Try a shuffle at sheriffs office
- Portland Tribune - Opinion
Honorable county and regional leaders, as a resident of Multnomah County, I appreciate your dedication and steadfastness in making our community safe and secure.
As a Multnomah County sheriff's office employee, I have worked for four sheriffs. As a first-line supervisor, I must applaud Sheriff Bernie Giusto for his leadership in making the jails safe for staff and inmates. And I equally applaud District Attorney Mike Schrunk in removing dangerous offenders from the streets.
Multnomah County, the sheriff's office, the district attorney's office and Metro always have been reliable partners in providing for the needs of our region's citizenry.
I have a suggestion, which I believe offers a win-win solution to the present controversy over who should control the county jails: I strongly argue against removing the control of the jails from the sheriff's office.
There is observational data from various administrative regions which suggests such a move would not be in the best interests of the citizenry.
A proven option would be to transform the sheriff's office from a road, civil, court service and jail law-enforcement organization to a jail, civil and court service law-enforcement organization.
Jailers, court service and civil deputies could come under one job classification, which could enhance their utility. All crimes in the jails could be investigated and reported by those who are capable and familiar with its environment.
Our region lacks a dedicated transit law enforcement agency. I suggest over a three-year period transfer sheriff's office road deputies to Metro, the regional government, and initiate a Metropolitan Transit Police Agency, responsible for securing public transportation, and maybe regional freeways. This move could:
• Enhance TriMet's commitment to public safety.
• Free up sheriff's office and county funds to operate the jails.
• Restore confidence in local government.
Perhaps this is an option we should be giving the voters.
For pedestrian safety, we need more stings
Ninety minutes a month at one intersection. That's the whole program? The pedestrian stings described in 'Watch your step' (April 4) are a wonderful driver awareness tool, but get serious.
Transportation office spokeswoman Cheryl Kuck states that Portland residents rank pedestrian safety as one of their top three concerns, so how about 90 minutes a week at one intersection? Or more.
There are 172 hours a month and zillions of bad pedestrian intersections in our lovely city. Surely we can do a sting and really raise awareness more than 90 minutes a month at one site.
Need volunteer crossers? I'm first in line, and hundreds more are behind me.
Schools should give watchdogs access
I read the article about schools and military recruitment (The few, the proud and the uninvited, March 28), and I think it's a good idea to give Recruiter Watch PDX equal time. Include Portland Copwatch, too, as a recruiting prophylactic. Eventually we'll be rid of these uniformed people altogether. Things will be better then.