At the request of Mayor Wheeler, the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP) conducted a study of the Portland Police Core Patrol Services, which is what the majority of the police force does (respond to emergency or non-emergency calls, conduct preliminary investigations, enforce traffic and criminal laws, etc.). PCCEP studied many hours of public testimony, working sessions, and community surveys in order to develop their recommendations for how Portland’s Core Patrol Services could be improved. PCCEP voted unanimously on their recommendations on May 25, 2021.
Coordinating Committee of the Portland Metro People’s Coalition recommendations are bold, but also practical. They include:
1) Expand Portland Street Response to the entire city;
2) Increase the number of unarmed Public Safety Support Specialists who are trained in de-escalation and knowledgeable about services for people in crisis;
3) End racial profiling at traffic stops and begin the process of developing a new body of unarmed officers to handle most traffic enforcement; and
4) Develop restorative justice interventions for youth and increase community resources for violence intervention programs.
These recommendations will improve public safety while freeing the police to spend their resources on addressing serious crime, such as gun violence.
At a Work Session on July 27, 2021, the City Council chose not to act on any of these recommendations nor did they establish a timeline for when they will decide to act. It is now up to us, the community, to make our voices heard if we hope to see these important changes enacted.
So far, Southeast Uplift and four neighborhood associations have endorsed these recommendations. If you would like to learn more about the PCCEP recommendations, please attend the November 11th Sunnyside NA meeting. Johanna Brenner from the Portland Metro People’s Coalition (which is supportive of PCCEP’s recommendations) will explain them in more depth. A summary of the PCCEP recommendations is available at (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/pccep/article/783958).