Portland is a community dedicated to raising the standards of safe neighborhoods.
We all want to live in a place where our children can grow and learn safely. Unfortunately, crime rates are still high and Portland needs to get its policing out of politics.
The management of the police budget and resources needs to have more attention. We need to use our resources in a way that provides the most good for the most people. Gang violence prevention and monitoring needs to be increased in areas where it is most affected. Police Officers need to be more available for emergency calls.
The Portland community deserves more oversight over the officers who are ordered to carry firearms at all times. This means strengthening drug testing policies to include steroids, and breaking down the barriers between the Citizen Review Commission and the Independent Police Review when it comes to investigations on civil rights violations.
Community policing is not a response for communities that have been violently distanced by the police, and have lost all trust and credibility with the institution of armed law enforcement. Portland needs to create amendments in the city charter which allows police officers to approach citizens without being forced by contract to carry lethal weapons. The city should explore the effectiveness of alternative policing strategies, to make sure that public safety is a task relevant to the entire community, not just paid employees.
Open forums on public safety should happen frequently, so we can build adopted strategies that allow for a constantly evolving process. We can only move forward when the People are heard.