Last night North Portland neighbors gathered together to discuss the proposal of closing the North Portland Police Precinct with Assistant Police Chief Brian Martinek. Below are notes from that meeting.
HISTORY: About October/November 2008 all bureaus in the city were notified that there would be reduced revenue for the city by 2 to 2 1/2 percent. PPD looked at a list of 92 priorities that were considered core to their mission, they ranked them by priority. The list was cut to 88 from 92. The proposals are due to the Office of Finance and Management on February 2. The budget forecast comes out in March, every bureau will be affected.
However, at the meeting it was determined that the forecast was worse than originally thought and the cuts would likely go to 5%; possibly a little higher for FY 09 and 10. (FY for Portland is July 1 – June 30).
The proposals will be sent to the city commissioners and the mayor to be finalized at the end of June.
The proposal goes from 5 Portland precincts to 3 precincts, restructuring management. The training center that is located in Clackamas and the Justice Center will be moved to the North Precinct building. The traffic center will be moved to the SE precinct. Both of these moves will result in approximately 1/2 million $$$ in lease cost savings. This also results in centralizing the training.
The North Precinct building will remain a full service building. It will not be a home base for officers, however, there will be officers still working out of the building. They will need to pickup their equipment from the NE Precinct before going to the N precinct. North Portland will be primarily a training facility, but will meet the needs of the community. There will be Captains added to remaining precincts to oversee day to day operations; Commanders will be responsible for community initiatives.
Not leasing a traffic building, results in 3 1/2 million $$$$ given back to the city.
The proposal will result in 21 additional patrol officers, however, several others will be demoted, ie commanders, sergeants (the patrol officers will come from the ranks that will be demoted).
It was stated that response time will not be affected, in fact, it may improve. For example, during shift change, there is a lag time, by consolidating; it gives the opportunity for more shifts. Most likely, they will go from 3 shifts to 5 shifts.
The community would like to see better communication and more transparency between police and the community. For instance, there were people at the meeting wanting to know why there was very little communication/notice time of the cuts.
There is a possibility there will be cuts in officers able to attend neighborhood meetings.
The current map was designed on call load. It will likely be tweaked so not to divide neighborhoods.
The 3 precincts will be North (MLK and Killingsworth), SE (106th and between Stark and Washington) and Central (downtown).
Bottom line, police are dedicated and the priority will be given to safety on the street said Assistant Police Chief Brian Martinek.
For the Sentinel article: http://www.portlandsentinel.com/?q=node/3986.