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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saltzman Wants Longer Secret List, Doesn't Care About Racial Profiling

Posted by Matt Davis on Sat, Dec 20, 2008 at 7:11 PM

And he's writing editorials for the Portland Tribune. The new police commissioner is a regular Che Guevara.

Specifically, I will build on the success of the service coordination team pilot program at work now in downtown’s Old Town neighborhood. This program has focused on arresting chronic drug and drug-related property crime offenders, then holding them in jail to provide much-needed services in order to end the cycle of addiction that drives their criminal behavior.

The program is also based on a list of offenders that remains secret, and is in the process of being challenged constitutionally in Multnomah County courts.

The results of the service coordination team pilot program speak for themselves: There has been a 71 percent reduction in the recidivism rate among the top 400 chronic offenders in downtown Portland since October of 2004. I will certainly look to expand this successful model to precincts that are experiencing increases in gang activity, prostitution and drug-related crimes.

Ends are worth the means, huh? That's the same argument we were hearing from Randy Leonard's office, until he forgot all about the program. Read more about it here. As with Saltzman's ongoing support of the rent-a-cop firm, Portland Patrol, Inc., the commissioner, I suspect, is gambling on the fact that people really don't care enough about the constitution or people's civil rights, as long as the value of property in Old Town continues to go up because the police are able to harass those who are unsightly down there. Which is fine, because the commissioner is probably right. But this is all speculation, because he's yet to grant the Mercury an interview about the rent-a-cop issue, and because he thinks he doesn't have to talk to us, and again, he's probably right...because we're certainly not the top of his priority list:

As I transition to this new role, I want to state my complete confidence in those who serve in the Portland Police Bureau. It begins with the commendable leadership of Chief Rosie Sizer, but certainly doesn’t end there. I look forward to working with her and her team to ensure the safety of our citizens and businesses.

"Complete confidence?" Way to whip out the strong rhetoric, Dan. Strewth. You protect the businesses. Knock yourself over.

[Wipes hand down face...]

Also: Nowhere in the entire editorial does he mention Mayor Potter's work on racial profiling. The last time we checked the numbers, a huge number of those on the secret list were black.

It's not what you're saying, Dan. It's what you're not saying. And you know it.

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