Friday, March 07, 2008

Enhanced Law Enforcement Service District Citizens' Advisory Committee of the Clackamas Co. Sheriff (Part One of ...)

2008-03-06 Enhanced Law Enforcement Service District Citizens' Advisory Committee of the Clackamas Co. Sheriff (Part One of Two)

Opened 18:40 on 3/06 at the Public Safety Training Center by John E. Bartley, Vice-Chair, a tech writer @ Intel who lives on Oatfield Hill above Oak Grove. Absent: Chair Ralph Radmer

1. Introductions

Bill Andrews, lives by Rex Putnam HS
Kristen Buren, Customer Service Rep for Laminations in Wilsonville
Paul Ellison, Bank of the West, Webster & Clackamas
Ron Hinson, Customer Service Mgr for the Estacada branch of BOTW, lives by Clackamas HS
Trish Jorgenson, retired nurse, Maple Lane
Charlie Paul, USAF (Ret.), Miramonte Point
Shelly Radmer, Investigator, lives near 152nd/Sunnyside
Nancy Whitley, retired teacher from Oak Grove

Ex-officio members
Kathleen Stewart, CCSO Administration for 6 yrs & Main staff to committee
Patrol Captain Dave O'Shaugnessey

Brief discussion of roles of chair & vice chair by Kathleen. Chair sets tone of meeting, plans agenda, can assemble letters & speak for the committee. Vice-chair fills in for chair when chair absent.

2. Discussion of 2008 Sheriff's goals

2.1 (Captain Dave O'Shaugnessey) Interviewed for all 14 unfilled patrol officer positions; six or seven are in background checks (six weeks to several months), rest awaiting other requirements or have start dates. 171.5 FTEs allocated including ELED and levy positions. No college requirement for an officer; last week eight interviews were conducted; four had degrees, and three about to graduate from college. Nancy asked about diversity of applicants; Capt. O'S. replied they have; Spanish speakers, Asian, other diverse members.

2.2 Increasing training opportunities for all staff.

Certification agency requires only 84 hrs every 3 years; the CCSO dept std is 40 hrs/yr. All supervisors are trained in crisis intervention including dealing with the mentally ill, and 40 of the deputies also trained. Also sharing training w/ other agencies to share costs.

2.3 Five-year strategic plan; collecting all-employee input before new plan written.

2.4 Work hard to consolidate all staff into one building, very cramped and spread across multiple sites. Want to consolidate all in soon-to-vacate Sunnybrook building (ETA EOY) but civil (required to be in the courthouse), property and special investigations not be consolidated. Will keep the dollar-a-year Shaver building below the County Public Services Complex which was donated by the Feds. County administration not yet approved. Old co. fin plan counted on selling Sunnybrook Building for 5M$ to pay for new Development Services Building, and the county is working on alternatives.

2.5 Open remaining closed jail beds ASAP; 44 remaining just opened. 500 early releases/mo now, this will reduce. New jail needed to eliminate it. Bill commented on War On Drugs as a bad joke.

2.6 Implement inmate work crews as per levy, but will limit to low risk criminals.

2.7 Beginning new design jail construction at current site of Dog Control, ASAP. New podular design will have 880 beds and will staff w/ current jail employees (which only serves less than 500.) Still planning, project management assigned to Capt. Howard.

2.8 Expand CCITF interagency task force, does ton of work on middle- and upper- level criminals, but expect increase in crime in September 2009 when Tri-Met opens Green Line at Town Center. (Ed. note: Tri-Met is unhelpful in addressing concerns.)

2.9 How to use better new staffing from levy; Patrol? Detectives? A full-time crime analyst position was created to watch for crime changes. The department is interviewing the top six candidates within two weeks, with a hire following soon thereafter.

2.10 Relationship between Community Corrections (Parole & Probation, Work Release) now supervised by Co. Administrator) & the CCSO. Decisions of Community Corrections affect what can be done w/ jail resources. Consultant studying now.

2.11 Identify & plan for long term funding; several other counties went to dedicated funding assessment. The CCSO budget was $62M last year, $40M from county general revenue funds, but timber monies are shrinking, which makes more counties shift to general fund sources and consider a dedicated tax assessment just for law enforcement.

Capt. O'Shaugnessy was in a work session w/ Commission last week on creating a county Justice Court (not Community Court, which is similar to a diversion program). Nineteen Oregon counties have 32 Justice Courts for traffic violations, evictions and other landlord-tenant matters, and perhaps code violations. It would increase the county's share of revenue from fines levied, an important financial improvement.

Justice Courts were consolidated into District Courts in the 50s, and in the 90s, District Courts were absorbed into Circuit Courts. Commissioners have authority to establish it, but presiding judge expressed unidentified concerns and then cd not attend the workshop, but judge in Lane Co. (which has a Justice Court) had excellent info. Next step is a month out. Last time it went to commission, one commissioner wanted public input, so all the county's Community Planning Organizations were consulted and all like it.

Now, Commissioner Peterson is new to the commission and needs to be brought up to speed.

Each motor officer writes about 2,000 citations/yr, resulting in 5,000 court appearances with at least 2 hrs off patrol per hearing. A Justice Court would reduce the time motor officers are off patrol and increase service to the public, another of the many advantages of a Justice Court.

3. Surveys: A packet to provide info to the public within the ELED only as well as ask the public their concerns. Dick Jones of the Oak Grove CC did pick some up & had at their 2/20 meeting. Many returns have come back & are ready to compile. (Chair Ralph Radmer arrived). Trish volunteered to compile them and John volunteered to help her with preparing a form to automate the compilation.

4. Patrol: Oregon City plans to annex 166 acres which would remove it from the ELED and Lake Oswego has several single lots to annex as well. Both would remove those properties from the tax base of the ELED. The Commission will consider these annexations at their April 16 public hearing.

A list of categorized calls for service and reported crimes from 1/1/2008 to 10AM today (3/06/200) was distributed. In that period, there were over 9,000 calls for service, resulting in 1,095 reports written.

(Ed. Note: Those reports will be scanned and posted on Clackablog later.)

The new Green Line MAX is due to open in the fall of 2009. The CCSO is concerned more crime at end of the line and the stop preceding is likely, and the department prepares an aggressive plan to discourage crime from the beginning. TriMet says TriMet crime happens on TriMet property, but that excludes crime which led from their property. Gresham, Portland and Hillsboro track crime near TriMet stops, and several years of statistics will help the CCSO understand any changes caused by TriMet-delivered criminals.

(Ed. Note: Sadly, TriMet is not directly responsible to the people, insulated as it is from the electorate by its appointed board.)

Annual incident reports were also provided. Kristin asked for definitions of categories; Capt. O'Shaugnessy noted ORS chapter 160 explains the crime categories. The demarcation between the 99E and 82nd areas is Webster Rd, and 205/Schumacher is the boundary for the Clackamas area.

(Ed. Note: Those reports will also be scanned and posted on Clackablog later.)

5. A revenue forecast was not yet ready for the ELED CAC to consider. Nancy asked what the tax rate is; John noted the original tax rate is reduced by millage caps, a percentage reduction which changes with every change in all assessments as per caps imposted by ballot measures.

6. Election of Chair & Vice Chair for CY2008.

Ralph and John were elected unanimously to serve another term, with no competition or dissent.

7. A free-ranging discussion of possible priorities for the ELED followed, and the perceptions, and misperceptions, of the public. The recurring myth that the ELED does not get what they paid for was dissected, and John explained the cause.

When the ELED was created, a specific goal of (35?) more road deputies was prominent in the original campaign. However, since then, the tax rate caps mandated by statewide ballot measures reduce every tax assessment to fit under the cap, including the ELED tax rate. The people of the ELED are not allowed to pay as much as we need to collect enough to reach that original goal, but the ELED does get what we pay for.

The committee adjourned at 20:10, with the next mtng planned for 18:30 on Thursday 1 May, also in the PTSC unless announced otherwise.

ELED History + Sheriff's Services to cities

Here's a map of the District (requires Adobe Reader; it's 2MB, a long download on dial-up).

The District was approved by voters in the November 1994 general election and became effective July 1, 1995. Its purpose is to increase the level of sheriff's patrols to meet the increased demand of urban Clackamas County. It serves approximately 85,000 residents in the unincorporated areas of Clackamas County within the Urban Growth Boundary, and the city of Johnson City. - From a county press release.

Scroll down to Other Counties in Oregon in this report from Multnomah County for an auditor's perspective on the ELED.

In Clackamas County, cities were invited to join unincorporated areas within the urban growth boundary in the establishment of an Enhanced Law Enforcement District (ELED) with a tax base which supports an additional .5 officers per thousand in addition to the rural level of .5 per thousand. Johnson City and Happy Valley joined the ELED, but Wilsonville chose to continue its contract with the Sheriff.

Also of interest:

The Clackamas County Sheriff has contracts with Estacada and Wilsonville to provide patrol services. The Sheriff's Office reports that no patrol services are provided to these cities free of charge. The cities pay an hourly rate for patrol services which the Sheriff's Office claims is fully costed, including both departmental and County overhead. The current hourly rate for a deputy is $51.84, and for a lieutenant $60.50.

Writing to the County Commissioners

This link, sends an e-mail to all three, using the default e-mail client of your computer. The Commissioner's office may also be reached at phone: 503-655-8581 or by fax at 503-742-5919.

To send a message to only Commissioner Martha Schrader or Commission Vice-Chair Bill Kennemer, put 'Dear Commissioner Schrader' or 'Dear Commission Vice-Chair Kennemer' in the subject line, as per the Commissioner's office with whom I just spoke.

Chair Lynn Peterson has her own posted e-mail address, but uses the same phone and fax numbers.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Casa de Tamales

The current lunch/dinner menu for Casa de Tamales may be found at Dinner there last week found their asparagas tamales, the same as these folks have served at the Farmer's Market for years, to still be very fine.