1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
January 11, 2007 00:00
Each year, members of the Portland Police Bureau and Portlanders participate in a series listening sessions designed to provide input in the creation of the annual budget. During the sessions, participants are asked to suggest viable cost-saving measures or service improvements. As in prior years, one suggestion includes the closure of North Precinct. Chief Sizer has reviewed the recommendation and determined that the Police Bureau will not close North Precinct. However, the Police Bureau is considering a realignment of precinct boundaries or a reallocation of management resources designed to more accurately reflect call loads and increase efficiencies within organization.
There are other recommendations being considered, however. Chief Sizer will forward to the Mayor a recommendation to decentralize the School Police Division. Currently, School Resource Officers report to the Portland Public Schools District office and are then assigned to patrol schools within the City of Portland. After decentralization, School Resource Officers will attend roll call at a precinct within their assigned school’s boundaries and then report directly to their assigned school. Decentralization is not designed to change the level of service or commitment from the Police Bureau. However, this administrative change will allow School Resource Officers to have daily contact with officers patrolling the areas around schools. Precinct Commanders will also have the opportunity to be better informed of issues involving the schools.
Several years ago, the Police Bureau decentralized the Detective Division, allowing detectives to work directly with officers in all five precincts. Community members have embraced precinct-based detectives who can quickly respond to emerging concerns. Chief Sizer believes the addition of School Resource Officers to the precincts will have a similar result, improving communication, coordination and public safety services to Portland’s school age children, their parents and the Metropolitan Area’s school districts.
During the continuing budget process the Police Bureau is challenging itself and Portland residents to make meaningful long-term changes designed to provide the best service to all residents; be an efficient and effective use of available resources; and address the public safety needs of the community. Regardless of where you live or work, Portland’s residents deserve the most professional public safety service available. Chief Sizer welcomes public input during this process and asks those willing to participate to do so with an open mind. Whether it’s restructuring the organization to have a more positive impact on the community or developing a proposal to ask City Council for additional resources, these sessions will form the basis of how the Police Bureau provides service in the years to come.
The public budget sessions are scheduled for February 7, 2007 and February 22, 2007. When determined, times and locations will be available at Portlandonline.com.
Sgt. Pete Simpson