Open Letter from the Fairview Police Officers Association on Consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
By Fairview Police Officers Association President Brad Robertson
On Thursday, June 8th at 6pm at Fairview City Hall there will be the third public forum on discussions regarding the consolidation of Fairview police services into the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. I’d like to encourage all those with interest about this possible change in public safety services to attend.
The consolidation of the Fairview Police Department into the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is a change that the Fairview Police Officers Association (FPOA) UNANIMOUSLY supports. It is imperative for our officer safety, and the safety of the public that the economy of scale of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is brought to the City of Fairview. The FPOA applauds the vision and dedication to public safety of City of Fairview Mayor Tosterud and Multnomah County Sheriff Reese with the analysis of the consolidation process and its benefits for the public and officers.
Quite simply, the size of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and its resources expands the service levels for Fairview citizens and provides the sorely needed vast public safety services required in this day and age. The size of the Sheriff’s Office optimizes public safety services by being able to provide so much more, and for close to the same cost that the City of Fairview is paying now, or quite likely at a lesser cost.
The Fairview police force consists of only 15 officers. In a metropolitan, densely populated area this amount of personnel is not a staffing level that can support growing crime rates (specifically a 167% increase in violent crime since 2010), let alone the needs of the community it serves. Crime spreads across municipal borders quite swiftly in East Multnomah County. Ask Fairview Officers about the multiple officer involved shootings or the critical incidents to which they’ve responded in the past few years. I guarantee you’ll hear a once in a lifetime story. But, the FPOA officers live it all too often without the protections of a more robust support structure in a larger public safety agency.
A public safety contract with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office provides enhanced public safety with superior staffing levels, comprehensive supervision twenty-four hours a day, immensely improved investigative services, and various other supplemental law enforcement capacities- and again- all for close to the same cost, or less, as the City of Fairview is paying now for current public safety services.
The FPOA believes unanimously that consolidation is what’s right for public safety and for officer safety, especially considering the lack of financial impact, and more likely the financial gain to the City of Fairview. As an Army veteran, I see it in these terms: the City of Fairview can spend the same amount for public safety, or likely less, and receive either a squad or a battalion sized element to protect the public around the clock. When there’s a critical incident, I think everyone affected would feel safer with the battalion. Safety in numbers, always.
The Fairview Police Officers Association looks forward to your support of consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and your attendance to the upcoming public form at Fairview City Hall on Thursday June 8th at 6pm.