Invest in Law Enforcement
We need to properly and consistently fund our Tigard police force without the use of a levy. The current levy, which was passed in 2020, acts as a band-aid to make up for 10 years of decreased staffing and stagnant hiring. Funding expires in 2024, then we will be left searching for more money or taking precious time to pass another levy. Money from the general budget should be prioritized over other expenditures.
Transparency & Technology
All Tigard police are currently outfitted with body cameras and have drones available for use. We need to continue to use high-level technology to protect the safety of our officers, increase accountability and transparency, and to stay ahead of crime.
We must have full and complete information to affect change. Information from the police must flow quickly and freely to build trust within the community. The public needs to know which criminals are getting released and for what reasons. Our county leadership are releasing criminals back into the community without bail and without public knowledge. Our community has to be made aware of the shortcomings of the government so they can better protect themselves.
Technological advancements must be implemented to ensure sharing of information between the city, county, and sheriff’s office. Data helps us do more with less. Having proper and necessary information, we can position officers at proper times and places across the city based on historical trends.
Through increased communication and better systems, we will keep city and county leadership accountable.
Lobby for Increase in Police Academy Sessions
The city begins paying new police recruits 6 months to a year before they enter the police academy. This is primarily due to the lack of academy sessions which is decided on the state level.
After leaving the police academy each officer requires an additional 6-8 months before they are able to start on their own and counted in staffing numbers. That’s a lot of time and a lot of money. As mayor, I will join forces with other city mayors to lobby the state for more academy sessions.
Mental Health + Drug Response
Washington County Response Teams
Currently, we participate in the Washington County Mental Health Response team through a rotation. We must lobby for expansion with the county and make sure resources are available on a consistent basis locally.
Homeless Programs with Accountability
We need a holistic program to reduce homelessness and promote accountability in Tigard. Currently, the county is spending roughly $40 million on housing support and homeless programs with limited results.
An example of a good program Tigard should emulate is Rogue Retreat which operates in Medford. They partner with the city of Medford and local police who refer participants. The program boasts a 60% success rate at getting people off the streets and into long-term housing within a year. They do this through a tiered system that starts by providing tent sites and meals and gradually moves participants up to more robust shelters. At all levels, participants have on-site access to alcohol and drug counseling, mental health services, housing services, job readiness, and legal aid.
Helping Businesses Thrive
Partner with the Commercial Crimes Unit
Tigard is lucky to have one of the few commercial crimes units in the state. They do exceptional work but we can’t do it all alone. We need to expand the work being done by the CCU. This includes lobbying the state for a task force aimed at tackling systemic commercial crimes (“crime rings”).
Through the expansion of the CCU, the city should also provide grants for businesses to help in crime prevention. Grant money would be available to help businesses lock and secure high-ticket items, help with loss prevention, and install proper lighting and security cameras.
We need Washington county to get tough on property crimes. The lack of accountability is unacceptable. People need to be prosecuted and required to fix the damage they caused or perform other community service.