An Open Letter from Matt Ferguson, President – Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Dear elected officials,

I write to you as the elected president of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the exclusive labor representative of law enforcement deputies and sergeants working at the sheriff’s office. I serve the citizens and visitors of Multnomah County and support the men and women who police the cities inside this county. I have the honor of representing the men and women of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Recently I have had people point out that I look “tired.” The fact is. I am tired. I am exhausted. I believe I speak for all the men and women who wear a uniform when I say that serving as a police officer has become one of the most undervalued and dehumanizing careers in our community, if not the nation.

The city of Portland just advertised for a new Police Chief. In the job posting the City all but claims there is factual evidence that all police are engaged in systemic racism. Officers have been forced to stand by and watch, while protesters destroy the city and endanger the people we are sworn to protect. Those same officers are pelted with bricks and human excrement, all the while being directed not to take action, or being lambasted when we do.

The Sheriff’s office just sustained a budget cut to law enforcement services. This cut comes on the heels of one of the most horrific acts of violence committed on public transportation.

I feel for the citizens of Multnomah County, who plea for a safer, livable community. The citizens and the officers who serve them deserve better. I want the citizens to know that despite being exhausted, the deputies and officers will be there for them in their time of need.

Increasingly, officers are confronted with hostile crowds who interfere with our efforts to police the community. Currently we struggle with how to retain good officers. How we can recruit new officers when faced with this kind of adversity for merely doing one’s job?

Please watch the attached link to a recent incident where a MCSO deputy and Gresham sergeant try to conduct a traffic stop. Ask yourself, could you perform the duties of your job given the same circumstances? I’m sure you can understand how difficult it is to remain professional and provide the level of service expected, under these adverse conditions. Having public support from our elected officials would mean a lot to the officers facing the exceedingly hostile working conditions we face each day.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50zvrXxtDAc&feature=youtu.be

Sincerely,

Deputy Matt Ferguson
President Deputy Sheriff’s Association

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Fairview Police Officers Association on Consolidation with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office

FPOA + MCS

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.

Respectfully,

Brad Robertson
FPOA President

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