PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Portland City Council voted Wednesday, they do not want Portland Police Bureau officers to continue to be deputized as U.S. Marshals by the federal government.
A vote on a resolution is one that council hopes sends a message to the feds to end it.
The council is not happy that 56 Portland police officers remain deputized. That happened before several demonstrations were planned in Portland in September
Several groups were set to gather around different parts of the city on Sept. 26. Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared an emergency and put Oregon State Police and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in charge of public safety.
According to Mayor Ted Wheeler at some point the decision was made to federally deputize Portland police officers and he wasn’t a part of the conversation nor any elected Portland official.
“The decision was apparently made at some point to deputize these officers not just for the duration the event but for the remainder of first term as the Mayor of Portland,” Wheeler said. “That is obviously not the way we engage with other agencies.”
There has been a back in forth with the city and federal government about removing the deputized designation but that has not happened.
Law enforcement has said the move gives federal prosecutors the option to charge anyone arrested by those deputized officers with federal crimes on a case by case basis.
Wheeler says operationally they have ended the deputization at the bureau but now there is a legal dispute between the federal government and the city.
At Wednesday’s city council meeting Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty said she would like to see all 56 deputized officers on desk duty until this is all figured out.