Thursday, September 21, 2006

Enhanced Law Enforcement District board meeting

Approval of Minutes of last (18 May) meeting
Old business
New business: ELED Funding Distribution Issues, Public Safety Levy set for 7 Nov, Advisory Board Recruitment Update, and Captain's report.

Click on the Comment link for details.

1 comment:

John Bartley K7AAY said...

Enhanced Law Enforcement District Citizens Advisory Board Meeting
at the Public Safety Training Center at 12700 SE 82nd Ave.
Called to order at 6:30 PM by the Chair, Jim Kosel, and (in order of introduction): Dave Phelps (of the ELED Budget Cmte), Dave Schmit (also on the Budget Cmte), John Dinges, John Bartley (also on the Budget Cmte), Elane Maxey, Hal Hallmark, Sherry Averett (CCSO), Ralph Radmer, Captain John Naab (CCSO), Jim Kosel (Chair, also on the Budget Cmte), and Kathleen Stewart (CCSO).

1. ELED Funding Distribution Issues (Sherry Averett & Capt John Naab)

Naab: A trifold brochure (distributed) covers the high points of this fall's operational levy.

Levy funds, if approved, will reopen 84 beds (closed since 2002 because of lack of staff) through adding 30 more personnel (sworn and civil) to the current employees (around 85?). This will allow all the 436 beds in the current jail to be operated (Ed. note: This will comply with the Special Corrections Grand Jury recommendation and has the endorsement of Judge Maurer.)

The national ratio is 25 jail beds/ten thousand occupants;
Oregon statewide has 20 jail beds per ten thousand residents;
Clackamas County has less than 10 jail beds per ten thousand population, the lowest ratio in the state.

The same 115 staff (current plus levy-funded) needed to fully operate the old 436-bed jail could operate an 800-1,000 bed pod-based improved design jail, as recommended by the Blue Ribbon Committee, with no new staff, and no layoffs would be required if a new jail replaces the existing inefficient facility. However, this levy has nothing to do with a new jail, and only pays for personnel and operating costs of the existing jail.

The patrol divison will gain 19 more deputies to the existing 78 sworn deputies. Some new deputies would support targeted patrols, with focus on methamphetamine-fueled property crimes through a multiagency countywide task force.

We now have 4.8 patrol deputies per 10,000 population, a very low number.

Averett: The Sheriff proposes a new five year local option operating levy. Projecting from assessed values and assessor's expectation of trends, the rate is estimated at around $0.25/$1,000 of assessed value. Current ELED rate is $0.647/$1,000 of assessed value.

It will not trigger the compression ratio cap of Measure Five of $10/1000 in most neighborhoods, but since local options do vary, it could trigger the compression ratio in selected areas of the county which have higher overall taxation rates.

Kosel: Will Local Improvement Districts be subject to levy? The Clackamas Town Center area has more crime than most, will they pay for this levy?
Answer: We don't know, but will get back with more details.

Kosel: Is PERS getting funding from this?
Answer: Yes, but only to cover the per-employee cost of the new hires.

Kosel: The ELED should have 45 patrol deputies; we only have 31 (71%), and it keeps going down every year for many more reasons. This needs improvement.
Answer: We hope to improve that, and we built in a 4.5-5% inflationary factor per year to deal with likely increases in personnel costs such as PERS, so the levy will continue to do what's intended during its life.
Captain Naab: Majority of the 19 will probably be assigned to the ELED, as the ELED territory is responsible for the majority of the calls for assistance (over 50%) in the county at present.)

Bartley: Are all law enforcement agencies in the county participating in the task force previously mentioned?
Captain Naab: The City of Milwaukie is not participating. All other agencies are, including the District Attorney's office, as well as federal representation from the IRS.

Maxey: Around Causey is a high activity area. Teresa Swanson's done good work elsewhere (Overland Park), but Causey needs it.
Stewart: Crime Prevention has been meeting with apartment owners and managers in that area, and there have been focused patrol activity.

Schmit: Will we promote this, with pamplets and others? Will there be a Voter's Pamplet statement?
Stewart: There is a PAC promoting the levy, who meet weekly at the Carpenter's Hall. The county is allowed to provide a brochure, approved by the Secretary of State as being informational only, which will be mailed to all voter's homes.

Captain Naab will ask the multi-agency task force commander to visit a future ELED meeting. He also noted security improvements in the NW corner of the jail has been finished out, which also reduces the staffing required for oversight during exercise. A visit later this fall to see the jail improvements was discussed, with no firm date set.

2. Minutes of the 18 May meeting approved with no dissent.

3. Old Business: Update of by-laws, simplified to remove budget language (since there's a separate Budget Committee for the ELED now). John Mantay (Ed. note: County Administrator) will present it to the Commissioners once complete, probably by the end of November.

4. Recruting for the ELED Board: There are three openings to fill of the eleven total seats on the board. Recritment will begin in October, interviews likely will be in November, with approval perhaps in December (depending, of course, on Commission priorities) so new members will be seated in January. Applications are made through the Citizen Involvement section of the county website.

5. The Citizen's Academy in the spring of 2007 will have openings; if interested, see the Sheriff's website to apply. Captain Machado's impending retirement may force changes in this program.

6. Sgt. Ed Meara's been calling on transient's camps, and has been working with them to get them back on their feet, providing information resources. About 98% of county transient incidents occur in the ELED per his data. He's on vacation, and will present information to the committee at a future meeting.

7. Water safety was also a target of enforcement this year; once enforcement began in the hot weather, there were no more fatalities or major injuries as a result of drunken boaters.

8. Meth-fueled crime was then discussed, with specific examples. For a period of about three months beginning June 2, Jim Kosel's (out-of-county) Portland near-airport buildings, which back up onto the Columbia Slough, were hit five times by thieves causing significant damage to the buildings (not to mention the value of what was stolen). Just one theft resulted in 450' of copper ground wire pulled out with $37,000 damage; another incident cost $73,000 across four buildings (including Bridgeport Brewery).

Design standards in place when those properties were built mandated landscaping which has since grown to become excellent concealment for vagrants and thieves.

Methampetamine addiction was cited as the impetus for these crimes, tied to nearby homeless camps and pickup truck campers parked in the area which are a base for their activities. However, Jim praised the CCSO for responsiveness far better than the PPB provided on these incidents.

John Bartley noted, as the county broadens its tax base with more commercial and industrial development, such incidents will increase here. He also suggested when cmaping vehicles are parked for extended periods of time, taking digital pictures and e-mailing them to enforcement could be useful, as it proved when the same problem occurred in Portland.

9. ZDOs 207 / 806: Jim Kosel provided an update. He reports the concept has changed radicallly since originally discussed in February, and not for the better.

Under current proposals, anyone with an acre or more (410,000 sq. ft.) outside of a city with any 'home occupation' would be able to apply for a permanent, inheritable conditional use permit for two parties-for-pay a day (maximum five per week) with alcohol serving (!) and parking on roads into the property. The prospect of quiet contry living shattered by inebriated partygoers trying to find their cars on a dark country road was described.

A 60dBa noise level at the property line was discussed; but how would this be enforced? How quickly could deputies arrive with noise meters, who would train them, and what other enforcement efforts would suffer as a result? John Bartley suggested allowing people from Community Planning Organizations (the county's equivalent of Portland's Neighborhood Associations) to check out calibrated noise meters, and perhaps digital cameras, and record offending party events for later review, so deputies don't have to roll on noise complaints. Portland's ONI does this for noise complaints, and it has been very useful.

Hood River County has the first such ordinance (Number 73) in the state since Oregon law was changed to enable this. Hood River restricts this to B&Bs, home wineries, home farms (like Lew Geary's flower farm en route to the Canby Ferry with the miniature train rides, etc.) with the accessory use tied to the primary property purpose, limited to one per day, not within the sight of the neighboring residences, and requiring OLCC compliance (all features not in the current proposal before the Planning Commission). Also, in Hood River County, selling the property requires reapplication for approval, and closing the primary business also ends the right to parties-for-pay.

The county commissioners have referred this back to the Planning Department, but once the Planning Department responds, the county commissioners could enact this with no further study.

Sheriff Roberts is considering comment on this issue on how this would affect the department. Public comment is still being received by e-mail to Jennifer Hughes {jenniferh @} or by phone (503-353-4518).

10. Adjournment at 8:32 PM, with no date set for next meeting.