Chief Bishop reflects on departments accomplishments

(Soapboxes are guest opinions from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. David G. Bishop in the chief of the Beaverton Police Department.)

It truly has been a great honor to serve as your police chief for the past 15 years. As I near retirement on July 1, it is clear to me that the significant accomplishments the Beaverton Police Department has achieved are due to the support of our citizens, as well as Mayor Rob Drake and the Beaverton City Council.

A measure of the department's success is the international recognition our department has received, including numerous national awards. In 2007 the department, for its identity theft and fraud prevention program, received the prestigious International Chiefs of Police 'Webber Seavy Award for Quality in Law Enforcement.' For several consecutive years Beaverton has been ranked one of America's Safest Cities, according to Morgan Quinto Press.

Citizen involvement has been paramount to our success. The department has adopted a community-based policing philosophy and has effectively implemented this strategy by working with citizens to solve problems, address crime and enhance the quality of life.

Examples of citizen involvement include our Citizens Academy, which is designed to bring citizens and members of the police department closer together, the hundreds of volunteers who have devoted thousands of hours to enhancing department programs and our Chief's Advisory Board, which provides an independent perspective on department programs.

Critical to our success has been the ability to work with other Washington County police agencies in resolving common problems. We have established interagency teams in areas including the following: gang enforcement, major crimes, mobile response, tactical negotiations and Westside Interagency Narcotics.

As chief, it has been a great pleasure to work with many of the finest young men and women serving our state today. For our department, a primary hiring criteria is recognizing people who have a desire to serve our community. Our hiring process has been successful in identifying these individuals. Our officers have received numerous awards for their service and have performed way beyond the call of duty.

A great strength of our department has been the ability to react quickly to changing problems and trends. Our organization is never static. A reflection of this is the many innovative programs that have been developed including our victims assistance program, identity theft and fraud program, neighborhood resource centers and youth peer court.

In closing, I would like to, once again, thank the community for your support, as well as acknowledge the unwavering support of Mayor Rob Drake.