Monday, December 10, 2007

"... EPD doesn't immediately dispatch officers to non- injury traffic accident, some burglaries, car break-ins, theft..."

Register Guard

Eugene Police Department (EPD) officers work hard to keep up with demand, however, with fewer officers than other cities, EPD is unable to immediately dispatch officers in some circumstances.
"I don’t think it’s very good service to the public, and I don’t think (residents) think so either, judging from the letters I get,” Eugene police chief Robert Lehner said."

the police officers union and the city hired consultants are demanding that the city Council hire more police officers.

“Without adequate staffing, these objectives are nothing more than lip service to our community,” Willy Edewaard, president of the Eugene Police Employees’ Association, wrote to Mayor Kitty Piercy

Edewaard commenting on Eugene's high property crime rate,
“... We got into this business to chase criminals and get people’s property back,” Edewaard said. “But all we are doing is reacting. There isn’t a lot of proactive policing going on.”

the Eugene city Council will have to decide if and which public services that it will have to cut to fund more police hirings.

perhaps, one place to start, would be to get rid of the separation of "patrol officers" and "traffic officers".

For example, I would rather see the motorcycle police patrolling the neighborhoods than sitting out on the roads running radar. Motorcycles are cheaper to run than patrol vehicles, have wider visibility and flexibility. However, the motorcycles are part of the traffic team and therefore are not typically used for "patrol" purposes.

Another important issue, the 2008 Summer Olympic trials that will be held in Eugene.

How can a city that is so understaffed now, cope with the extra estimated 18,000 people per day visiting the city and provide adequate protection?

The answer, they can't!

The frustrating point is we apparently have no problems coming up with millions of dollars for the Emx bus system or any other pet projects, however, when it comes to our basic protection, we seem to fall flat on our faces.


Anonymous Willy Edewaard said...

Well put Robin. It's basically all about priorities.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was rear-ended by a young girl who was too busy waving at young boys to notice that I was stopped AND that the train was passing in front of me. I refused to let her leave until the police came. (insurance requires it) The officers were angry because there were no injuries and they didn't need to waste their time. If they had not come and filed a report, my insurance would not have paid. Go figure. I was mad because I know my tax dollars pay their salary.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

that is an excellent point.

And what if she had not had any insurance?

Additionally, Oregon has changed its laws regarding when you have to file an accident report.

it used to be that you only had to file an accident report if the damage was 500 or $1000 and over, now I think it is any accident on a public roadway.

Failure to file a report, can cost you your license.

I found this out the hard way when somebody rear-ended my pickup. The damage to my truck was minimal and easily repaired. So no report was filed.

Then I got the love note from ODOT threatening my drivers license if I don't file.

So yes, you did the correct thing by making the police come to the accident scene in my opinion.

8:17 AM  
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