March 26, 2020 14:03
There continues to be questions about how the Portland Police Bureau will enforce the Governor's Executive Orders regarding "Stay home, stay healthy." To provide further clarity, the Police Bureau has created a Question and Answer document which can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/80655
"PPB continues to focus on an education-first strategy for the Governor's Executive Orders," said Chief Jami Resch. "Our officers are not stopping people to inquire about where they are going or demanding paperwork proof of employment, as the rumors indicate. Our primary focus is on responding to calls for service and keeping the public safe. We will continue to enforce traffic laws because violation of traffic laws is a public safety priority; fifty-four individuals died in traffic-related incidents in Portland last year. We recognize our immigrant and refugee communities may be experiencing uncertainty or fear during this time and I want to reassure those communities that PPB continues to follow the State law, which prohibits enforcement of federal immigration laws."
PPB also has a dedicated portion of the website for information about COVID-19, which can be found here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/80600
Resources, news releases, multimedia productions, and other critical information are posted at that link. PPB is working to get the posted documents translated into multiple languages and will add them as they are available.
###ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE BELOW###
PPB Responds to Governor Brown's State-wide Order to "Stay at Home" During Pandemic
Governor Brown's new State-wide stay at home order leads to questions about how the order will be enforced. The Portland Police Bureau will follow an education-first approach. To view the order and other issued orders, visit: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/executive-orders.aspx
PPB recognizes we have an important role in helping to educate the public, especially those who may not be aware of the order, especially about the importance of compliance. PPB's response strategy is as follows:
* Officers will attempt to educate violators of the order first, from a distance, in accordance with the six-foot social distancing guidelines. Every effort will be made to gain voluntary compliance with the Governor's order and provide a warning,
* If community members do not adhere to the officer's direction, they are subject to criminal citation for Interfering with a Police Officer-ORS 162.247 and Penalties for violation of the executive order-ORS 401.990, which are misdemeanor crimes. Criminal citation is a last resort measure and the public is highly encouraged to be aware of the order and voluntarily comply,
* If businesses are not in compliance, they will also be provided a warning and opportunity to get in compliance,
* Officers will write a report and those will be sent to any appropriate licensing agency, such as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
It is imperative for community members to refrain from calling 9-1-1 and overloading the emergency system with non-emergency calls for service. Police Officers and other first responders are needed to respond to emergency life-safety calls as a priority.
If there is an identified safety issue related to the Governor's order, the non-emergency dispatch line at (503) 823-3333 can be utilized to report order compliance. These calls will be triaged to determine if police response is appropriate. A lot of factors go into the triage of calls, including what other calls are occurring City-wide and how many available police units there are. If resources and call load permit, PPB Officers will respond.
Portland Police Bureau Officers continue to respond to all calls for service in-person when there is a life safety issue or other identified need and by phone for all other calls. This is part of the on-going efforts to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus for the officers and the public.
For the most current information about PPB's response, access to resources, and public messages, visit the Bureau's dedicated web page here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/covid19
"We are in a critical time in our collective fight to mitigate the dangerous risk this virus poses to our community," said Chief Jami Resch. "Ideally, everyone would be aware of the order and voluntarily comply. We will take an educate-first approach and use criminal citations as a very last resort. Portlanders are known for their care, cooperation, and compassion and I am confident in our unified efforts to reduce the risk to our most vulnerable while leaving our first responders available for the urgent calls with life safety implications."
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