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.
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 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.
“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.”
The deadline to comment is Oct. 29.
To provide feedback:
Click here to fill out an online form
Attend the City Council hearing Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.
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.
Mayor Encourages Public Comment on COCL Candidates
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15, 2014 — The City of Portland continues to seek public feedback on three candidates vying for the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL) position that will oversee the police-reform agreement crafted with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
In September the candidates went through a public interview process. Now, the community is invited to give advice to City Council regarding candidate strengths and weaknesses. Public input is welcome until Oct. 29.
Mayor Charlie Hales has encouraged participation, emphasizing the importance in the community having a hand in choosing its liaison to the Police Bureau. “Everyone’s input is important as the city works toward fulfilling the settlement agreement,” Hales said.
On Hales’ website is a video of the public interviews, the applicants’ original applications, and supplemental information provided by the applicants after the interviews. On the same page is an online form for public comment. The link: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/mayor/65898
Public comments may also be submitted by e-mailing email@example.com or by calling his office at 503-823-4120.
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.
The 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.
For 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.
Human Rights Commission Endorses Larry O'Dea as Next Chief of Police
TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014 -- Human Rights Commission on Tuesday praised Mayor Charlie Hales for his appointment of Assistant Chief Larry O'Dea to succeed Portland Police Chief Mike Reese, who today announced his retirement.
The human rights organization wrote in a release: "We recognize Asst. Chief O’Dea’s storied support of equity and inclusion within the Portland Police Bureau and his alignment with HRC’s mission of eliminating discrimination and fostering inclusion. Based on our experience, we HRC recognizes Asst. Chief O'Dea's compassion, empathy, and understanding; qualities that will serve the Police Bureau and community well."
"This is a welcome and wonderful endorsement," Hales said. "I chose AC O'Dea because of his commitment to community, and I'm happy to see important organizations like HRC stepping forward with support."
Read the full endorsement: https://t.e2ma.net/webview/wa9dk/ebccb365024025f61ce104b155d7f8e1
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.
“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.”
Update: Coverage from Willamette Week.
Mayor, Disaster Policy Council Practice Earthquake Response
TUESDAY, SEPT. 30, 2014 -- Mayor Hales and members of the Disaster Policy Council, including Commissioner Dan Saltzman, today went through a tabletop exercise to practice the city's response to a moderate earthquake.
"Practice ensures readiness for a disaster, enabling the city to be prepared when residents need it most," Hales said.
For more on the city's disaster responses, visit the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management website.
City Seeks Public Comment on COCL Candidates
MONDAY, SEPT. 29, 2014 — The City of Portland is seeking public feedback on three candidates vying for the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL) position that will oversee the police-reform agreement crafted with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Today the candidates went through a public interview process, including presentations to and questions by the Selection Advisory Committee. Now, the DOJ agreement requires a 30-day public comment period to collect community advice to City Council regarding candidate strengths and weaknesses. Public input is welcome until Oct. 29.
“Everyone’s input is important as the city works toward fulfilling the settlement agreement,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “The community members who committed their time to the interview process were tremendous. Now I ask the community as a whole to participate and contribute feedback on the candidates.”
An online form for public comment on Hales' website will include a link to video of the interviews, which aired live today on Channel 30. It also includes links to candidates’ original applications and a link to the Portland Police Bureau’s webpage on implementation of the settlement.
Public comments may also be submitted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling his office at 503-823-4120.
More on the candidates:
● John Campbell of Campbell DeLong Resources Inc., a Portland firm that has provided research, training, facilitation, and planning for the purpose of public safety problem-solving, community-oriented policing, and the goal of more effective law enforcement results since 1989.
● Dennis Rosenbaum of Chicago, executive director of the National Police Research Platform, which oversees a seven-university research program in more than 100 U.S. cities, funded by the National Institute of Justice, Department of Justice, to advance the current state of knowledge and practice in American law enforcement.
● Daniel Ward of Portland, executive director of the Oregon Drug and Alcohol Policy Commission and a former CEO (2009-12) of Metro Crisis Services Inc. in Colorado.
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.
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.
Better 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.
The 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.
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.
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.”
To 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.”
Hales 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.”
World Suicide Prevention Day: Raising Awareness to Try to Prevent Suicide
Today in Council, Commissioner Fritz drew attention to #WSPD World Suicide Prevention Day, observed today, Sept. 10. On average, someone will die by suicide every four days in Portland.
"We talk about the high number of people killed in car wrecks and homicides, but we don't talk about suicides--more than wrecks and homicides combined," Mayor Charlie Hales said.
Recent high number of fatal car wrecks in Portland: 34 in 2011. Recent high number of homicides in Portland: 29 in 2012. Between April 2011 and June 2013, 202 people committed suicide, the Portland Police Behavioral Health Unit reports.
Commissioner Fritz held up the phone number to call for help: 503-97-23456
Behavioral Health Unit video: What if you could turn back the clock on suicide?
Shop with a Cop Primes 200 Low-Income Kids to Look Sharp on the First Day of School
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 20, 2014 — The 10-year-old girl held a pair of shoes up to a dress.
“Are those high-heels?” asked Deanna Wesson-Mitchell, police policy director for Mayor Charlie Hales’ office — and a mom. “Would your mother approve?”
The girl’s face broke into a giant smile.
“Let’s go find some flats,” Wesson-Mitchell said.
The policy director (and former police officer) joined Portland Police Bureau and 200 kids early Tuesday morning at the Gateway Fred Meyer store for the annual Shop with a Cop event, put on by the Izzy’s Kids program in the bureau’s Sunshine Division. For 12 years Shop with a Cop has paired low-income kids with a police officer to shop for new school clothes at Fred Meyer. Most of the children are from Boys and Girls Club of Portland and are invited based on both financial need and their volunteer efforts in the community.
“Back-to-school shopping is an American tradition, and many people take it for granted,” said Wesson-Mitchell, noting the back-to-school advertisements that become ubiquitous before fall. “When kids don’t have resources, it’s a big deal to miss out on it.
“This is a way to make sure kids go to school looking their best. And every kid should have the opportunity to go to school looking great.”
This year Fred Meyer provided $150 gift cards for each child — bolstered by discounts and coupons employees handed out.
Wesson-Mitchell’s shopper, a Scott School student and Blazers Boys and Girls Club member, was confident and knew what she liked: No pink; bold colors. She came away with seven pairs of pants, eight shirts, two pairs of shoes, a dress, and 16 pairs of socks.
“It’s great to spend time with kids who are facing a lot of obstacles, and still being successful,” Wesson-Mitchell said. “It’s a fun, rewarding way to start your day, and these kids deserve it.”
Community Meeting Encourages Residents to Say 'Enough is Enough'
TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 — In a packed meeting room at the Community Policing Facility on Monday evening, Lucy Mashia’s voice broke.
Gang members, “have gotten so bold they’re kicking in doors and shooting women,” said Mashia, whose son Leonard Irving Jr. was shot and killed in 2011. She called for people to come forward with information. “The whole community knows who killed my son, but they still haven’t been arrested.”
Mashia was among the mothers of victims of gang-related shootings who shared their experiences at a community meeting aimed at galvanizing support for the “Enough is Enough” campaign against gang violence. The campaign is an effort to build a culture of witnesses coming forward with information, creating an environment in which gangs cannot operate.
This weekend marked the 87th gang-related violence call in the city this year—a dramatic increase from recent years. Ervaeua Herring, a 21-year-old pregnant woman, was fatally shot in a gang-related attack in her apartment on Sunday; she was the city’s 15th homicide. Last year there were 16 homicides by the end of the year.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and to the neighbors of everyone affected by this violence in our city,” Mayor Charlie Hales said Monday. “This is intolerable. The city and police are continuing to do what we can to stop the violence in the community. But we need the community’s help.”
Antoinette Edwards, director of the Office of Youth Violence Prevention, on Monday encouraged the crowd to brainstorm ways to break the “snitch code” of silence, and to come forward as witnesses to help put attackers behind bars.
“Where’s our outrage?” Edwards asked the crowd. “This is what this meeting is about: Our community, making a difference. Enough is enough.”
The mayor’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention has several multi-agency efforts to reach out to youths and families to break generational ties to gangs (Gang Impacted Family Team); to reach out to gang members (Street-Level Gang Outreach Program); and to connect misdemeanor offenders with resources such as mentors, housing, job readiness and education in order to support stable futures (Court Bench Probation Project).
The community-generated “Enough is Enough” campaign hopes to add to those efforts a ubiquitous message: The community will not tolerate gang activity.
Michael Alexander, president and CEO of the Urban League of Portland, in a heavy voice said, “Standing up is hard. But it’s easier than watching loved ones die. Enough is enough.”
Mayor Hales Dedicates Funds to Helping Human Trafficking Survivors
WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales and commissioners at Wednesday’s City Council meeting approved a $297,000 grant to support Janus Youth Programs’ shelter beds, treatment and case management services for human trafficking victims between 18 and 25 years old.
“The program saves women’s lives,” Hales said. “And it helps make the community safer by removing gangs’ revenue source.”
Humans have become the second-most lucrative commodity on the black market behind drugs, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office reports. Gangs and other criminal organizations prefer humans because they’re a reusable resource; they can be resold.
That horrific dehumanization most frequently affects teenagers, both girls and boys, and is becoming more common in Portland because of the city’s position on Interstate 5 and the airport. Traffickers recruit girls who are 12 to 14 years old, spanning socioeconomic status, education level, and race, according to the district attorney.
Portland Police Sgt. Mike Geiger on Wednesday spoke in support of the funding. His highlighted the tremendous need to support safe places for trauma victims.
Below is a transcript of Sgt. Geiger's remarks at Council:
"This has been a long fight, a difficult one. We’ve been engaged in it for a few years now, and I think that much of what we’ve been trying to come to grips with is how does that happen here and what’s going on with our children and our community.
Human trafficking is becoming one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world today. We’ve been trying to figure out how we strike a balance between accountability, between law enforcement, and the needs of the child — the needs of the vulnerable and the violated.
What this funding shows me is confirmation that the city of Portland has chosen to take a stand on behalf of the vulnerable, and on behalf of the violated. And I would say that support for law enforcement and support for the victims are not mutually exclusive. What we have come to learn is the way in which we view an individual dictates the way we respond to that individual. So, by providing advocacy resources and a safe place to stay, we’re telling them that the overriding goal is the restoration, and their removal from the life of exploitation and victimization to one of health and safety and a positive future. Those things can’t be accomplished absent the support services we brought to bear on their behalf.
Young people, whether they are teenagers or people in their twenties or whoever they are, they desire safety, and they desire security, and they need first and foremost to have their emotional and physical needs met before we begin to address the other facts. I think this is what this funding does, what we have seen is a dramatic increase in our ability to prosecute cases both at the state and federal level. It has been remarkable.
What I would submit, we would have never been able to accomplish that absent the support from the people like Janus Youth Programs and the Sexual Assault Resource Center. What that is, that has done, is allowed them to rebuild their emotional state, to gain a sense of security and empowerment, and to recognize finally there is a degree of victimization that they had not faced before, which empowers them to give us the information we need in order to put together a comprehensive case that brings accountability.
We are accomplishing both, and I am very happy about that because it speaks to what we think about these young people. It speaks to the priority that we have here in our community. That we want the best for them and for them to be free of exploitation. To me, that speaks to the character of our department and it speaks to the character of this council, and your support is just very much appreciated. So, thank you."
Below is Sgt. Geiger's written statement.
“For the last several years Portland has taken a leading role in the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. We have learned this type of exploitation is difficult to identify, and even more difficult to prosecute. Much has been learned, and many relationships have been developed. The city of Portland has dedicated police resources to this fight and has made it a priority at all levels. The city has partnered with local and federal prosecutors and has taken part in many educational and awareness opportunities. Of even more importance, the city of Portland has come to recognize that if there is to be accountability, we must first meet some very basic necessities. Victims of sexual trauma very much need two things: safety and someone to care for them.
Absent a safe place, trauma victims will return to their exploiter and will likely find themselves in an even more dangerous circumstance. While it is likely they will not at first recognize safety is a priority, they will if the doors remain open. Janus Youth Program has a long record of working with vulnerable children, and has become a vital component in ensuring there is a safe place for victims. Janus is dedicated to long-term care, recognizing that there is no short-term solution.
Beyond shelter services, trauma victims need to be able to talk to a caring adult who will not judge or condemn. The Sexual Assault Resource Center provides confidential support services and advocacy. They have in many circumstances become the lifeline to children who have been left to their own devices. The relationships they maintain are what have allowed so many victims to reach a place of healing. That in turn has increased their ability to help children out of a life of exploitation.
Support from the city has allowed the Resource Center to serve more children, and even develop a response to those between the ages of 18 and 25. This is in recognition that many children identified prior to 18 continue to need help. Support from Janus will make certain we have long term shelter for those in the most need.”
Mayor Speaks Out Regarding Capt. Kruger Settlement
THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2014 – On Wednesday, the community learned the details of a settlement between Capt. Mark Kruger and the City of Portland.
Community reaction has been outrage. I hear that outrage and agree with much of the substance of it. The issues involved bring up very personal, long-standing feelings of hurt and anger. These issues awaken our values as a community, especially where it comes to the behavior we expect from our public servants.
I do not minimize these feelings. The community has every right to feel this way.
The Portland City Council shares these values, as well as frustrations with this situation.
As mayor, I signed the settlement agreement. I am not happy with this settlement. I wish it had turned out differently. But it did not, and I take full responsibility for signing the document, making it a binding legal agreement. Mayors often must make distasteful decisions for the good of the city. This is one of those times.
My signature does not mean I condone, in any way, the actions of Capt. Kruger in 1999.
Instead, this complex settlement marks the end of multiple legal battles that have engulfed the city for more than a decade and involved four mayoral administrations. The constitutional issues present in the situation meant that past mayors were advised by counsel that the city might well have lost a court fight. I have been advised the same.
I’m not happy with the settlement. But I signed it. The final decision was mine.
Regarding the Portland Police and relationships with the community, we have implemented significant structural changes, including:
● The hiring of a more diverse workforce.
● Creation of a new discipline guide.
● Implementation of new rules of conduct regarding use of force.
● Implementation of officer performance evaluations.
We also have pushed forward with the implementation of reforms negotiated after a Department of Justice investigation, even though a judge has not yet ruled on the issue. We did not wait for the judge, but are working with the DOJ, the Police Bureau, and others in Portland to improve the relationship between the Police Bureau and the community.
Here’s what we have not done, but will do: Create a better process by which the details of major, important disciplinary issues – regardless of which bureau – are flagged for the attention of the full City Council. Currently, this process involves the City Attorney, Human Resources, the city’s Risk Management, the bureau and a single commissioner, but does not always include a full discussion with the full City Council. That will change.
I and other members of the Portland City Council intend to address that process immediately.
But in regards to the legal issue between the city and Capt. Kruger: The outrage felt by the community is right and just.
This case needs to be resolved. I take responsibility for ending the legal dispute about past performance, and for setting clear expectations for future performance in service to Portlanders.
Statement on Settlement of Capt. Mark Kruger Case
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2014 -- “I’m not defending actions from 15 years ago. And I’m not addressing the details of the negotiated settlement. But removing disciplinary documents from police files doesn’t change the facts, especially in a well-known story like this one. Since I arrived, we have improved police discipline rules to make them timely, consistent and predictable. There’s still more work to be done. We are moving the bureau forward.” – Mayor Hales
Mayor Calls for Collaborative Action to Address Gang Violence Among Youth
TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2014 — Two homicides in one week and the recently released Multnomah County Comprehensive Gang Assessment illustrate the serious gang problem facing Portland, said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.
“The data are clear: The complex dynamics around our young people getting involved in gangs means all of us have a part to play,” Hales said. “I remain committed to helping lead the city’s effort to ensure that young people in Portland have hope for the future.”
The city is one of many partners working to combat gang activity issues through the Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council, a 19-year-old work group co-chaired by Hales and County Commissioner Judy Shiprack that coordinates criminal justice policy among government entities.
Last week two shootings in Portland resulted in two deaths. An early morning shooting outside a strip club in East Portland on Saturday left Hahrahcio Roy Branch, 26, dead. That came five days after Andrew Leon Coggins Jr., 24, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Monday afternoon in North Portland, near McCoy Park.
Hales through his Office of Youth Violence Prevention is pushing for collaborative action, including the people most impacted by gangs and violence in order to address the collective impact of the issues.
The Gang Impacted Family Team works with a number of governmental and nonprofit organizations to break youths’ generational ties to gang activity that goes back up to three generations.
The Street-Level Gang Outreach Program, started in 2009, funds three nonprofit organizations that reach out to gang-affected young people and families.
The office works with the Multnomah County District Attorney Office's Court Bench Probation Project to connect misdemeanor offenders with mentors, as well as resources such as housing, job readiness, and education.
Hales plans to supplement outreach with his Black Male Achievement Initiative, stemming from a National League of Cities grant of technical assistance. The initiative will offer young, African-American men paid internships and a year of wraparound services — job shadowing, networking, tutoring, community service, computer training, leadership development — to help them avoid gangs and achieve stability. The mayor has invested $200,000 and staff time in the effort.
“I want Black Male Achievement,” Hales says, “to develop into a community-led, comprehensive resource for young, black males in Portland to realize their fullest potential.”
New Portland Emergency Coordination Center Opens
TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2014 – The city is set to open a new, state-of-the-art emergency coordination center in east Portland.
The $19.8 million facility provides a central hub for Portland's public safety officials to respond to a major disaster, including a catastrophic earthquake, flood, winter storm or other hazard. The building houses the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) and Portland Water Bureau's Emergency Management and Security offices.
Tours and a press conference are slated for 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. The facility is at 9911 S.E. Bush St., at the intersection with Southeast Powell Boulevard.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Steve Novick, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management Director Carmen Merlo, and Portland Water Bureau Director David Shaff will be on hand to offer remarks and cut the ribbon.
The center project broke ground in June 2012, led by Emerick Construction, MWA Architects, and the Portland Office of Management and Finance's Facilities Services division. The building incorporates a range of information and communication technologies - including a 150-foot radio tower - and is designed to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard using water, energy, lighting and other efficiencies.
Fairness Hearing Set On Portland, DOJ Settlement
MONDAY, DEC. 23, 2013 – U.S. District Judge Michael Simon will hold a fairness hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to receive testimony from the public on whether a settlement agreement on a package of Portland police reforms is fair, reasonable and adequate to solve problems identified by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Information on the fairness hearing is available at the Court’s website. The site includes the proposed settlement agreement and a testimony form.
The fairness hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Courtroom 13B of the federal courthouse,1000 S.W. Third Ave. It will be open to the public.
The Justice Department found in 2012 that Portland police engaged in a pattern or practice of using excessive force against people with actual or perceived mental illness. The settlement agreement calls for reforms to police policies, training and oversight.
The Court invites members of the public to testify, in writing or orally, on the following topics:
• Is the Agreement fair to everyone affected?
• Is the Agreement reasonable?
• Is the Agreement adequate to solve the problems identified in the complaint?
Portland Fire & Rescue receives federal grant to save jobs
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2013 – After months of work, Portland Fire & Rescue has acquired a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to fund 26 firefighter positions for two years.
The $4.55 million grant from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, program will go toward keeping Portland’s emergency response capabilities at its current levels.
“We faced the worst deficit in anyone’s memory this year,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Some dismissed the $21.5 million shortfall as no big deal. But it was real. Without the FEMA grant, we would be laying off more than two dozen firefighters. This crisis was real, and we tried every creative option we could think of it solve it.”
Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Erin Janssens said FEMA recognized the importance of maintaining Portland’s firefighting capacity, despite the fiscal crisis.
“This grant is very important, not only for the firefighters and their families who were directly impacted by potential layoffs, but to everyone who lives, works or visits Portland and relies on dynamic fire-and-rescue services. Because of this past tough budget season, the federal government has stepped forward to support our city’s safety response system for two years until our city government finds a local support source. We are grateful.”
The priority of the SAFER grant is to rehire laid-off firefighters. Due to the City of Portland’s budget crisis, 26 firefighter positions were eliminated from the bureau’s budget. While waiting for the outcome of the grant, the bureau used bridge funding until Oct. 1. Over the past two months, PF&R has carried over limited savings from vacancies to cover these 26 positions and to maintain service levels.
If the award had not been granted, absent any other funding sources, PF&R would have been forced to close two stations – an option Mayor Hales had ruled out during last spring’s budget-writing process.
“It is great to see the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognize the vital role Portland’s firefighters play in our community’s safety by providing us this bridge funding over the next two years to keep all our fire stations open and operating,” Portland Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman said. “I will make certain City Council follows through on its commitment to reestablish this funding from local sources at the end of the grant and thank all our firefighters for their patience as this process unfolded and for the important work they do every day.”
Alan Ferschweiler, president of Portland Firefighters Association, also commented on the grant. “We are pleased our collaboration with the Chief, City Commissioners and the Mayor on such a critical grant to protect our communities paid off. Not only is the grant going to save 26 fire positions, it will help keep our front firefighters on the job protecting the communities they serve every day. We look forward working with Chief Janssens, Mayor Hales and City officials to find permanent funding in two years to keep our firefighters on the job and protecting our communities from fire dangers.”
Several members of Portland’s congressional delegation supported the FEMA appolication.
“Portland Fire & Rescue is responsible for the safety of more than 600,000 Portland residents and 65,000 businesses,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said. “These much-needed funds will ensure that firefighters are ready to respond when called upon and that ongoing budget challenges will not diminish Portland Fire & Rescue’s ability to provide the same high-level protection for the entire community.”
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley agreed. “Twenty-six firefighters will be able to keep their jobs and two fire stations will remain open because of this funding. This is crucial funding to keep our firefighters safe and create better response times for the entire community.”
That was echoed by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, whose district includes portions of Portland. “With many city and county budgets still digging out from the recession, the SAFER Grant program is critical to keep firefighters on the job and in our communities,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici also serves a portion of Portland. “Because of local budget constraints, many of our communities are struggling to provide the basic services that keep people safe," she said. "Portland Fire & Rescue is essential to the safety and well-being of residents and the local infrastructure we depend on, and they deserve our full support.”
Police Host Social Media Campaign on Domestic Violence
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 30, 2013 – In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Portland Police Bureau will host a day-long campaign on Facebook and Twitter today.
This informational campaign will feature important links and tips for survivors of domestic abuse or their loved ones.
Follow the social media channels below to see #domesticviolence information and tips.
Facebook - http://facebook.com/portlandpolice
Twitter - http://twitter.com/portlandpolice
Mayor Hales Hires Policy Director For Police
MONDAY, OCT. 28, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales today announced the addition of Deanna Wesson-Mitchell to his staff. She will serve as policy director for Portland Police.
Wesson-Mitchell is a nine-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. She is a sworn officer.
“She is of, and from, the community. She is of, and from, the bureau,” Mayor Hales said. “She is focused on the goal of making this the best urban police departments in the country. She’s exactly who we need right now.”
Wesson-Mitchell was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Jefferson High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from The George Washington University in Washington,D.C.
Since joining the Portland Police Bureau in 2004, Wesson-Mitchell has served as a patrol officer (2004-08), an investigative officer (2008-11) and recruitment coordinator for the Personnel Division. She also has been a Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) instructor, and has been involved with the Making Positive Choices Youth Forum; Racial Profiling Committee; Citywide Diversity Committee; Police Equity: Leadership Council; and Community and Police Relations Committee.
She lives in Lents with her husband, JaMarr Mitchell, and their sons.
Her first day in the mayor’s office will be Nov. 18.
“I am very excited to continue the equity work began in the police bureau two and a half years ago,” Wesson-Mitchell said. “We have made forward progress and, with support of the Mayor’s office, will continue to build capacity and specific skills, which promote equity in both service toPortland’s diverse communities and internal operations.”
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese praised the hire. “We are very pleased that the mayor’s office has selected Deanna for this important role,” Reese said. “I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for the work Deanna has done at the Police Bureau. In addition to being an excellent police officer, in her recent role in the Personnel Division, she has assisted the bureau in recruiting and hiring diverse officer candidates. She has also been a member of the Community and Police Relations Committee and taken an active role in helping the bureau with issues regarding equity.”
That was echoed by Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association. “I think she’d be a wonderful addition to the mayor’s staff. I look forward to working with her,” Turner said.
Under Portland’s commissioner style of government, the five elected members of the Portland City Council also serve as bureau commissioners. Hales’ bureaus include Portland Police, as well as several others.
Hales, who took office in January, initially hired Baruti Artharee to serve as policy director for police. Artharee retired this fall.
Wesson-Mitchell is the second recent hire for the mayor. Earlier in October, he announced that State Sen. Jackie Dingfelder will leave the Legislature and will join the staff as a senior policy director.
Wesson-Mitchell and Dingfelder join Josh Alpert and Ed McNamara as the primary policy directors for the mayor. All four work under the direction of Chief of Staff Gail Shibley.
Buy a Burger for a Good Cause!
This Saturday, October 12, 2013, members of the Portland Police Bureau will be participating in the annual "Tip-A-Cop" fundraiser for Special Olympics Oregon.
Officers will be serving lunch and dinner at the Lloyd District Red Robin, located at 1139 Northeast Grand Avenue, and collecting tips benefiting Special Olympics Oregon.
Officers will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
"Tip-A-Cop" is part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) campaign. LETR, which includes an international series of relay runs and special events like Tip-A-Cop, is presented by more than 144,000 law enforcement officers worldwide to help raise money and public awareness for Special Olympics. LETR is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics through which funds raised go directly to local programs in states or countries where the funds are generated.
Police: Bike Project Benefits Youths in Togo
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 21, 2013 -- Portland Police Bureau will donate approximately 100 bicycles to Alaffia’s Bicycles for Education Project, which benefits youths in Togo, West Africa.
The event is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in partnership with Whole Foods Market Hollywood, 4301 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
Community members may donate adult-sized bicycles in any condition at this location from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. All donations are tax deductible.
"Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States,” said Assistant Police Chief Donna Henderson. “We felt that, in participating with Alaffia’s Bicycles for Education program, we are sharing a part of Portland with children across the globe."
Henderson will speak at the Aug. 22 event along with Alaffia founder Olowo-n'djo Tchala.
Both the Village Bicycle Project and Alaffia's Bicycles for Education program provide much-needed transportation for students in Togo, West Africa. The donated bicycles are from the Portland Police Property and Evidence Division and are unclaimed or disposed-of property.
“Alaffia thanks Mayor Charlie Hales, the Portland Police Bureau, Whole Foods Markets, and the good people of Portland for this generous donation to our Bicycles for Education Project," said Lanessa Inman, Alaffia community project coordinator. “Our bike recipients have a 98 percent graduation rate. Because of Portland's contribution, more than 100 girls in Togo will be empowered with an opportunity for an education, which will provide a lasting impact on alleviating poverty in our communities in Togo. We are deeply grateful and look forward to working with Portland communities again in the future
Information about Alaffia's Bicycles for Education and other Community Empowerment Projects can be found at http://www.alaffia.com/bicycles.asp.
Stats For Violent Crimes Continue To Stay Low
MONDAY, AUG. 5, 2013 – The Portland Police Bureau released statistics today that illustrate that violent crime continues to remain at levels not seen since the mid to late-1960s.
Part I crimes are mostly violent crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson. Portland's crime rate per 1,000 population in 2012 was 58, which is consistent with the mid-1960s.
In analyzing the last 50 years, the lowest crimes were in the early 1960s and the highest in the late 1980s.
"Crime statistics are down, and that's to the credit of our Police Bureau and the community, working together for years and years, to change things for the better," said Mayor Charlie Hales. "That's part of the social contract we have between the police and the community. And it's proof that we're on the right track. Is there more to do? Obviously. Are we proud of these trends? Absolutely."
Despite the decline in violent crime, many people continue to perceive it as higher. A 2012 study by Portland State University found that Portlanders still have a perception that crime is rising, some due to their exposure of media.
"We are pleased that Part I crimes continue at low levels," Police Chief Michael Reese said. "We measure Part I crime as every city in the country does, but it doesn't illustrate the whole picture. Today, officers are spending more time on social disorder, including responding to people with mental health issues, including suicides. Officers are responding to people with addiction issues, homelessness and general services failure. Most of these incidents don't make the news like crime does."
Crime analysts suggest the decline in violent crime in Portland and across the nation can be attributed to many things, including: the fall in crack cocaine use; demographic shifts such as baby boomers aging; and better use of technology by police.
"Officers are doing great work out there," Reese said. "The examples of the community-police collaboration that has occurred at Albina and Killingsworth or 162nd and Burnside shows what kind of success we can have using this kind of approach. Its smarter policing and its working."
Despite the decline in Part I crimes, the Portland Police Bureau encourages community members to take measures to avoid becoming victims of crime. Police continue to warn the community not to leave valuables in their vehicles, lock-up bicycles, and ensure your home is secure, especially in Summer, where windows, doors and garages are often left open.
For downloadable crime prevention brochures, visit the Police Bureau's website: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/29869
For further information on crime prevention, visit the Office of Neighborhood Involvement at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/53530
Police Respond to 11 Gang-Related Shootings in 10 Days
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 – In the past 10 days, Gang Enforcement Team investigators have responded to 11 gang-related shootings in Portland.
The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team and Gun Task Force are continuing to investigate gang and gun crimes in the city. Anyone with information about gang and/or illegal gun crimes in the city is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau.
If you see an illegal gun crime in progress, call 911.
At 10:48 p.m. on Monday, June 17, North Precinct officers in the area of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Mason Street heard several gunshots. Officers responded to the area and located a crime scene with evidence consistent with gunfire but did not locate any victims.
More than an hour later – at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 18 – East Precinct officers responded to the report of several shots fired in the area of 160th Avenue and East Burnside Street. As officers arrived in the area, they were flagged down by a man who reported his car being struck by a bullet as he drove through the area. Officers do not believe that the man or the vehicle was the intended target of the shooting.
Both cases are being investigated by the Gang Enforcement Team. If you have any information about these or any other gang-related shootings, you are asked to call the Gang Enforcement Team at (503) 823-4106.
Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in any unsolved felony, and you can remain anonymous.
Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at www.crimestoppersoforegon.com, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.
Visit http://www.tipsoft.com to download the Crime Stoppers App for the iPhone or Android.
Gang Unit Arrests Portland Man for May 28 Shooting in Lents
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 – Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team on Wednesday arrested Shawn Edward Mahan, 40, in connection with a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, May 28.
The investigation started when East Precinct officers were called to a residence in the 5900 block of Southeast 83rd Avenue on the report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. As officers were en route, the information changed to the victim being shot in the garage during a burglary.
Officers arrived and located the victim, Steven Michael Jones, 47, suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the left leg. Jones was transported to a Portland area hospital for treatment.
Officers learned that the victim and suspect, Shawn Mahan, knew each other and that the shooting occurred during a dispute over property at the residence where they both lived.
Based on information that the suspect may be associated with a white supremacy gang, the Gang Enforcement Team responded to continue the investigation.
At approximately 8:41 p.m., Wednesday, officers located and arrested Mahan while he was walking on Southeast Harold Street, near 66th Avenue. Mahan was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest.
Mahan was charged with Attempted Murder, Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail.
Police Provide Report on Officer-Involved Shooting
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013 -- The Portland Police Bureau is releasing all the investigative reports associated with the officer-involved shooting that occurred on Feb. 17, 2013, involving Merle Mikal Hatch, following the conclusion of the recent grand jury on this case.
The files can be found at:
As with all officer-involved shootings, the review will continue through the Bureau's Use of Force Review Board, which reviews policies and training in regard to this shooting.
Terrorism Task Force Report Goes to Council
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2013 – The Joint Terrorism Task Force Report has been compiled and will go before the Portland City Council at 9:30 a.m. March 27.
The document is designed to report on this year’s cooperation between the Portland Police Bureau and the FBI on the task force.
For further information: Chad Stover, policy assistant to Mayor Hales, (503) 823-4027.
February 19, 2013
TO: Mayor Charlie Hales
Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Commissioner Nick Fish
Commissioner Amanda Fritz
Commissioner Steve Novick
SUBJ: Annual JTTF Report per Resolution 36859
The City passed a Resolution in April, 2011 regarding the Portland Police Bureau cooperation with the FBI for the purpose of combating terrorism. As part of that Resolution, the City asked the Police Chief to each year provide a report "with appropriate public information to the City Council and public on the bureau's work with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), including any issues related to compliance withOregonlaws."
So that Council members have knowledge of the relevant provisions of the Resolution, I have listed the specifics of the Resolution below and provided responses on how we have addressed its provisions.
- 1. BE IT RESOLVED, that it is the policy of the City simultaneously to help prevent and investigate acts of terrorism, protect civil rights and civil liberties under United States and Oregon law, and promote Portland as an open and inclusive community;
The Portland Police Bureau is committed to a model of community policing in which a positive connection between the police and the community contributes to the well being of our City. Our mission statement includes a goal of working with all citizens to maintain human rights. In keeping with our mission and the City's Resolution, we have implemented policies, procedures, and oversight mechanisms that enable us to effectively investigate terrorist threats, protect civil rights and civil liberties, and promote an open and inclusive community.
- 2. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Police Chief shall regularly consult with the FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) to determine which aspects of JTTF work could benefit from PPB participation and whether there are PPB resources available to be allocated;
Since the passage of the City's Resolution, I have conferred on several occasions with the FBI SAC about terrorism investigations and threats from terrorism. In order to have an accurate sense of resources that might be available to work with the JTTF, I confer as needed with the lieutenant of the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) or the Assistant Chief of Investigations to ensure an appropriate balance is maintained between the local staffing needs of his unit and our work with JTTF.
Regarding the substance of each request, I personally reviewed case-by-case, every request by the FBI SAC for the use ofPortlandresources. For each request I asked questions to ensure that the bureau’s involvement in those inquiries would follow the Resolution 36859 andOregonlaw. And, for each inquiry from the FBI, I received notice of each request, and reviewed it to determine if the request complies with the City's policies and Oregon law, the scope of the request and its impact on other bureau priorities/officer workload, the stage of investigation, topic/subject matter of each request, and if the topic had a "criminal nexus" to terrorism as defined in USC 18 USC Sec. 2331 (01/07/2011) (listed below).
For each request, I shared relevant information with the Commissioner-in-Charge. After I conferred with the Commissioner-in-Charge, I then made my own independent analysis required under Resolution 36859 to determine that all aspects of our work with JTTF conformed to Resolution 36859 andOregonlaw.
- 3. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED. the Police Chief may assign PPB officers to work with the JTTF on an as-needed basis as determined by the Police Chief in consultation with the Commissioner-in-Charge of PPB;
In consultation with the Commissioner-in-Charge, I decided that CIU was the best unit to be prepared to provide resources if requested. I asked the Lieutenant of CIU to identify two officers who could be assigned to JTTF if needed. I limited the number of officers eligible to work with the JTTF in order to ensure effective oversight and consistency with the City's Resolution.
I know that some of the public has a keen interest in knowing the details of our work with the JTTF. We have committed a very limited amount of bureau resources to JTTF work, so disclosure of the number of cases or hours worked may compromise ongoing investigations and reveal the operational tempo of our work on terrorism. But I can affirm that we have worked with the JTTF at their request on at least one case of domestic terrorism investigation.
- 4. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED. In addition to regular briefings. and the Police Chief's participation in JTTF Executive Committee meetings, bureau officers shall work with the JTTF only on investigations of suspected terrorism that have a criminal nexus; in situations where the statutory or common law of Oregon is more restrictive of law enforcement than comparable federal law. the investigative methods employed by bureau officers working on JTTF investigations shall conform to the requirements of such Oregon statutes or common law;
The bureau confirms that officers have only worked on investigations of suspected terrorism that had a criminal nexus and that their investigative methods have complied withOregonlaw.
The City Attorney explained during last year’s report that the "criminal nexus" requirement was intended to identify the subject matter on which officers are allowed to work with the JTTF. Specifically, when officers work on JTTF terrorism investigations, the federal government defines terrorism as follows under: 18 USC Sec. 2331 (01/07/20 II), which states:
(1) The term "international terrorism" means activities that:
(A) Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of theUnited Statesor of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of theUnited Statesor of any State;
(B) Appear to be intended:
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of theUnited States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;
(2) the term "national of theUnited States" has the meaning given such term in section 10 1 (a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
(3) the term "person" means any individual or entity capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;
(4) the term "act of war" means any act occurring in the course of-
(A) declared war;
(B) armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or
(C) armed conflict between military forces of any origin; and
(5) the term "domestic terrorism" means activities that:
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of theUnited Statesor of any State;
(B) appear to be intended:
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of theUnited States.
I have directed the Assistant Chief of Investigations and the CIU Lieutenant to attend JTTF Executive Committee meetings along with me or in my place when I am absent so that I have several perspectives on our work with the JTTF. Using this strategy, I can be confident that when officers work on JTTF investigations, they are only allowed to work on investigations related to terrorism as defined in federal criminal law and that their investigative methods meet the requirements of Oregon law.
- 5. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the PPB officers who work with the JTTF shall notify the FBI SAC and Police Chief if ever the work PPB officers are asked to do would be a potential violation or violation of ORS 181.575 or ORS 181.850 and the Police Chief shall immediately report any actual violation to the Commissioner-in-Charge of the PPB;
I have implemented strong, multi-level, and redundant oversight of officers who work with the JTTF. The two officers who were chosen to work with the JTTF have received training and guidance about the limitations inOregonlaw concerning information gathering (ORS 181.575) and immigration investigations (ORS 181.850) from the City Attorney, the CIU lieutenant, the Assistant Chief of Investigations, and me.
In order to provide oversight, the CIU Lieutenant is involved in the day to day management of these officers' activities. The Assistant Chief of Investigations meets regularly with the CIU lieutenant to receive up to date reports. And I meet regularly with the Assistant Chief and the CIU lieutenant to review any work we do with the JTTF to ensure it is compliant withOregonlaw, the City's Resolution, and PPB's policies and procedures.
Officers who work with the JTTF are aware that they should report directly to the FBI SAC and I if ever the work bureau officers are asked to do would be a potential violation or violation ofOregonlaw.
I have requested the City Attorney to independently question the officers who have worked with the JTTF to verify whether there have been any violations of Resolution 36859 orOregonlaw. I received an independent evaluation report from the Office of the City Attorney thatPortlandis in compliance with Resolution 36859 andOregonlaw.
As a result of this oversight, the officers have not engaged in any violations ofOregonlaw nor has any officer reported any potential or actual violations ofOregonlaw to me, the Assistant Chief of Investigations, or the CIU Lieutenant.
- 6. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that PPB officers working with the JTTF shall seek legal advice from the City Attorney whenever the officer has any question about the application of Oregon law, including ORS 181.575 and ORS 181.850, or this Resolution to their work with the JTTF. Any consultation with the City Attorney will be undertaken consistent with the requirements for the handling of classified information and with the other legal restrictions on the dissemination of information. 1n the event disclosure of classified information is necessary for the City Attorney to provide appropriate advice, the Police Chief shall request the FB1 SAC to authorize the City Attorney to receive such information pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement. If the City Attorney cannot obtain the necessary authorization to provide legal advice, the City Attorney shall notify the Police Chief and the Commissioner-in-Charge of PPB;
A Senior Deputy City Attorney who has provided legal advice to the Police Bureau for over fifteen years has reported to me that the police bureau is in full compliance withOregonlaw and the City's Resolution regarding JTTF. He has met individually with all CIU members identified as eligible to work with the JTTF as well as the lieutenant of CIU to ensure that they are familiar with the application ofOregonlaw, includingOregon's limitations concerning the collection and retention of information about a person's political, religious, and social affiliations. The officers have been able to freely share information and seek advice from the City Attorney. The City Attorney has met with them separately and alone so that they could voice any and all concerns.
The FBI has not asked the City Attorney to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and the attorney reports that he has received unfettered access to ample information from the officers and their lieutenant in order to assess compliance withOregonlaw and this Resolution.
- 7. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Police Chief may assign PPB officers to work on JTTF investigations that comply with the requirements stated above regardless of whether or not the investigation is based in the City of Portland. On those occasions, all the terms of the resolution apply, including that the PPB officer's investigative methods must still conform to Oregon law;
This year, I assigned officers to work on a JTTF investigation outside the City ofPortland, after consultation with the Commissioner-in-charge.
- 8. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, to ensure access to information necessary to manage and supervise PPB officers, the Police Chief will seek clearance at the Top Secret/Secure Compartmentalized Information level, and the Commissioner-in-Charge of PPB will seek clearance at the Secret level;
The FBI defines a Secret clearance as "generally the most appropriate security clearance for state and local law enforcement officials that do not routinely work in an FBI Task Force or in a FBI facility." The FBI explains a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance as "this type clearance may be granted to those persons who need unescorted access to FBI facilities and will most often be appropriate for law enforcement officers assigned to FBI Task Forces housed in FBI facilities."
I have been granted a "Secret" level clearance. My officers are not seeking TS/SCI clearance and I will not need clearance above the "Secret" level to manage their work with the JTTF.
When the Resolution was passed, we anticipated that the FBI would require any of our officers who worked with the JTTF to have TS/SCI clearance. After the adoption of the Resolution, the FBI informed us that PPB officers who work with the JTTF would not be required to possess Top Secret clearance because they would have no need to access FBI facilities unescorted or obtain access to informant source information. The SAC and I decided that Secret level clearance for the two officers whom I identified as eligible to work with the JTTF would be sufficient, based on Portland's current participation in the JTTF.
The Assistant Chief of Investigations, the Lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Unit, and two assigned officers all currently have "Secret" level security clearances.
- 9. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City understands that the FBI SAC or designee needs the ability to direct the operational and day-to-day work of PPB officers who work with the JTTF. However, at all times, PPB officers who work with the JTTF remain in the chain of command and under the formal supervision of PPB;
The bureau officers who work with the JTTF have remained in the bureau chain of command and their work is overseen by bureau supervisors, including a lieutenant, the Assistant Chief of Investigations, and myself. The lieutenant holds regular meetings with the assigned officers to inquire about the subject matter of investigations, monitor the investigative methods being employed, and verify that the work performed meets federal, state, and city requirements. And the Assistant Chief and I hold regular meetings with the lieutenant.
10.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council directs the Police Chief and Commissioner-in-Charge of PPB to request regular briefings from the FBI SAC, at least twice a year, on the work of the JTTF so that the Police Chief and the Commissioner-in-Charge of PPB will be familiar with terrorist threats in the Portland area and will, therefore, be better able to manage local public safety issues;
Since the passage of the City's Resolution, I have conferred on several occasions with the SAC about threats from terrorism and terrorism investigations. I receive regular briefings a few times a year on the work of the JTTF.
The Commissioner-in-Charge met with the FBI/SAC on February 14, 2013.
11.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Chief will assign a PPB supervisor to the JTTF at any time that a PPB officer is assigned to JTTF work;
I assigned a CIU lieutenant to oversee the two officers identified as eligible to work with the JTTF. The lieutenant has regular meeting with the JTTF supervisor and attends JTTF Executive Committee meetings. Any time these officers have been assigned to JTTF work, the lieutenant, the Assistant Chief of Investigations and I have actively supervised their work.
12.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, PPB officers assigned to the JTTF shall attend annual training, to be conducted by the Office of the City Attorney, to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal law;
The bureau is in compliance with this provision. The Chief of Police, Assistant Chief of the Investigations, Lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Unit, and two assigned officers have all received required trainings.
In May of 2011, in January 2012, and January 2013, the City Attorney's office had an in-service training for all CIU members identified as eligible to work with the JTTF as needed. The City Attorney trained officers about the provisions of the Resolution, ORS 181.575, ORS 181.850 andOregonlaws that are more restrictive of law enforcement investigative methods than comparable federal law. The training includes instruction on the FBI Guidelines and how Resolution 36859 orOregonlaw are different from the FBI Guidelines.
13.BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Portland Police Bureau shall adopt publicly available administrative policies and procedures consistent with this Resolution.
The bureau has implemented this provision. The Police Bureau refers to its administrative policies and procedures as "directives". Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are unit-specific directives. On July 22, 2011, the bureau adopted Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) CIV #23.
Chief of Police
Police handle three major cases in one week
THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2013 – Portland Police conducted an array of unusual investigations this week.
• A homicide on Southwest Dolph Courtled to the Tuesday arrest of three men. Detectives – assisted by the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force and the Portland Police Bureau Special Emergency Reaction Team – arrested Mahmoud Moustafa, 20, Hussein Ali Haidar, 21, and Omar Ibrahim, 18, on a variety of charges.
As part of the investigation, search warrants were served at two locations Tuesday: 4735 S.W. Luradel St. No. 20; and10620 S.W. 49th Ave.
This investigation started on Saturday March 9, when Portland Police officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to a residence in the 2200 block of Southwest Dolph Court on the report of a disturbance and assault. Officers found Charles Anthony Weber, 25, deceased. The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined that Weber died of head injuries.
During the investigation, detectives obtained information leading to the arrest of the three suspects on Tuesday evening.
Moustafa and Haidar were charged with aggravated murder, two counts of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, and unlawful use of a weapon. Ibrahim was charged with murder and first-degree robbery.
All three suspects were booked into the Multnomah County Jail on Wednesday and will be arraigned today.
• At approximately 9:15 p.m., Wednesday,East Precinct officers responded to the report of an armed carjacking in the parking lot of the Gateway Fred Meyer store,1111 N.E. 102nd Ave.
Two victims told police that they just parked their car in the west parking lot of Fred Meyer, facing Northeast 99th Avenue. The male victim, who was the driver, got out of the car and saw two men armed with handguns approach. One suspect approached the driver and demanded his possessions. The victim gave the suspect his keys, phone and an undisclosed amount of money.
The second suspect approached the female passenger and pulled her out of the car. Both suspects got into the car and left the area, last seen driving southbound on Northeast 99th Avenue.
Neither victim was injured during the robbery.
One suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s, 5-feet-8, 235 pounds, short black hair, some facial hair, wearing dark clothes. The other suspect is described as a light-skinned African-American male in his late 20s, 5-feet-8, 140 to 150 pounds, wearing dark clothes.
The vehicle is a 2012 Honda Civic 2-Door, black in color, with Oregon license plate CU27516. Anyone seeing the vehicle is advised not to approach it and to call 911.
Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact the Robbery Detail at (503) 823-0405.
• Detectives assigned to the Portland Police Bureau's Sex Crimes Unit on Wednesday arrested Marlin Brandt Pohlman, 43, for multiple sex crimes. Pohlman was arrested at Portland International Airport after returning fromThailand.
Detectives believe that Pohlman was drugging women he knew and sexually assaulting them. Detectives have identified and interviewed four women allegedly victimized by Pohlman.
Detectives served a search warrant at Pohlman's home, on the 7100 block of North Chase Avenue. During the search, detectives located a possible drug lab. Investigators from the Drugs and Vice Division have processed the possible drug lab and seized evidence.
Pohlman was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on two charges of first-degree kidnapping; two counts of first-degree rape; three counts of first-degree sex abuse; four charges of causing someone to ingest a controlled substance; four counts of third-degree assault; two counts of first-degree attempted rape; third-degree sodomy; four counts of reckless endangerment; and four counts of harassment.
Bail is set at more than $2 million. Pohlman will be arraigned today and additional charges are possible.
Detectives are concerned that there may be additional victims and would like to hear from anyone with information about Pohlman. People with information should contact Detective Tracy Chamberlin at (503) 823-0400 or Tracy.Chamberlin@PortlandOregon.gov.
Police Continue Investigation of Monday Night Shooting
--UPDATE, 8:48 a.m. Wednesday--
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2013 – The Portland Police officers involved in a fatal shooting Monday night have been identified as Officer Brad Kula, a 10-year-veteran, and Officer Michele Boer, a four-year-veteran.
Santiago A. Cisneros III, 32, fired a shotgun at the officers, who returned fire. Cisneros was hit and was transported to a Portland hospital where he died.
The Oregon State Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Cisneros Tuesday. Details of the autopsy have not been released.
Anyone with information about this shooting or about Santiago Cisneros is asked to contact Detectives Rico Beniga at (503) 823-0457 or Molly Daul at (503) 823-0991.
Members of the mayor’s staff were on scene Monday night during the post-shooting investigation. Mayor Charlie Hales and members of his staff were briefed Tuesday morning by police officials.
Mayor Hales did not release a statement Tuesday regarding the shooting or ongoing investigation, other than to express relief that the officers involved were not injured.
A preliminary investigation suggests that, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Officers Kula and Boer, in separate cars, drove up onto the top level of a parking garage located at Seventh and Lloyd. The officers were immediately confronted by Cisneros, who was armed with a shotgun. Within seconds, shots were fired.
Cisneros fired multiple shots from his shotgun. Both officers returned fire, striking him and knocking him to the ground.
Neither officer was hit by gunfire during the shooting.
More officers and a sergeant arrived and developed a plan to safely approach the suspect and get him medical attention. Officers grabbed a shield to approach Cisneros, who was lying on the ground, still moving, next to his shotgun. Officers approached him and placed him into custody. Medical personnel immediately responded and transported him to a Portland hospital, where he died.
Officers Kula and Boer are assigned to North Precinct afternoon shift. Their interviews are scheduled for Thursday. Per policy, both officers will remain on paid administrative leave until the completion of the grand jury, which has not yet been scheduled by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Representatives from the chief’s office, mayor’s office, Training Division, Internal Affairs Division, Office of Independent Police Review, Traumatic Incident Committee and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office all responded to the scene, as is standard protocol in any officer-involved shooting investigation and have been briefed on the investigation.
Updates will be provided as they become available.
U.S. Marshal's Service, Police make arrest near airport
THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 2013 – The Portland Police Special Emergency Reaction Team, or SERT, responded in the early hours Thursday to the Travelodge Portland Airport hotel,3848 N.W. 82nd Ave., on the report of a possibly armed man refusing to leave a motel room.
Portland Police officers assigned to East Precinct assisted the U.S.Marshals Fugitive Task Force with locating a wanted subject, 34-year-old James David Tautfest at the Travelodge Motel.
Tautfest was wanted out of Washington State for identity theft, forgery, theft and possession of a control substance. The Fugitive Task Force had information Tautfest was staying at the Travelodge with his 15-year-old runaway sister.
U.S.Marshals entered the Travelodge while Portland Police officers established a perimeter around the hotel. Tautfest barricaded himself inside the apartment with his sister and claimed to be armed.
SERT officers were activated along with the Portland Police Bureau's Crisis Negotiation Team, and the hotel was evacuated.
Shortly after SERT and negotiators arrived at the scene, Tautfest released his sister but refused to come out.
During the standoff, Tautfest, who police say was high on methamphetamine, kicked a hole in the hotel wall, entered an adjacent attic, crashed through the floor and entered the weight room below. He then climbed back through the floor and crawled back into the room.
Negotiators made a phone call into the room and spoke to Tautfest for approximately two hours. Negotiations with Tautfest stalled so SERT deployed tear gas into the hotel room.
Tautfest eventually gave up and was taken into custody without incident. The hotel room was thoroughly searched but no firearm was found.
Tautfest was transported to the Multnomah County Jail and lodged on his warrants.