Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

More cities restricting homeless

December 11, 2019

This article reports an increase over the last 3 years of cities enacting laws that place restrictions on homeless people. Laws restricting camping, panhandling, sleeping in vehicles, and sharing food have all become more common, according to a study of 187 urban jurisdictions. City officials say they need tools to manage a difficult situation, while advocates criticize reliance on prohibitions and enforcement that “will only fail the city and fail constituents.”

Driving while high

November 16, 2019

Data from 2012 to 2016 indicate that “Colorado, Oregon, and Washington saw a combined 5.2% increase in the rate of police-reported crashes after legalizing recreational marijuana, compared with neighboring states where such sales are illegal,” as reported here. Figures on fatalities do not show the same trend, probably because “drivers who are high tend to drive at lower speeds.” Enforcement remains difficult due to limitations on detection as well as lack of clear-cut standards on the relationship between consumption and impairment.

Non-police crisis response

October 16, 2019

Denver has joined other cities considering adopting a mental health crisis response option that relies on mental health professionals rather than police, as reported here. The model cities are looking at is CAHOOTS, Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets, pioneered in Oregon. A police official in Eugene explains “Our police officers try the best they can, but they are not mental health professionals.” Mental health responders wear casual clothes and “That difference in uniforms can assist folks with letting their guard down and being open to accepting the help that is being offered.”

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.