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Portland Police say they are going to convey again Site visitors Division – BikePortland


Signal outdoors former Site visitors Division headquarters in St. Johns. (Picture: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

“Nice information! PPB is partially bringing again the Site visitors Division!”

That was the opening line of an electronic mail despatched to native media retailers this afternoon from the Portland Police Bureau’s public info officer.

After listening to rumors about this inside Metropolis Corridor for just a few weeks, it seems that Metropolis Commissioner Mingus Mapps and Mayor Ted Wheeler have struck a deal to construct again a particular site visitors regulation enforcement element on the PPB.

You would possibly recall that in late 2020, whereas protests towards policing and racial injustice have been nonetheless a nightly prevalence the PPB determined to dissolve their Site visitors Division. Chief Chuck Lovell stated it was on account of price range cuts (each realized and threatened), however the commissioner-in-charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation on the time, Jo Ann Hardesty, stated it was a political stunt by Lovell to curry public sympathy. The way in which Hardesty put it in an interview with BikePortland in February 2021, “We’ve not impacted site visitors enforcement in any respect. As a result of any patrol officer can write a ticket.” Both manner, it was one of many first main steps by PPB to determine a story that they have been not ready and/or prepared to implement site visitors legal guidelines at conventional ranges.

About six months after the Site visitors Division was shut down, the PPB introduced they might de-prioritize enforcement of many minor site visitors violations. For about two years, the PPB has stated they’re all the way down to just one full-time officer whose sole job is to implement site visitors legal guidelines.

Now, greater than two years later, politics at Portland Metropolis Corridor has shifted dramatically. New PBOT Commissioner Mingus Mapps and Mayor (and PPB Commissioner) Wheeler are way more comfy and supportive of the PPB basically. Requested about site visitors enforcement and the PPB in my interview with Mapps two months in the past, he stated, “I feel the town must step up its site visitors enforcement work. Within the final 5 years, site visitors deaths in Portland have roughly doubled. It’s not like our infrastructure has gotten dramatically worse throughout that point. Frankly, it’s probably not even like, , the quantity of automotive site visitors on the roads has dramatically elevated. What has elevated or modified throughout this time is the truth that we received out of the enterprise of site visitors enforcement.”

“So that you need extra police on the road imposing site visitors legal guidelines?” I requested.

“Yeah. I feel I can say that,” Mapps replied.

A extra intentional give attention to site visitors citations by PPB officers could be mixed with current progress in non-police enforcement strategies likes site visitors calming and different community-based interventions. Portland transportation officers, together with Mapps, have additionally just lately promised to double the quantity of automated enforcement cameras on Portland streets by the top of this 12 months.

The PPB stated immediately that Chief Lovell will share extra particulars at a press convention Tuesday the place he’ll announce a “partial return” of the Site visitors Division.

Keep tuned for extra particulars.

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