Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Jurisdictional complexity in tribal areas

September 19, 2019

This article describes some of the jurisdictional challenges faced in tribal policing. The legal authority of tribal and non-tribal police can depend on where an incident occurred, whether the victim is a tribal member, and whether the offender is a tribal member. One tribal attorney says “it’s a complete mess.” Potential solutions include collaborative agreements and cross-deputization, but issues related to sovereignty, liability, and trust often get in the way of making significant improvements.


2019 POP Conference agenda

July 25, 2019

The 2019 POP Conference will be held November 11-13 in Santa Cruz, California. The preliminary agenda and registration information are here. The 5 finalist agencies for the Herman Goldstein award will present their problem-oriented policing initiatives and there will be 18 other sessions, some repeated twice. The range of topics includes domestic violence, opioids, chronic nuisances, auto burglaries, reducing alcohol-related harm, and much more, including introductions to POP, problem analysis, and situational crime prevention.

Beards & tattoos in, education out in Portland

June 21, 2019

Portland (OR) PD will allow tattoos above the collar and beards beginning July 1, and will lower its education requirement from 60 college credits to high school or GED, as reported here. The changes are aimed at increasing the recruitment pool, as the agency currently has 128 vacancies and growing. Ironically, Portland was a pioneer in requiring a 4-year college degree back in 1996. Previous efforts to lower the education standard to a high school degree were resisted internally and by the community, but, according to one official, the agency is “facing a staffing crisis that he couldn’t have imagined back then.”

Racially motivated 911 calls

June 5, 2019

Grand Rapids, Michigan is considering a local ordinance that would make it a criminal offense to place a racially-motivated 911 call, as reported here. The proposal, which came from the city’s Community Relations Commission, has so far been discussed at one public hearing. Earlier, state laws were proposed in Michigan and New York but were not enacted, while a civil penalty statute is pending in Oregon. In lieu of criminalization, some experts suggest giving 911 operators and dispatchers more training and authority in order to screen out inappropriate calls.

Podcasting for traffic safety

May 9, 2019

Portland, Oregon PD has launched a podcast series, as reported here. The first installment, available here, covers traffic safety in the city, emphasizing “licensed, insured, safe drivers on the road” and advising pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycle riders to assume that car drivers don’t see them. Other podcasts focus on recruitment and behavioral health. The PD’s page of podcasts and videos is located here.

Sheriff says uphold the law

April 17, 2019

In this op-ed, an Oregon sheriff reminds his peers that their responsibility is to uphold laws, not make them or cherry-pick which ones to enforce or ignore. Referring to those refusing to enforce gun safety laws, he argues “Anyone who believes that equal protection under the law is the cornerstone of our democracy should be concerned to see sheriffs in a handful of states vowing they will not comply with or enforce state laws they do not personally support.” He reminds his colleagues that there are established ways to challenge laws they don’t agree with, through the legal system and the political process.

Fewer applicants — not just police

March 25, 2019

A survey of state government officials indicates the number of applicants for public sector jobs dropped 24% from 2013 to 2017, as reported here. Among the reasons: the low unemployment rate, non-competitive salaries, negative perceptions of government work, and antiquated recruiting/hiring processes. On the latter, California recently cut the steps in the hiring process from 89 to 14, and the average application to hiring time from 179 days to 65. Law enforcement was cited as the category experiencing the biggest drop in applicants.

Risk management vs. civil rights

February 14, 2019

This article discusses the impact of Lexipol, a California-based company that provides policies to 3,400 public safety agencies around the U.S. The company says that agencies using its policies experience a reduction in legal claims and payments to plaintiffs. Critics say the approach is focused more on minimizing lawsuits than on improving police services to the public — “They’re designed for maximum protection against civil liability. It’s not maximum protection of civil rights.”

FBI shooting data

February 12, 2019

FBI agents have been involved in 228 shooting incidents since 2011, including 113 accidental discharges, 34 animals, and 81 “intentional shootings involving people or objects” according to this NBC news segment and article. Agents were found at fault in 5 of the shootings, none of which resulted in fatalities. The bureau has not traditionally released information about its agent-involved shootings, and has not employed independent or external investigation. Looking ahead, the FBI will be administering the new national database of police shootings, announced last year — reportedly, “the bureau itself would also submit information to the database.”

Bike fatalities up

February 11, 2019

Bike fatalities in 2016 were the highest since 1990, with 835 deaths, according to this article. One contributing factor could be the 50% increase over time in the number of people commuting to work on bicycles. Interestingly, though, several cities with the highest rates of biking to work — Portland, Minneapolis, DC, San Francisco, Seattle — had among the lowest fatality rates. The highest bike fatality rates were in Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and Jacksonville.