Portland Police Bureau doubling up officers for safety - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Police Bureau doubling up officers for safety

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Officers Anderson and Johnson at PPB's North Precinct Monday. (KPTV) Officers Anderson and Johnson at PPB's North Precinct Monday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

With the recent killings of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and now in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, officers with the Portland Police Bureau will be doubled up on patrols for the foreseeable future.

Fox 12 caught up with two officers from PPB’s North Precinct who say the move has many advantages, but may also mean slower response times.

Officers Jeremy Anderson and Patrick Johnson have both been with the Bureau for roughly nine years, and now they’re sharing a patrol car.

They say working together makes the job easier in many respects.

For instance, there are certain calls officers don’t respond to alone. In the past, they’d have to wait for cover to arrive to proceed, but now that cover is in the car with them.

They can also split up tasks to get more done during their shift; one officer can drive while the other writes a report, for example.

In the wake of the violence across the country, they say they’re certainly more aware of their surroundings and being paired up helps with that, too.

But it’s their families who are having more of a difficult time sending them off to work every day.

“I get texts now from friends and family and people all the time now, saying, ‘Hey, stay safe at work, hope everything’s good,’” said Officer Jeremy Anderson. “And the public, we do get talked to by the public a little more.”

They say more people are approaching them in the field to say ‘thank you’ and ‘we appreciate what you do’ in the wake of the deadly shootings of police officers.

Officer Patrick Johnson even had a card written by a community member in his pocket Monday.

“It’s always in the back of your mind, but since it just happened, it’s right there. You’re always thinking about it,” Officer Johnson said of the recent violence. “Hug the family every day and talk to them on the phone as much as you can, and then go out and do your job. You’ve still got a job to do.”

The move comes as the Portland Police Bureau is facing a major shortage of officers. Chief Mike Marshman recently estimated the department is down by roughly 100 officers.

But the pairings of officers mean there are fewer patrol cars on the road to get to calls, and as a result, response times may be slowed.

There’s no estimate yet for when, or if, patrol offices will return to single duty.

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