“I might hope [the Portland Police Bureau] would reconstitute their visitors division and focus these assets in excessive crash corridors.”
— Mike Reese, Multnomah County Sheriff
Multnomah County Sheriff (and former Portland Police Bureau Chief) Mike Reese issued an open letter to the neighborhood on Friday that mentioned he’s “Deeply involved about present tendencies in neighborhood violence.” Among the many 5 actions he thinks will assist stem tide is a larger concentrate on visitors enforcement.
Reese’s letter outlined a close to 30-year excessive within the variety of jail bookings for murder-related prices and different severe crimes. He additionally talked about the traditionally excessive variety of traffic-related fatalities.
“We have to act with a way of urgency,” Sheriff Reese wrote. “Summer time is approaching, a time after we sometimes expertise elevated violence in our neighborhood… With out motion, we are able to count on worse to come back.”
In the case of making streets safer, right here’s what Reese desires to do:
Interact in targeted visitors enforcement in excessive crash corridors to cut back reckless and impaired driving. Base the deployment technique on time-of-day and day-of-the-week when visitors fatalities and gun violence are probably to happen and overlap.
Reached on the cellphone for remark this morning, Reese mentioned the County has about 100 deputy sheriffs on responsibility, a quantity dwarfed by the Portland Police Bureau’s 700 officers. However the jurisdiction and inhabitants the County patrols can be a lot smaller. Along with unincorporated components of the Portland area like Sylvan, Sauvie Island and Corbett, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Workplace has contracts to offer policing to Gresham, Troutdale, and Fairview. Their beat consists of giant sections of I-84 and main arterial streets like Glisan and Halsey.
Whereas the areas within the County’s jurisdiction are a lot much less populated, they see lots of the identical issues we have now in Portland.
“Definitely on the visitors associated enforcement, we’ve seen an uptick in visitors fatalities and reckless driving occasions,” Reese shared right this moment. “We’re doing all the things we are able to to encourage protected driving and never by way of simply citations, by way of our presence by ensuring that we’re proactively stopping folks engaged in actually harmful driving habits. Like reckless driving and impaired or distracted driving, failing to yield to pedestrians, issues that get folks severely injured.”
Reese additionally mentioned he’s involved about steps taken by PPB Chief Chuck Lovell to dismantle the Site visitors Division.
“It does concern me and it does impression your complete area. Portland has such a big jurisdiction — whether or not it’s on public security, neighborhood livability, transportation points — Portland has a big footprint and a regional impression on different jurisdictions round it. It does concern these of us that work across the metropolis of Portland, and as an individual who lives within the metropolis it deeply considerations me. The variety of visitors fatalities, the reckless driving I see on streets. Portland has disbanded their visitors unit and I believe that is among the three legs of a stool that helps us have protected streets. Site visitors calming units are actually vital. And schooling is basically vital. And visitors enforcement in sustaining protected streets. You want all three.”
Reese mentioned he desires the PPB to, “Reconstitute their visitors division and focus these assets in excessive crash corridors, significantly the place you see an overlap with gun violence. So that you’re going to have an additional advantage by placing boots on the bottom in these excessive crash corridors, decreasing the potential for actually tragic outcomes with accidents and fatalities. And also you’re additionally going to dissuade folks from partaking in gun violence.”