. Ric DeLand, Portland Police Bureau:

For the walking beat pilot program, Sgt. Deland wanted a team of officers who volunteered for the duty; 12 did. Since the success of the program, more officers have e-mailed him, interested in joining, he said.

“We welcomed an entire community of people back to Portland after they’ve been told, ‘we don’t want you here.’ We invited them back in and said, ‘We want good people here. We want good people invested in community.’ We talked to them about how they present themselves, and they responded in droves.”

DeLand said the officers this summer led by example. For instance, he said, “Uniformed officers picked up garbage this year.”

One day on Hawthorne, he saw that someone had knocked over the newspaper boxes in front of Bagdad Theater, leaving a mess of newspapers strewn across the sidewalk and in the street. He walked over and started picking them up. A person sitting at a table put down his beer to help. The traveler asking for change in front of the building got up to help. The three found a business with a recycling bin to toss the papers. When DeLand walked back along the stretch, people at the tables outside the Bagdad raised their beers.

“We brought a scalpel to this broad brush problem—that’s the change we made this year. We dealt with people on an individual basis, with the families they create for themselves, with tribes, as they call themselves.”

DeLand pointed to an example another speaker had, of a sign on the porch saying, “If you’re going to sleep here, please leave by dawn and clean up after yourself”; people have done just that. “That’s the experience we’ve had with people,” he said.

“That’s the vast majority of people. If you present the issues and how they can help, they’ll be responsive to that. Only a handful of people haven’t been,” he said.

He pointed to the Waterfront Park cleanup, when 100 travelers worked shoulder-to-shoulder to clean up garbage in the park.

“Invite them to be part of the solution rather than being part of the problem, and they’ll jump at the opportunity.”


City Selects Team for Compliance Officer and Community Liaison to Support Police Reform

FRIDAY, NOV. 7, 2014 – Portland City Commissioners will enter negotiations next week with a team led by Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum of the University of Illinois at Chicago to serve as the Compliance Officer and Community Liaison.

Joining the Rosenbaum team will be retired Chief Justice Paul De Muniz of the Oregon Supreme Court.

Also on the team is Dr. Amy Watson, an associate professor at the University of Illinois’ Jane Addams College of Social Work, and a nationally recognized expert on police interactions with people experiencing mental illness.

The City Council will consider the ordinance at its Wednesday, Nov. 12, meeting.

“This is a world-class team, which will make sure the city remains in compliance with the settlement, and works in good faith with our community,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Adding Justice De Muniz to the team gives this position true gravitas.”

Commissioner Amanda Fritz coordinated the proposed selection of this team, in consultation with Mayor Hales and all Commissioners, after considering public input in the 30-day public comment period required by the Settlement Agreement. 

“I was impressed with all three finalists for the position,” she said. “While I share some concerns we heard from community members that a team based in Chicago might have challenges becoming and staying connected in Portland, I believe the active involvement of Justice De Muniz will provide the necessary well-grounded local leadership.”   

Rosenbaum is a professor of criminology; law and justice; and psychology at the University of Illinois. He was worked extensively on the issues of police interactions with communities.

De Muniz was the first Hispanic Chief Justice in Oregon, elected to the Supreme Court in 2000, and elected as Chief Justice in 2006. He also served on the Oregon Court of Appeals for 10 years. He attended Madison High School in Portland and Portland State University.

During the meeting Nov. 12, De Muniz said his proudest work was ensuring access to justice for all people. He started the practice of visiting small towns in Oregon to explain big decisions in the Supreme Court. And under his leadership the Oregon Justice Department launched E-Courts, giving people access to courts all day, every day.

“My goal has been to make sure the system operates fairly,” said De Muniz, who read the DOJ agreement hundreds of times as he led mediation among the city and other parties to the settlement. “In this context, I will make sure there is a voice for community here.”

Also on the team are Dr. Geoffrey Alpert, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina; and Tom Christoff of the National Police Research Platform, which assists with the development of survey tools and research methodology in police-community interactions.

The city also is considering hiring a mental health advocate and specialist who will assist a Community Oversight Advisory Board, or COAB, on issues related to mental illness. Recruitment starts in December.

That board, along with the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison – also known as the COCL – are part of the settlement agreement between the city and the Federal Department of Justice to reform police practices in the city. The city, DOJ, the Albina Ministerial Alliance for Justice and Police Reform, and the police union came to an agreement on a settlement earlier this year, and a federal judge accepted the agreement in August.

The city has been enacting a wide array of the reforms, including in the areas of police training and discipline; use of force and use of Tasers; and de-escalation policies. In October, Mayor Hales announced that Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea would be promoted to chief, starting in January. O’Dea has been a leader in enacting police reforms and building relationships with the community.

The naming of the Compliance Officer and Community Liaison is the latest step in years of work to improve police procedures.

The role of the COCL includes auditing, surveying and analysis of the level and quality of the city’s implementation of the DOJ settlement. The COCL also will collaborate with the community to measure success of improvements to police interactions. 


Mayor Hosts Meeting with Community Leaders, Future Chief Larry O'Dea

TUESDAY, OCT. 14, 2014 — Last week Mayor Charlie Hales hosted Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea, freshly named as the police chief’s successor, and community leaders to get feedback on community interests.

AC Larry O'Dea, Mayor Hales, Avel GordlyThe Rose Room at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 8, was full of elected officials, representatives from nonprofits, and stakeholders in the biking, African-American, faith, immigrant, and other communities. 

Themes to the feedback arose. Community members want:

> A clear statement in words and action that O’Dea wouldn’t be the status quo; they don’t want “business as usual.”

> More engagement with the immigrant community, revisiting ideas such as Russian-speaking police officers appearing on Russian Radio 1010 AM, which was touted as successful outreach.

> Diversity in interview panels for entry-level and sergeant jobs, as well as in police outreach activities like the Citizens Academy. The academy is a one-day, day-in-the-life training in which citizens can learn about an officer’s day. Particularly since the bureau’s new training facility will serve as the sole location for the academy—rather than upward of four locations previously—the community requested more outreach to people of color, the immigrant community, and low-income citizens. 

Yuri from Russian RadioFor facilitators, a few individual ideas stood out:

Gale Castillo, president of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber: Castillo suggested better outreach to Latinos and other people of color to encourage them to become non-sworn, community service officers. Such entry-level positions provide non-emergency police services, which sets them on the path to becoming sworn officers.

Jonathan Maus, bike advocate and founder of BikePortland.org: Maus suggested using bike patrol units on the Springwater Corridor, where there has been an influx of homeless campers. Maus also asked O’Dea to consider forming a bike theft task force to address what he says is a growing problem.

Avel Gordly, community organizer and former state senator: Gordly encouraged O’Dea and the Police Bureau’s Behavioral Health Unit to work closely with the Avel Gordly Center for Healing at OHSU, which provides culturally specific mental health care.

Dr. T. Allen Bethel, pastor at Maranatha Church: Bethel asked for intentionality around the chief’s office appointments. People in the room nodded in agreement when he specified intentionality in appointing people of color.


Chief Reese Announces Retirement

Mayor Names Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea as Successor 

TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014 – Chief Mike Reese today announced his plans for retirement from the Portland Police Bureau. Mayor Charlie Hales has named his replacement: Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea.
Press conference announcing Chief Reese's retirement, AC O'Dea's appointment
“Larry O’Dea is one of the most decorated officers in the bureau — 11 medals and 75 letters of commendation,” Hales said. “He shares my goals and aspirations. He has been living the idea of community engagement. He has led the bureau’s equity work. He has the respect of the command staff, the rank-and-file, and the community. He is the right leader at the right time.”

Hales, O’Dea and Reese today will host a press conference about the transition, which is planned for January 2015. It will be the first smooth transition between chiefs in two decades.

The mayor praised Reese’s tenure as chief, citing not only the U.S. Department of Justice settlement, but also the opening last month of the most complete law enforcement training facility in the region. Under Reese’s leadership, the bureau instituted new discipline guidelines, new training procedures, and has hired a more diverse set of new officers in recent recruitments.

“I thank Mike Reese for his leadership and his service,” Hales said. “Mike saw us through the investigation and settlement with the DOJ. This was a key milestone for our city and the community’s relationship with the bureau.”

Reese joined the bureau in 1994 and served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and commander. A native Portlander and graduate of Roosevelt High School, he has served as chief since May 2010.
O’Dea will immediately begin leading strategic planning that has long-term impacts for the bureau, including the DOJ settlement implementation, budget, staffing study, promotions, and transition to a new records management system.

O’Dea has served with Portland Police since 1986. He has been a uniformed patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. He has served as assistant chief of services and assistant chief of operations.

He has an executive certificate from the Mark Hatfield School of Government at PSU; a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Portland State University; and an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Portland Community College.

“We have made important strides in diversifying the bureau, in hiring, in training, in discipline guidelines, in de-escalation,” Hales said. “And with Mike taking a well-earned retirement, Larry O’Dea is exactly the right person to handle the big challenges ahead.”

Hales said his priorities for the next chief will include:

● Expanding community engagement. That includes the walking beats re-introduced this year.

● Focusing on equity and diversity issues, including training for officers and continued recruitment of a more representative workforce.

● Critiquing the Police Bureau’s budget, ensuring taxpayers’ dollars are used wisely.

● Implementing the DOJ settlement on schedule.

Among the DOJ settlement’s requirements are consistent leadership and smooth transitions between chiefs. O’Dea participated in all aspects of the DOJ discussions, and understands the nuances of the complex agreement.

O’Dea said he is honored to accept the position of police chief.

“My four primary focus areas are: Community trust and relationship building; diversifying the bureau and bureau leadership; communications and collaboration; and being fiscally smart and responsible,” O’Dea said.

“I am so excited about the direction we’re moving,” he added. “You can see it in the command staff and in the rank-and-file. It’s about relationships with the community. It’s not about the number of arrests; it’s about working on the things that are important to the community.”

The press conference is at noon at the Justice Center in the Wayne Sullivan Room, 14th Floor, 1111 SW 2nd Ave.


Mayor Encourages Public Comment on Candidates for DOJ Compliance Officer/Community Liaison

MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2014 — As the deadline for comment approaches, Mayor Charlie Hales is encouraging public feedback on candidates for Compliance Officer/Community Liaison, or COCL.

The COCL will oversee the city’s compliance with a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement outlining police reforms, and act as liaison between the community and City Council, ensuring community thoughts and concerns are heard.

“We have three excellent, highly qualified candidates, and it’s important for people in the community to let us know what they think,” Hales said. “We need the public to trust whoever fills this role to monitor the city’s compliance with the settlement.

“We have made great progress in fulfilling the agreement,” Hales added. “We hope the liaison will bolster public trust as we continue with the process.”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2011 began investigating Portland Police practices, particularly related to those experiencing mental health crises. The DOJ in 2012 found that the Police Bureau needed to reform its policies and training.

When Hales took office in 2013, he embraced the settlement agreement.

Under his leadership, the bureau started implementing action items in the agreement, before it was approved by a federal judge on Aug. 29, 2014.

Among the changes, the Behavioral Health Unit has been expanded and the Crisis Intervention Team has been enhanced, with officers specially trained to respond to people experiencing mental health crises in precincts across the city.

The Police Bureau has changed its policies on the use of Tasers and on use of force. Officers today practice de-escalation tactics, which has reduced use-of-force incidents from 450 in mid-2008 to fewer than 200 in mid-2014. 

Police use of force graph

“More and more our officers are de-escalating confrontations, responding with thoughtfulness and compassion,” Hales said. “Most of the time you won’t read about that in the papers. But change is happening. A liaison who the public trusts will make certain change continues in the direction the community wants.”

Click here for the full list of DOJ agreement action items and their progress (PDF).

The deadline to comment is Oct. 29.

COCL Candidates

Original applications:
John Campbell (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum (PDF)
Daniel Ward (PDF)

Supplemental information:
John Campbell (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum team bios (PDF)
Daniel Ward (PDF)
Video of presentations:https://www.portlandoregon.gov/article/506223

To provide feedback:
Click here to fill out an online form
E-mail: mayorcharliehales@portlandoregon.gov
Call: 503-823-4120
Attend the City Council hearing Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.


Hawthorne Walking Beats Change Tenor of Community

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3, 2014 – For the past six months, Portland Police Bureau officers have been walking beats, an old-fashioned concept that had grown out of style in past decades. The first such walking beats are part of a pilot program in downtown, the Central Eastside and along Hawthorne Boulevard.Mayor Hales, Sgt. DeLand

Reporter Sami Edge of Willamette Week spent several days in August shadowing the officers along Hawthorne, and talking to business people, customers, service providers and youths who hang out along the commercial strip.

“I was convinced that a return to walking beats would change the way the community interacts with Portland Police,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Finding a new dynamic between Portlanders and Portland Police has been my priority since I took office. And we’re seeing it on Hawthorne. The officers are great. The community is happy. This is a success.”

Hales’ initiatives in 2013 and 2014 have included shepherding through reforms spelled out in a Department of Justice settlement agreement; a focus on the Office of Youth Violence Prevention; the Enough is Enough campaign to encourage community activism in fighting violence; the Black Male Achievement initiative; equity projects with the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and a three-day equity training for senior, white, male leaders in the mayor’s office and Portland Police command staff titled, “White Men as Full Diversity Partners.”

Mayor in Nick's Famous Coney IslandTo see if the walking beats are working, Hales toured Hawthorne on Friday, Aug. 29, speaking with customers, shop owners, street youths and officers, including Sgt. Ric DeLand, who’s been with Portland Police for 24 years.

“We’re interacting with them every day,” DeLand said of the street youths on Hawthorne. “We’re involved in their joys, their breakups, their hangovers, their feuds.”

The idea behind walking beats is to create a relationship between officers and members of the community, before a law-enforcement incident occurs. Central Precinct Police Commander Robert Day has been a strong proponent of the beats.

So has DeLand. “Instead of only having contact with the police when they’re being told they’re doing something wrong, they have daily contact with police, petting their dogs, getting to know their story, connecting them with services, understanding what makes them feel unsafe, letting them know we’re aware of any bad behavior,” DeLand said. “It’s analogous to parenting: Don’t ignore someone until they do something wrong and then punish them. But that’s what we do with law enforcement. It doesn’t make sense. You make everything about enforcement you’re just going to get rebellion. Make them part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”

At Ben & Jerry'sHales spoke to several people along Hawthorne, including a street musician who goes by the moniker Rain Bojangles. “Wow. It’s much better here now,” Bojangles said. He plays music on a handmade string instruments and often can be seen near the Powell’s Books on Hawthorne. “We used to have a lot of troublemakers who just made things worse for everywhere. They’re gone now, and that’s nice.”

Bojangles pointed to Sgt. DeLand and added: “He stops and talks to me almost every day. He’s a nice guy. He’s here to help.”

DeLand said the walking beats have allowed his officers to see a new aspect to the houseless community and street youths who frequent the area. “To us, prior to this, they all looked the same,” DeLand said. “Now, instead of painting everybody with a broad brush and trying to stamp out traveling in Portland, we’ve targeted the bad behaviors. That builds credibility with the larger community through word-of-mouth.”

And is there danger, walking a beat rather than being in a patrol car? DeLand laughs. “Of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds dogs I’ve pet — all these ‘vicious’ pit bulls — the only time I’ve been bit was by a 7-pound Chihuahua named Pizza. I made the mistake of petting Pizza while he was sound asleep.”


City Appeal to Clarify Judge’s Role in DOJ Settlement

FRIDAY, OCT. 17, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz on Wednesday will present City Council with a resolution to authorize the City Attorney’s Office to appeal one condition Federal Judge Michael Simon placed on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreement.

The judge approved the settlement — an agreement among the City, Portland Police Association, DOJ, and Albina Ministerial Alliance — on Aug. 29. It followed a 2011 DOJ investigation into the Portland Police Bureau.

Hales and Fritz support the reforms outlined in the settlement agreement. Under Hales’ leadership, the Police Bureau started implementing aspects of the agreement long before Simon approved it. The Police Bureau remains committed to moving forward with reforms outlined in the agreement, and will continue to implement all of the changes regardless of court proceedings.

The purpose of the appeal is to clarify the judge’s role. In his order, Simon wrote that the parties were “to present evidence … as so directed by the Court.” The City’s appeal will ask the court to clarify that broad statement.

“All the parties are committed to this settlement. All parties have agreed to this settlement,” Hales said. “Now we want to move forward, get out of court and get to work.”

Fritz said she’s glad Judge Simon accepted the settlement agreement: “It clearly identifies that the Council is directly responsible for oversight, which ensures that Portlanders know who is responsible and accountable for managing the Police Bureau in conformance with the community’s values. The settlement emphasizes community engagement. I believe that public trust in policing in Portland depends on all Council members demonstrating that we are committed to implementing the Agreement fully. I accept that responsibility. I look forward to collaborating with all Portlanders on this crucial work, especially those with lived experience enduring mental illnesses.”

Hales further emphasized that police reforms would continue as outlined under the settlement agreement: "This appeal does not challenge the settlement that four stakeholders — the U.S. Department of Justice, the City, Portland Police Association, and Albina Ministerial Alliance — agreed to. The City and the Police Bureau are fully committed to the reforms outlined in the settlement agreement. Chief Mike Reese, our next chief Larry O’Dea, and the entire bureau remain dedicated to continually improving the service our police officers deliver to the community. This resolution authorizes a narrow appeal to clarify the judge’s role in the implementation. We all want to move forward, get out of court and get to work.

Update: Coverage from The Mercury.


Portland Police Unveil Training Facility

FRIDAY, SEPT. 19, 2014 – Portland Police unveiled a new training facility on Northeast Airport Way, which is designed to help train law enforcement officers from throughout the region improve.Chief Reese speaks

The 10-acre property was purchased in 2012. It was funded with a $15 million bond measure and came in on time and on budget. The facility is expected to generate revenue when it is rented out to other city and county law enforcement agencies.

An open house is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the facility, 14902 N.E. Airport Way. It will include tours and an opportunity to participate in the obstacle course.

Commander Day and Assistant Chief O'DeaBetter training is a key component of the settlement between the City of Portland and the U.S. Department of Justice. Mayor Charlie Hales said the goal is to train “smart, strong and humane” police officers.

Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea told The Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein, “In the end, what we’re trying to do is build better decision-makers.”

The facility includes an obstacle course, exercise rooms, two firing ranges and office space for the trainers. The former warehouse also includes a mock street scene with cars and buildings, which officers can use for training scenarios. There are no roofs on the buildings, so trainers can watch from above, and videotape, the scenarios for performance reviews.

“This is unlike anything anyone has, anywhere in the area,” said Commander Robert Day, Central Precinct.

Chief Michael Reese said the facility will allow for far better training than in the past, when officers had to travel as far as two hours each way to take advantage of firing ranges, driving ranges and scenario-based training.

Mayor Hales speaksThe 10-acre property was purchased in 2012. It was funded with a $15 million bond measure and was finished on time – except for the façade. The night before Thursday’s ribbon-cutting, thieves stole a portion of the façade, thinking it was metal and they could sell it as scrap. It wasn’t; they didn’t; and the thieves were apprehended. Mayor Charlie Hales stood in front of the half-finished façade on Thursday and joked about the quality of Portland’s thieves.

Among the elected officials who helped make the facility a reality were former Mayor Sam Adams and former Commissioner Randy Leonard; both of whom were present Thursday.

Mayor Encourages Public Comment on COCL

Mayor Encourages Public Comment on Candidates for DOJ Compliance Officer/Community Liaison

MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2014 — As the deadline for comment approaches, Mayor Charlie Hales is encouraging public feedback on candidates for Compliance Officer/Community Liaison, or COCL.

The COCL will oversee the city’s compliance with a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement outlining police reforms, and act as liaison between the community and City Council, ensuring community thoughts and concerns are heard.

“We have three excellent, highly qualified candidates, and it’s important for people in the community to let us know what they think,” Hales said. “We need the public to trust whoever fills this role to monitor the city’s compliance with the settlement.

“We have made great progress in fulfilling the agreement,” Hales added. “We hope the liaison will bolster public trust as we continue with the process.”

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2011 began investigating Portland Police practices, particularly related to those experiencing mental health crises. The DOJ in 2012 found that the Police Bureau needed to reform its policies and training.

When Hales took office in 2013, he embraced the settlement agreement.

Under his leadership, the bureau started implementing action items in the agreement, before it was approved by a federal judge on Aug. 29, 2014.

Among the changes, the Behavioral Health Unit has been expanded and the Crisis Intervention Team has been enhanced, with officers specially trained to respond to people experiencing mental health crises in precincts across the city.

The Police Bureau has changed its policies on the use of Tasers and on use of force. Officers today practice de-escalation tactics, which has reduced use-of-force incidents from 450 in mid-2008 to fewer than 200 in mid-2014. 

Police use of force graph

“More and more our officers are de-escalating confrontations, responding with thoughtfulness and compassion,” Hales said. “Most of the time you won’t read about that in the papers. But change is happening. A liaison who the public trusts will make certain change continues in the direction the community wants.”

Click here for the full list of DOJ agreement action items and their progress (PDF).

The deadline to comment is Oct. 29.

COCL Candidates

Original applications:
John Campbell (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum (PDF)
Daniel Ward (PDF)

Supplemental information:
John Campbell (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum (PDF)
Dennis Rosenbaum team bios (PDF)
Daniel Ward (PDF)
Video of presentations:https://www.portlandoregon.gov/article/506223

To provide feedback:
Click here to fill out an online form
E-mail: mayorcharliehales@portlandoregon.gov
Call: 503-823-4120
Attend the City Council hearing Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.