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Clackamas County And Washington County Sheriffs Say They Won’t Send Officers To Help End Violence In Portland Per Governor Brown’s Plan

Portland, Ore. – On Sunday Governor Kate Brown announced a new plan to end the nightly violence in Downtown Portland. Part of that plan includes having deputies and officers from nearby counties and cities come to Portland to assist with ending the violence. Today the Sheriffs from both Clackamas and Washington counties released statements saying they are not going to do that.

Read more from The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office:

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will not be sending our staff into the City of Portland.  We will assist the Oregon State Police with their calls for service in Clackamas County as needed while their resources are deployed in Portland. – Statement from Sheriff Roberts

On Sunday, August 30th, I read that Governor Kate Brown announced a new plan to address the lawlessness happening in Portland.  I was surprised to read that the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office was part of the plan since the Governor’s Office never contacted me.

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.   That will require the DA to charge offenders appropriately and a decision by the Multnomah County Presiding Judge not to allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions.   The same offenders are arrested night after night, only to be released by the court and not charged with a crime by the DA’s Office.  The next night they are back at it, endangering the lives of law enforcement and the community all over again.

For all of us in law enforcement, keeping our community safe is our first priority.   Had Governor Brown asked me, I would have told her that no amount of human resources will stop the “cycle of violence” (her term) that is making Portland unsafe.   For that to occur, the criminal justice system will need do its part and hold offenders accountable.

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Read more from The Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett:

Yesterday, Governor Brown issued a statement asking local law enforcement leaders to provide personnel and resources to assist the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), following Saturday’s shooting death that was connected to protests.

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. Lastly, I support the steps outlined in the Joint Media Release by the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and remain committed to work with partners and community leaders towards peace and an end to violence.


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