PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Law enforcement agencies around the state of Oregon say they will not be complying with a call from Governor Kate Brown to assist PPB with nightly protests in Portland.
Governor Brown released a statement Sunday, specifically calling on the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Gresham Police Department to help bring an end to nightly violence in Portland. She called it a plan for a unified law enforcement presence in the city.
“This is routine mutual aid agreements that have happened over the years, possibly decades in this region,” Brown said. “And we think that it’s really important at this point in time for the region to come together and help end the violence in the streets of Portland.”
She said it’s something her office had been working on for a while.
“We had been working on this plan for a number of days. I had reached out to a number of local elected officials, but this is a comprehensive, unified law enforcement approach,” she said.
Her plan also stated that the City of Portland would take on the cost of bringing in officers from other agencies and that Mayor Ted Wheeler would find a way to pay for it.
But, now those law enforcement agencies called on by the governor say they are not going.
Both the Washington County sheriff and Clackamas County sheriff said they were not notified of this plan before it was released by Governor Brown.
In a statement, Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts wrote:
“Had Governor Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy not adding resources. Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence.”
He went on to say that for this to happen, the district attorney needs to prosecute arrested protesters.
Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett released a similar statement, saying:
“As Washington County Sheriff, I commit to support PPB through indirect ways, like analyzing risks associated with social media, air support, assisting with a specific criminal investigation, etc. At this time, I do not plan to send deputies to work directly in Portland. PPB is a terrific partner and I am very sympathetic to what they are enduring. However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly.”
A joint statement was also released by the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, saying they could not recommend sending officers from outside agencies into Portland. The groups cited a lack of resources, as well as a “lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts” as their reasoning.
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