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PPB COVID-19 Q&A - May 1, 2020

 

Lieutenant Tina Jones interviews Director Bob Cozzie from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, Fire Marshal AJ Jackson from Portland Fire and Rescue, and has a conversation with Chief Jami Resch.

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Transcript:

Intro:
Welcome to Talking Beat, the podcast for the Portland Police Bureau. We're focusing on thoughtful conversations that we hope will inform and provide you with a small glimpse of work performed by Portland police officers, as well as issues affecting public safety in our city. Here's what's on today's show.

Chief Jami Resch:
The analysis of the shootings does show a 25% increase from this time this year compared to this time last year, but our GVRT members have made some significant arrests over the last couple of days and have recovered several firearms. So what I'm hoping is that those arrests will have an impact and we'll see a decline in the number of shootings.

Announcer:
On this episode of the Talking Beat, Lieutenant Tina Jones interviews Director Bob Cozzie from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, Fire Marshal AJ Jackson from Portland Fire and Rescue, and has a conversation with Chief Jami Resch. Thanks for listening.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Good afternoon, Director Cozzie, thanks for coming down today. We really appreciate you taking the time.

Director Bob Cozzie:
Absolutely. Good afternoon.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Can you start just with a brief overview about yourself and what the Bureau of Emergency Communications is and does so that we have that framing going forward?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. Thank you for the introduction. I'm Bob Cozzie, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications, which is the 911 and dispatch center for not only Portland, but all of Multnomah County. My background is in 911 dispatch since 1995, way back in the day, and I served as Director for Clackamas County for 12 and a half years, and then have been here with the City of Portland for the past two years.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So how has COVID-19 impacted operations at your shop?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. So in a 911 center, obviously, we don't have the luxury of being able to vacate our premises. Our backup center happens to be much smaller than our existing centers. So what do you do with a pandemic and keeping your employees safe? Our call volume has decreased pretty substantially during this event, thankfully, and that has certainly helped. But we've also increased the number of questions that we ask on every call for service. For example, on a typical police related event, we wouldn't normally ask medical questions, but now we are asking about recent travel or if anyone has been experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms. So we're incorporating that into our daily activities.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So can I go back a little bit? Can you describe what it looks like in your center for people who may not be familiar? Because it's kind of behind the scenes.

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. We are behind the scenes. In most 911 centers, you'll have consoles or positions where call takers work and they answer 911. We happen to answer 911 at our Bureau, but we also answer non-emergency lines. And it happens to be the same people who are answering 911 is answering those non-emergency lines. There's always a priority for 911 and those go into the queue first. But those same individuals are fielding a ton of different questions and requests that are both emergent and non-emergent.

Director Bob Cozzie:
From that point, there's a section or a couple sections within the operations floor. One is for police dispatch, and one is for fire dispatch. So when the call taker processes a call, they enter that into the computer system and the dispatcher then, if it's a police call, that police dispatcher will send out the appropriate units. On a fire or medical call, the fire dispatcher sends out the appropriate units.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So I've been there myself in the past for sit along and it's fascinating to me the amount of information that your team processes in a very short amount of time. And they do it for police and fire and emergency medical services, which is phenomenal for the whole county as well. So given all that, what changes have been implemented in the past couple of weeks to keep BOEC members safe?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah, that's a good question. We have a relatively small operations floor, because we have so many employees working in there, it tends to get a little bit crowded. So we were concerned early on, it's probably been about five or six weeks now, that we began social distancing or physical distancing at the position. So what that means is rather than call takers working side by side, we're having them not utilize a position in between call takers. Same thing with dispatch. So now we have them distanced out from each other, but we're overcrowded already. So what do you do with these other people?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Well, one thing that we have done is opened up our simulation training room, which normally is only used for training. There's eight positions in there and we've assigned call takers for overflow if it's appropriate. We also have training teams that are working in there answering live 911 calls as opposed to just simulated training. And that has certainly helped. We also, if circumstances warrant, one of the call takers would work within the supervisor pod amongst the supervisors, because that's a little bit more spaced out. We just want to make sure that there's at least six feet of distance between our employees while they're working.

Director Bob Cozzie:
We've also implemented rigorous cleaning standards. Our dispatchers used to rotate about every two hours to a different position to help reduce their burnout, quite frankly, and now we've shifted that so that they only switch around to different positions usually one time within their shift. So that prevents us from having to have that kind of that cross-contamination with positions. They're cleaning the positions very frequently. Of course, one thing that we've had to do recently is implement a requirement for them to wear face coverings. And while it's uncomfortable, and it's difficult, and quite challenging for some of our folks, it is necessary because our goal is to keep everybody safe.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Yeah. We're all adapting and just getting used to these kind of new norms. So can you give us an overview of how many calls are answered at BOEC on the 911 and non-emergency numbers?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. Our general planning rule of thumb is about a million calls per year across the board. About 500,000 911 calls and about the same for the non-emergency administrative lines. What's interesting is this past month, due to COVID and because of the quarantine orders, our call volume has decreased. Last month decreased by about, and I'm talking last month meaning April, decreased by about 17%, which is substantial and that has certainly helped.

Director Bob Cozzie:
We've also been looking at some of our trends. Our overall calls for service have decreased, the dispatch workload by about 8% or so. So in general, it feels more like a winter day for our dispatchers rather than a busy summer day. Although, we have noticed on the nicer days here in the Portland area, when it's sunny outside, the calls for service tend to creep up.

Lt. Tina Jones:
And again, just a reminder, that's for all calls that you guys triage for police fire and medical?

Director Bob Cozzie:
That is correct, yes.

Lt. Tina Jones:
The Chief will get into it a little bit more about our calls for service in her update. So how has COVID affected 911 and non-emergency calls?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Well, I think primarily, we are receiving fewer 911 calls, like I had mentioned earlier, but all of our calls now are requiring the questioning that I had mentioned earlier. And those questions that we ask on every call are, are you or anyone there experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath? Has there been any out of state travel in the past 30 days? And has there been any known exposure to COVID-19? That is one of the biggest shifts in our normal day-to-day protocol.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So it's added some additional questions?

Director Bob Cozzie:
It has.

Lt. Tina Jones:
And what are the dispatchers or call takers dealing with that information. Why is that important?

Director Bob Cozzie:
They're annotating that in the call so that the first responders police, fire or medical, whoever's responding can have a clearer picture of some of the risks that might be involved at that residence or business.

Lt. Tina Jones:
About how long have those questions been implemented? Several weeks?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah, it's been several weeks.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Great. Now, is the dispatch center receiving an increase in calls related the governor's order?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. It's not substantial. We have received some. When we receive a complaint that a business is open that maybe shouldn't be, for example, we'll enter that call for service, and that is reviewed by the appropriate police agency to make a determination on what action needs to be taken.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So you're currently wearing a couple of hats. I know this week you've been serving as Portland's Incident Commander at the Emergency Coordination Center. Can you talk a little bit about that experience and any thoughts you have overall about Portland's response to COVID-19?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. Working in public safety, I'm familiar with how the Emergency Coordination Center works. We rotate in for a week at a time and having a director's perspective in there, I think serves two purposes. First, it helps the director of whatever bureau he's serving have a clear understanding of what is happening behind the scenes in terms of this type of response. And it also allows the director perspective in those activities. So that when decisions are made, that a bureau director can be able to offer insight that might have a positive or negative impact on that particular bureau.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So, again, that's kind of behind the scenes work. Can you describe what is happening on a daily basis or weekly basis?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. There are a lot of meetings. Honestly, a ton of meetings. Starting with a 7:30 briefing with the leadership team, and getting up to speed on what needs to be addressed for that particular day. And then going into an all group meeting right on the floor with everyone present, with reports from the different section chiefs on specific projects that they're going to be working on and what their focus is for that day. And then a lot of other sub-meetings in the conference room and we all are wearing masks in there, our face coverings to make sure that we're careful not to spread a virus, if there is one in the Emergency Coordination Center.

Director Bob Cozzie:
All of those meetings sum up into a direction that the Portland Bureau of Emergency management needs to take. I guess, the biggest aha moments for me was just how much coordination there is between not only the City of Portland but also Multnomah County, the state, metro. And even looking at coordination with other states and watching how reopening framework, for example, for the state of Oregon, how that might impact expected illnesses down the road. And watching other States and other countries begin to reopen has a direct impact on us.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So, monitoring all that activity, looking more broadly, but also trying to figure out how any of those ideas can be implemented in Portland and Multnomah County?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. Not just the ideas, implementing the ideas, but recognizing where the pitfalls might be so that we don't make the same mistake someone else has perhaps.

Lt. Tina Jones:
That's important. Well, is there anything that I forgot to ask that you would like to add?

Director Bob Cozzie:
It's a pleasure being here. I thank you for the opportunity and it's been a great experience working in the Emergency Coordination Center.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Does anybody on the line have any questions for Director Cozzie? Brenna Kelly: Brenna Kelly with KPTV. And my question for Director Cozzie is, you mentioned you used to rotate every two hours between positions to help reduce burnout and now you've shifted that. How do you prevent burnout now [inaudible 00:13:41] and prevent the anxieties? I'm sure this have taken [inaudible 00:13:47] take on dispatchers.

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah, that's a very good question. Imagine you put yourself in the position of being a call taker, for example, you're talking to people on the worst day of their lives. That's a lot of responsibility for a call taker and it's a lot of pressure. It's a balance because the ideal, at least in my perspective, is allowing the call taker to rotate out of that position into maybe a dispatch position at police for a while and then come back to call taking. This was done in order to prevent spreading COVID-19 on the ops floor, of course, but we got input from our staff and many of them were concerned and even volunteered to saying that they would be willing to work call taking their entire shift, if it meant reducing the spread.

Director Bob Cozzie:
Understanding that this is not a permanent measure, that our goal is to get back to that normal two-hour rotation as soon as we can. But we are waiting and then trying to watch, just like I mentioned earlier with the Emergency Coordination Center, we're watching for that guidance to determine when we can kind of step back. That also includes wearing face coverings for dispatchers. All of that has an impact on them psychologically and emotionally dealing with people on their worst days.

Director Bob Cozzie:
Now, something that we do have in place, of course, is EAP program. But we also have a fantastic peer team that helps provide resources and just a listening ear sometimes. And those are peers within the 911 center that are available to help talk us through different emotions and feelings. And that's something we've had in place for years. Brenna Kelly: Thank you. And just a follow up. Are there opportunities for them to switch out if they need to?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. We do try to balance this so that they aren't burning out at one position or another. Brenna Kelly: Thank you.

Lt. Tina Jones:
On that, so when you're talking about them switching out, you mentioned call taking when they go from call taker to maybe dispatching or different-

Director Bob Cozzie:
Yeah. I think in a perfect world, many of our employees would prefer to say to dispatch position, it's a lot more dynamic. But in all reality, we have 911 calls coming in. So the call takers ... And we have more call taker positions than we have dispatched positions. So in a given day, a call taker might work six hours cut into two-hour blocks in call taking. And in between those blocks, maybe they'll work two hours in police dispatch, and then two hours in fire dispatch. That would be kind of the ideal. It doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes it's eight hours in call taking with only two hours at one dispatch discipline or the other.

Lt. Tina Jones:
And again, you guys work 24/7, so what kind of shifts do you have?

Director Bob Cozzie:
Their shifts start basically every two hours around the clock and it ramps up so that we have the lion's share of our employees during our busiest call volume. Yesterday, I just looked at the stats and our busiest hour was one o'clock in the afternoon. I think we answered 180-something 911 calls just in that one hour from one o'clock to two o'clock. So we try to beef up our staffing so that during the busy call volumes we have more people on duty.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Okay. Again, Director Cozzie, really want to extend our gratitude for you coming down today and to your staff. Your support of what we do is just phenomenal. We couldn't do what we do without you and your team. So thanks for being here. So our next guest today, I'm pleased to say is Fire Marshal AJ Jackson, thanks for coming.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Hi, thank you.

Lt. Tina Jones:
First, can you just share a little bit about yourself and what your role is with the Fire Bureau.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So my name is AJ Jackson. I've been with Portland Fire for about 21 years now. And my current assignment is the Fire Marshal for Portland Fire and Rescue. So I lead the prevention division. So I oversee several different components. But our mission is to prevent the emergency on the front side before the fire or whatever it is could happen. So we're working on the front side of emergencies.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Awesome. So as the Fire Marshal of the prevention division, what are your unit's normal responsibilities and how has that changed during COVID-19?

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So as our name implies, everything is about the prevention component. And so we do that through a multiple pronged approach. So the first thing that you can think of when a building is built, we do the plan review. So whether it's a school, a restaurant, a take out, a high rise, we're going to review those plans to ensure compliance with a fire code. So we're looking at our fire department access, do we have water supply? Is it adequate? Hydrant spacing. Things of that nature that we'll try to ensure a safe on the front side. Then once that building is built, it's our job to maintain it. So we do code enforcement inspections.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So we're doing inspections of all commercial occupancies and all residential units that have three units or more. So we're going to go in and do those inspections. Ensure that the fire and life safety components so that your sprinkler systems, your alarms, is your address visible? Are your evacuation routes and egress lit, open, assessable. So we'll continue to do those code enforcement inspections. And then if for some reason and unfortunately a fire does occur, the fire investigations unit will come in and try to determine what that cause was. So it's really important for us if we know how a fire started. Some of that helps shape our outreach campaigns.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So maybe, for example, we're seeing an increase in home cooking fire, or unattended candles, or maybe it's intentionally set, and there's an arsonist and this group will try to identify that person and build the legal case in order to prosecute. And then finally, and maybe most importantly, we educate the public. We try to reach out share our safety messaging to try to avoid those emergencies. So that can be the importance of having working smoke alarms, having a home escape plan that your family members or roommates are aware of. It might be having your 72-hour emergency preparedness kit at home. So we try to do that outreach with the public with the mind of trying to prevent those emergencies.

Lt. Tina Jones:
I just want to stop and kind of dig into that a little bit. I feel like a lot of people right now might have a little extra time at home, and especially just during a pandemic, we start to recognize that sometimes the bad thing could happen. So I feel like there's an opportunity for individuals or families maybe to get a little better prepared. Do you have any tips about what they could be considering to be better prepared to prevent some of these catastrophe?

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Yeah. I think about whether it's your home or your apartment, or you rent a room, one of the most important safety tools that you have is your smoke alarm. And how many people put it off, put it off? Like, I'm sure it works. I'm not going to test it. But the importance of do I have them? Are they working and are they in the right location? So it now gives you a perfect time to kind of do a walkthrough of your home. Do I have those? If you have small children or maybe you have multi-generational family members, do they know what to do? Do they know their evacuation routes?

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So for example, if you have young children at home, maybe this is a good exercise to take up some time. Create a map have each floor of your home or your apartment, if it's an apartment unit, and try to identify your two ways out of every room. Talk about in the emergency, what are you going to do? Maybe get a smoke alarm, make it sound so children understand what does this sound like? And when this sounds, what am I going to do? I'm going to get out, I'm going to stay out and I'm going to go to my family's meeting place, wherever that is.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
I think about today being May 1st, it's also Fire Prevention Awareness Month. So what we know is they're expecting greater temperatures, drier. We're about a month ahead of schedule. So maybe now's the time to get out, maybe prune back some trees, right? What combustibles you have around your home, reduce that risk. Think about if I'm going to have a recreational fire. Think about some of the consequences of that ember in the wind and it takes off somewhere in lands and that causes a fire. Resources across the city and state are being in impacted by COVID-19. So do your part to try to make your family as secure and as safe as possible. So that would be a couple of my recommendations.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Awesome. I assume you have some of these tips probably on your website.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Yes. Absolutely. So they are on our website, we have a tab for your safety. And so there's information on child safety seats, windows safety, your emergency preparedness kit, what to try to maybe start gathering right now. You may not want to go out and hit the stores up trying to get this complete list, but you can start to assemble some of those items. That would be really beneficial in an emergency type situation.

Lt. Tina Jones:
And windows safety. I know that that's really important. I know we've been on tragic calls when the weather warms up and so that's something good to be thinking about now. To make sure that windows, especially if they're multi-storey buildings, are safe for children.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Absolutely. And the stop that for campaign and some of the devices that can be used. That still renders the window operational if it was an emergency, but it keeps our small children safe from falling over, from pushing that screen out. It's really tragic when something like that occurs and it can be prevented.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Absolutely. So let's pivot a little bit and talk about some of the awesome programs that Portland Fire and Rescue has been involved with during the COVID-19 crisis. What programs has your team been involved with and how do they work?

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Well, thank you. Yes, I'd like to highlight two specific programs. One is the c19oregon.com. So that's a C, the numeral one, the numeral nine, oregon.com, which is a free online tool that is kind of a health assessment program out there that you can use to kind of symptom check yourself. So if you go to that website, it's really easy, user-friendly to kind of navigate. And it's going to ask some very simple questions like your age, your zip code, what symptoms you might be experiencing, and if you have any pre existing medical conditions. And so once those inputs are in, it's going to give you an assessment, either a green, a yellow or a red.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So green would be the lowest risk. The recommendation is to stay home, continue to monitor yourself, perhaps do your temperature check. Yellow is moderate health risk. So stay at home, but contact your primary care physician by phone. This isn't run to the ER, it's stay put, but contact your doctor and talk through what you're experiencing. And finally, the red. So if you come out as a red assessment, it's going to urge you to seek medical attention. But it's also going to allow the hospitals like the incoming hospital like, hey, you're coming. So it's a heads up to them like, hey, we have a patient that could be COVID-19 positive.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
The one aspect of this tool I really like is it can redirect someone to another hospital. So if their local hospital is experiencing a surge in numbers, it can reroute them to another hospital. So it's a win-win. They get the treatment they need as quickly as possible, and we help limit the hospital's getting overrun with patients.

Lt. Tina Jones:
That's really smart.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Yeah. I think in the big picture, the C19 Oregon tool gets the right resources to the right place at the right time for those that have the greatest need.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Yeah. And like you said, it helps people to get quicker treatment, which is really important, especially if they're experiencing those really problematic symptoms that could be life threatening.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
There's that anxiety. You're at home and you're trying to monitor and people have that fear of the exposure to the virus. So should I be trying to seek out medical care in person or Can I maybe do this by phone? A virtual doctor's appointment? So I think it gives them a tool, right? They're just not home isolated by themselves trying to figure out in their own mind. Am I bad? Should I go in? Should I stay at home? So it just helps walk them through some of those steps.

Lt. Tina Jones:
That's great. And then there's another project I've heard involving pharmaceuticals.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Yes. So we have our Portland Fire and Rescue Meds on Wheels, which was a program that was initiated by Chief Sara Boone. And so it is primarily a prescription pickup and delivery service. And so it's a coordinated through our community health assessment teams. And so this is a program that's targeting the 65 years and older population or those with disabilities or chronic health concerns. And it's available to anybody that is living in the City of Portland. So what we do is we deploy those teams and pick up those medications and deliver them. But we're trying to make sure we do that in a safe way. So we limit our risk and we limit their risk.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
So we're following PPE guidelines, wearing masks, gloves, making sure that exchange of medication at the door is done safely. The feedback that we've gotten from the members that we have delivered these medications to is amazing. I think, in this time when it's so challenging, and so many people are feeling afraid and isolated, to have someone come up and be willing to engage with you, and provide you a resource flyer. So it has a loneliness hotline. Recommendations, if you're having food shortages, and you need food, where you can go for some of that. But it's a human connection.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
One of the teams returned and they had delivered some medications. And this was the first conversation this person had in eight weeks. So they see the uniform, they trust us and they look forward to us, and we're providing the medications that they need so desperately without putting them at risk for having to go out in the public and get them themselves.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Yeah, that's just got to be so meaningful for them. So that's a tremendous effort. I know all of these things are on top of the daily work, but I think that your team has been demonstrating a lot of leadership in that region on these programs. So it's very much appreciated. Is there anything else that you want to add that I forgot to ask? And if not, we can ask media?

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
No. I think we just recognize. Our bureau recognizes that we have to stop and pause and look at the services we provide and under the circumstances we're in now, how can we do them differently and still achieve our mission. We recognize from a state and county and city level that the demands are there, and so we see the need and the importance of sharing those resources to get the overall mission accomplished. We are in this together and we see the importance of trying to help our community through this crisis, and that might mean that we look into our jobs a little bit differently.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Yeah, we adapt. That's what we've been doing. So, awesome. We really appreciate you coming today and sharing some information. I know there's a lot more on your website. You guys also put out some really great stuff on social media. We very much appreciate your partnership and the work that your team is doing to keep everyone safe.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Well, thank you. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk with your listeners.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Absolutely. Have a good day.

Fire Marshal AJ Jackson:
Thank you.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Next, we will have a little information from Chief Jami Resch. Hi, Chief?

Chief Jami Resch:
Hello?

Lt. Tina Jones:
We want to take the opportunity to provide an update on anything new or different or even if it's the same. Just can you give us the latest on what PPB staffing situation looks like now that we're about eight weeks into this?

Chief Jami Resch:
Yeah, absolutely. So far PPB has not seen a significant change in our staffing. We are continuing to monitor our sick rates and they're at about the same level that we would normally see this time of year. So we are aware of members who have been tested but I continue to knock on wood. We haven't had anybody test positive. But our Incident Management Team watches that every day. Looks at every little spike, looks at every incident that we have, any possible exposures, and they're keeping track of that. And they're also trying to develop any type of contingencies that we may think of so that we're ready if something does happen.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So can you talk about any other changes that have been implemented in the past couple of weeks at PPB?

Chief Jami Resch:
Yeah. So I think one of the biggest things is that we have implemented a new process, a new screening process when employees come to work. So anybody who has to physically report to one of the PPB facilities is required to take their temperature before they enter. And it's taken by another train member. So everybody's had the training so we can test each other as we're coming to work. And that's just another way for us to try to ensure that we aren't unknowingly spreading anything. Somebody may not have any symptoms or not realize that they have a fever or something like that.

Chief Jami Resch:
So there were some questions from our members at first as to why are we just starting this now? And the answer to that is it was an idea that we knew we wanted to do a while ago. But as everybody knows, getting supplies like the actual thermometers took a while. So it wasn't something that we just thought of, it's just we just got the equipment to now start the process. So it started on Wednesday.

Lt. Tina Jones:
And these are the non-contact-

Chief Jami Resch:
Yeah, absolutely. Infrared thermometer so we don't have to ... We wear gloves and masks and stand apart and you can accurately take the temperature that way.

Lt. Tina Jones:
So let's talk about any new trends are for crime rates in Portland.

Chief Jami Resch:
Okay. So this time we were able to look at a broader timeframe. We looked at an eight-week period ahead. So we looked from March 12th to April 29th, compared that to the same timeframe last year, and then compared it to the eight weeks prior for some of those stats that I'm going to talk about here. For our calls for service, what we're seeing is that they're trending back up. And we're almost at what we would consider kind of a normal level for this time of year for a lot of our call types. There was a slight decrease last week in civil calls. And if you remember from previous conversations, the civil calls include the calls that people are calling in for violation of the governor's order.

Chief Jami Resch:
So we did see a little bit of a decrease in that last week. And we also saw a little bit of decrease in calls that we call premise checks. So looking around maybe for something that somebody may think it's suspicious. So for burglaries, we talked about that, I think a couple weeks ago. I noted the change from residential to commercial burglaries. So we are seeing about two more calls per day compared to the same timeframe in 2019. That also equates to about 2,002 more calls per day from the eight weeks prior.

Chief Jami Resch:
But the positive note is that we are making more burglary arrests. So, for example, the week of April 19th, we made 17 arrests related to burglary, where if you compare that to the eight weeks prior, I think we were averaging 3 to 11 burglary arrests during that time. So we are arresting folks for these crimes. We have seen an uptick but the officers on the street are doing a good job trying to apprehend those people. As far as vandalism, we have noticed an uptick in vandalism. Last week PPB responded to about 17 calls per day related to vandalism which is an increase of about three calls per day compared to the eight weeks prior.

Chief Jami Resch:
And this is where we're really asking for the community's help. If you see something, please call, please report it, especially if you see something in progress so that the officers can get there. The disturbance calls, we have seen an increase in disturbance calls with an average of about nine more calls per day compared to the eight weeks prior. But disturbance calls are one of, if not our most common type of call. So we do respond to a lot of those.

Chief Jami Resch:
Domestic violence. Compared to the same time period ... So I think when we talked about domestic violence, previously, I talked about domestic violence arrests. And this, some of what I'll talk about now we were actually able to go back and look at domestic violence reports. So compared to the same time period last year, the reported DV incidents are unchanged, but what we're still seeing is an increase in the number of arrests that we're making.

Chief Jami Resch:
So we've had about I think it's an average of about 13 more arrests per week for domestic violence compared to the eight-week timeframe prior. Keep in mind that a lot of domestic violence crimes are mandatory arrests, especially cases involving injury, and this could be one of the drivers why we're seeing an increase in the number of arrests. So we'll have to look further into that information.

Chief Jami Resch:
For shootings, the analysis of the shootings does show a 25% increase from this time this time this year compared to this time last year. But our GVRT members have made some significant arrests over the last couple of days and have covered several firearms. So what I'm hoping is that those arrests will have an impact, and we'll see a decline in the number of shootings.

Lt. Tina Jones:
I know Chief on that, we had an arrest earlier this week where it was involving a shooting in a park, and we had part of the information came from community members who helped provide needed tips. I just want to take that second to reinforce how important it is.

Chief Jami Resch:
Yes.

Lt. Tina Jones:
I know you've been stressing that but we so appreciate and need that information.

Chief Jami Resch:
Yeah, absolutely. I was going to highlight that as well, is the fact that, that specific arrest, the information that was provided by the community was greatly helpful to the investigators and they were able to make an arrest in that case. The other stat that we're going to talk about was traffic related. So we have seen a decrease in the number of collisions. There's less people out on the street driving. And traffic has issued twice as many warnings and citations compared to this time last year. But we are still seeing significant speeding. I can't stress enough how dangerous that is.

Chief Jami Resch:
And just really ask people just to take the time to think about what you're doing, and the danger that you're putting yourself in and everybody else that's out on the road, just to dry faster. Between April 12th and April 25th, PPB issued 17 citations for people speeding in excess of over 100 miles an hour. And that is a lot. It's too many, actually. Our DUI arrests have declined. Obviously, the places aren't open. Suicide calls, they have remained at average. We have not seen an increase. We did see that increase at the beginning. But thankfully, we have not seen that continue. So, again, we're hopeful that the resources that are available to folks are what they're reaching out for.

Lt. Tina Jones:
That's great. So kind of looking forward, what do you anticipate for the next month?

Chief Jami Resch:
So, it kind of seems like we've gotten everything in place, our personal protective equipment the officers have all of the options available to them. I think folks are getting more used to wearing these, having to talk with them on, having to see other people in them, the community's getting more used to seeing us. I don't want to say that it's beginning to feel normal. But I think people are just becoming more comfortable with certain things that we're having to do right now to protect ourselves. And so my plan will be that PPB members will continue to wear their protective equipment probably for quite a while.

Chief Jami Resch:
As the decisions are made throughout the city and the state to make changes about what's open, we have to make sure that our members remain protected. And we don't want to have a surge impact the Bureau. So I'll be very cautious about when I start making changes to the PPE related to PPB, if that makes any sense. I glad I didn't mess that up. Exactly. So we'll continue to watch the trends to provide as much information as we can to folks to keep people aware of what the Bureau is doing.

Chief Jami Resch:
But I would like to highlight, today is May 1st. So it's May Day. We have had a couple of small demonstrations done by vehicle just across the street from us. I appreciate the community's willingness to abide by the governor's order. Stay separated, stay safe, and I think that that's all going well today. So I can't stress enough my thanks to the community for following that order, especially on this day and understanding that it's very important to stay safe.

Chief Jami Resch:
May is also a mental health awareness month. And so we really want to stress the importance of that and the importance of reaching out to your loved ones, to your family and friends, making sure that everybody's doing okay. Just checking in and just saying hi, making sure that people know that resources are available to them. So you'll hear a lot of that from the Bureau this month.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Awesome. So any final thoughts, anything that I forgot to ask about?

Chief Jami Resch:
So next week the City of Portland will be recognizing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's week, and the Police Bureau will be in full support of that. We were in full support of the Full Faith and Credit memo that came out. Our officers have been trained on that. And so you will see support from the Bureau related to that as well.

Lt. Tina Jones:
Yeah. We just want to bring attention along with the city to some of the disparities especially with different crimes related to indigenous women, and I know there'll be more from the city coming out about that. So that's great. Okay. Appreciate your time, Chief, for coming out again. Thank you very much.

Chief Jami Resch:
Great. You're welcome.

Outro:
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