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PPB COVID-19 Q&A - April 17, 2020

 

Lieutenant Tina Jones talks to representatives from the Portland Police Bureau's Bike Theft Task Force as well as burglary and robbery detectives. She also interviews the Portland Police Bureau's Homeless Outreach liaison and sergeant from the Gun Violence Reduction Unit and chief, Jami Resch. Hear how this unusual time has affected their jobs and what it means in regard to public safety in their respective units.

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Transcript:

Announcer:
Welcome to Talking Beat, the podcast for the Portland Police Bureau. We're focusing on thoughtful conversations that we hope will inform and provide you with a small glimpse of work performed by Portland police officers as well as issues affecting public safety in our city. Here's what's on today's show.

Chief Jami Resch:
What I'd like folks to think about when they're out on the road and driving is that a lot of people who are out here driving right now are doing so because they have an essential job function. They need to get to and from work and we need to keep that in mind. We need every essential worker that we have right now. We do not need anybody involved in a collision because they're driving that speed. I would encourage you to just set your cruise control. We are all getting places faster than we have prior to this because there are less cars on the road, so enjoy the fact that you will get there a few minutes early and drive the speed limit.

Announcer:
On this special edition of the Talking Beat, Lieutenant Tina Jones talks to representatives from the Portland Police Bureau's Bike Theft Task Force as well as burglary and robbery detectives. She also interviews the Portland Police Bureau's Homeless Outreach liaison and sergeant from the Gun Violence Reduction Unit and chief, Jami Resch. Hear how this unusual time has affected their jobs and what it means in regard to public safety in their respective units. Thanks for listening.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
First, we're going to start out today with one of our officers who works for our Bike Taskforce, Dave Sanders, welcome. First-

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
It's good to be here.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We're really excited that you're here with us today and we want to talk a little bit to start out with about your tenure at PPB and what your assigned role is.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
I've been with the Bureau about 13 years and about eight of those years have been on the Bike Unit. I'm one of six that work full time on bikes, mostly Downtown in the court area. Most of my duties involve livability issues, so relating to theft, drugs, trespassing, vandalism that sort of thing, but another hat that I get to wear is helping to manage bike theft in the city. The position isn't staffed full time to deal with bike theft, but we're able to do it as time allows amongst our normal duties. I'm a part of the Bike Theft Task Force, which my partner Dave Brandt and I started in 2015 and we're continuing those efforts. That's mainly what I do.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Can you share a little bit with us about what has changed for you and your unit during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Yeah, our unit is working from a patrol car which is very different from what we're used to. We're used to a lot of that continuous public interaction out riding around town, so we miss that. We're one of the few city employees that get paid to ride a bike which is awesome, so we're excited to get back to that. What has changed is we're not able to do events that we're excited to do in April and May. Our Bike Outreach Program is on pause right now, so that means not doing a lot of bike registration stations, lock exchange events and so forth. It's coming, keep looking for it, but that's on pause right now.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
For now, you guys are postponing those events until things get back to maybe a new normal down the road?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Yup.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. How are you and the team managing your work differently then?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Well, no telecommuting yet for us, so business as usual. We're still out there managing things Downtown, but we are doing a lot more meetings on the airways, a lot more phone calls and that sort of thing, just like everybody else.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Working in a patrol car, not riding the bikes as much, but still coming in and taking care of the similar issues that you guys have been before?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Yup, absolutely.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Is there anything related to your focus of work that you think the public should be aware of given the current situation?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Yeah, so I want everybody to know that bike theft is still an issue. It's a massive issue that we're trying to control. Specifically this year and into March and April, we're getting hammered with bike theft and we're seeing an increase right now. Bike theft has always followed the seasonal and weather patterns. More bikes outside, more people riding typically results in more thefts, but I think these thieves are also taking advantage of the pandemic and targeting the bikes where they're currently at, not as many bikes are in public, so they're looking indoors and getting creative on how to seek out these bikes and steal them.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
We're seeing a lot of thefts from bike storage areas, basements. These normally "secure areas" are being targeted by these thieves and a lot of bikes are being stolen.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
That's unfortunate. I know a lot of people rely on bikes for transportation and Portland is known as a bike community for sure, but there are some tips that you have for folks around bike theft. Can you share some of those with us?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Yeah, so the two big ones we really need the community's help with, they're the two pillars of our End Bike Theft Campaign and that's locking and registration. With locking, we want you to lock your bike as well indoors as you do outdoors. That means using a quality U-lock. Generally, you have to spend about $50 or more on a lock and make sure you lock the frame to a good bike rack. Those are the two keys to locking. Then, bike registration has been really a priority for us lately and will continue to be over the next few years. We want everybody to register their bike, no matter how much they use it or where it's parked. That's super easy. It's just helping you record what you have.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Our partner, National Bike Registry Project 529 has been doing a phenomenal job of helping us manage that. It's as simple as just going to project529.com/portland, going out to your garage and taking the five minutes to record your serial number and record what you have.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
If people have a little bit of time, five minutes or so, to record and register their bike, what's the benefit of that?

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Well, it documents that bike is yours. If that bike is stolen, a lot of times the owners don't even know it's gone. Our officers are able to find it out in the community and know who it belongs to and recover that bike even before the owner knows it's stolen, but if you do find it stolen, you can indicate that in your 529 account and the community can help and look out for that bike. It really doubles your chances at getting the bike back if it's registered, which is about one in five actually come back to the owner, which could be better, but I think a lot of people would buy a lottery ticket with those odds. We hope a lot of people will see the value of that.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
On a good note, we're seeing a lot more recoveries now, double digit increases this year in bike recoveries. Our officers are out there searching for these bikes in the community that have been stolen and a lot of them are getting back to the owners.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Well, I know you guys are doing a lot of good work. I know that you also have a Twitter for your unit and there's a lot of interaction with the community about different bikes that you come across or see. I know you're not afraid to poke fun at yourself sometimes too. Can you share a little bit about the bike story that you posted? I know it's tough but I think it's a good learning lesson.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Professionally, I've had now two bikes stolen from me. One was my personal bike stolen in front of the courthouse. I had it handcuffed to a bike rack. The thief picked the handcuffs and was able to get away with the bike, which the frame did come back to us eventually a couple months later because it was registered which shows the success. Just the frame though, unfortunately. The second bike had stolen, I recovered a stolen bike and I had it on the front of my patrol car at the time. It's about a month ago and had my back turned to the car and somebody stole it off the front, so double stolen.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Well, I think that it will help you to continue to get that message out there, don't use handcuffs to lock up your bike. There's better methods. We really appreciate you taking the time today to come out. We just want to encourage people to definitely register their bikes and put them inside and keep them in a safe space.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Absolutely.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Thank you, sir.

Officer Dave Sanders (Bike Task Force):
Thank you.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Our next guest is Detective Darren Posey from our Burglary Task Force. Awesome. Thanks for coming out. Can you start out just by sharing a little bit about what you do?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
I've been with the Police Bureau for about 23 years, and in the Burglary Task Force which is where I work, predominantly we work on serial burglars and also groups that are committing burglaries, both commercially and residentially. We also do a lot of work with the precincts and the officers with investigated assistance in the cases that they're working on. Then also, we look at trends and suspect profiles, working to basically follow those items. We also work at trying to locate stolen property for people.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Burglary is something that does happen in Portland and you guys are looking at trends and trying to apprehend people who are prolific burglars, it sounds like. Given all that, what has changed for your team and you as an investigator since we've been experiencing this pandemic?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
A couple of things, obviously, just with our office space had to make sure everything set up so that we're six feet apart from everybody and then also just with interviewing people and talking to people, that's really changed things dramatically for us. We're looking at how we manage that as far as distancing and that type of thing. Also, along with that, we've experienced an increase in our call outs. We've actually had more custody assist cases that have come up. We're also seeing a trend now where we're seeing a lot more commercial burglaries as related to the crimes that are coming through as opposed to residential burglaries.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Just to clarify for our media partners and those listening, when you get called out, you don't get called out to every burglary but you mentioned custody assist. Can you describe what that is?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Yes. When somebody is arrested in relation to a burglary incident, let's say they were captured running away from the scene of the crime, we are called in to help out with that. We conduct the custody interview with the suspect. Then, we also oversee the rest of the investigation afterwards as well.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
You indicated your team has been getting called out more frequently, which indicates there had been more captures, I guess.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
That's correct.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Well, that's good news. How are you and your team managing your work differently given all this?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Obviously, like I talked about before, our suspect interviews and witness interviews as well, we're just looking at ways on how we can make that safe for all parties involved during this time. We spent a lot of time just figuring out what works best, depending on where we're at because we do our interview sometimes in different places and whatnot. With that, the other big change or thing that we're looking at at this point in time is with this pandemic situation, the governor has issued a state of emergency. With that, that affects the crime of theft. In the ORS, it basically bumps it from if it's a misdemeanor to a felony level theft, Theft 1, essentially.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
The idea here is it creates a more serious consequences for those who commit theft during the declared emergency, and then hopefully, it provides a deter for people to engage in that behavior. We're looking at that. We haven't actually done that with any of our cases at this point where you're talking with the City Attorney's Office as well as the DA's Office about those issues.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Your team is working with the District Attorney's Office and the City Attorney's to assess whether or not some of these cases may in fact actually fall into a higher category because it's happening during this emergency.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
That is correct.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Depending on where that goes, there might be more to come on that, but it is something of note for sure. Is there anything related to your work in the Burglary Task Force that you think the public should be aware of some trends or anything that you guys are seeing?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
We're seeing definitely a trend to commercial burglaries. Obviously with a lot of people not at the businesses during what would be their regular hours as well as afterhours, what we're finding is people are at home, so our residential burglaries aren't as dramatic of a situation at this point in time. What we'd like to get across or have people do especially our community members that own businesses, we really think that this would be a great time to take an assessment of your property and see how you can better secure it. If you don't normally do inventories of your equipment or retail property, this would be a good time to maybe do that and see how you can better secure it.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
We think that if you're going to be closed for a lengthy period of time or you have reduced hours in your business, to remove valuables from the storefront as much as possible. We found that small electronics, cash registers, phones, bank bags and other valuable items of inventory that are in view from the outside provide a motive for people who are interested in illegal intentions. Removing those things might be a good thing to do at this point in time.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Doing an internal assessment inventory and then maybe step outside and see what you can see from outside the windows and be thinking about. Is there anything that could be a value, those sorts of things or proactive things [crosstalk 00:15:32]?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Exactly like a jewelry store, when they close up shop in the evening, they put the steel doors down and then they remove all of that product from the window cases and the display cases. The same idea is just removing that opportunity.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
I'm going to circle back to something you said about residential burglaries. I think that there's a common perception that burglaries happen at night because that's what we see in movies and such. Before this, we would see a lot of residential burglaries, but those are primarily during the day, correct?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Yeah, primarily. There'll be early morning hours like right after people leave for work, but also in the afternoon, but mostly in the daytime. Most of our commercial burglaries take place at night for the most part, which actually we've been talking with some of our night shift officers in the precincts and we work with them in these cases. They have been employing some different tactics which have been working very well and capturing some people.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. We're not going to give those tactics away, but it's good to know that our folks are adapting as well and we are catching some of these folks. We also encourage people if they do see suspicious activity to note that and to call.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
I just want to thank our community members so much for watching out for each other. That's really important, especially right now and even watching out for your neighborhood business. There's a lot of people that live close by to the businesses that are closed and you can be very helpful in just keeping an eye out for what's going on. Often, community members are the element of success in our investigations and we appreciate it.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Can you provide an example of how community helps you to solve these cases?

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Yeah, we just had a case where a particular business was broken into. Before they actually broke into the location, somebody noticed that these people were carrying an axe up to the business. They thought that was really strange and so they actually started filming it. That was key. It was a very key piece to help us because the business didn't have video surveillance on the outside and so we were able to identify those people and capture them.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for taking the time today. We appreciate everything that you and your team are doing, especially for burglary. We'll make sure we get some of those tips out there. Thank you, Detective Posey.

Detective Darren Posey (Burglary):
Thank you.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We're going to then move on and talk to another detective from our Robbery Division, Detective Brett Hawkinson. Hi, Brett.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Hey, how's everyone?

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Thank you for joining us. Good.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Thanks for having me.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Can we start out just talking a little bit about the robbery detail? I got stuck there.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
It's funny that you do that because there's actually a common misconception. Robbery and burglary actually get confused all the time by the public, so maybe it's a great opportunity to talk about that.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Tell us what the difference is.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Burglary, like what Detective Posey was just talking about, basically it's theft, but it's involved in buildings, inside of buildings. Robbery, it's theft, but it also involves force, use of force or violence or intimidation. As a detail, our mission and our goal is to identify the subjects who are using force, threats and violence to take your stuff.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Very good distinction and you're right, it does get easily confused. How has the pandemic changed what you are seeing in your unit or what you are doing?

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Well, ironically, as I sit here with my mask, one of the things that came to mind is we're doing more in-person contact wearing masks, which is unusual in my job. I haven't had to do that before, but we're also employing social distancing. Another big thing that we use or I've been using more is the telephone. I'm a big fan of contacting victims in person, but just given the circumstances, it seems it's more appropriate to make a lot of telephonic contact with our victims and our witnesses and making contact with them.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
However, rest be assured, we're still out there, we're still writing search warrants and looking for evidence, looking for guns that are wielded by our suspects. We're still doing in-person interviews of our robbery suspects that we're capturing and we're still out there actively canvassing crime scenes looking for video surveillance and other clues that are going to help us identify the patterns and solve the crimes.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
How has robbery changed or the patterns? You mentioned that given the pandemic? What are you guys seeing?

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Well, our victim-type topology, logically you think it's going to shift because a lot of our victims or the victimology of robbery is our businesses. Well, obviously, there's a lot of commercial establishments that are now closed. Without the workers and the people actively working and being there, they're not there to become victims. Our robbers, basically they're going after the essential businesses like marijuana shops, I think, are classified as essential businesses and they're open.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
We've seen some porn store robberies, but then also we've seen some grocery stores, minimarts and banks. Banks are open and they continue to be robbed.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Whereas before, it may have been taverns or other places that are closed down now, now there's been a little bit of a shift, which like you said, makes common sense, but I think that it's a worthwhile point because some of the folks who work at those businesses may not be thinking that they could be a potential target. It's worth having that in mind.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Absolutely.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Do you have any tips to share about that?

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
About robberies?

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Yeah, for any of those businesses.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
I'm a huge fan of employing more than one employee at a time, right? If you're a business owner, spending extra money to have two or more employees working at the same time, which it seems weird with social distancing, but employ your social distance practices. Armed robbers, robbers, in general, they tend to take advantage of opportunities. If you're working by yourself, you're setting yourself more up to be in a one-on-one situation with someone's going to take advantage of you. Employing a second person. Keeping your front windows clear, so our officers out patrolling in the public can look into your business and they can see what's going on.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
I think those are all important things to do. Then having a great video system, right? That's helpful. Knowing how your alarm system works. It's another great way to do that. Let's see, some bunch of things that we could cover, just general crime prevention tips to give to any business owners in the world of robbery and robbery prevention. That's what comes top of my head.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Is there anything else related to what's going on with the robbery division that the public should be aware of that we covered?

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
I think we covered it.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We covered it, all right. I'll ask you, I skipped it with other folks, but I think that you are always good for sharing, but do you have any tips or ideas for the public on how to manage stress during this time of crisis?

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Well, I find myself stress eating. That's kind of my big ... No, I'm just kidding. Actually, I think going for walks, spending time with your family and those if you're living with other folks, you can spend more time developing relationships. I know in my job, it's been very busy. It's a very busy weird hours. It's been refreshing to spend more time with the little guys and my wife and sit down, play family games and go on walks together. It's a good time to take advantage of that.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We appreciate you being here and sharing some of this information today.

Detective Brett Hawkinson (Robbery):
Sure, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. We're going to have an opportunity to talk with Stephanie Herro. Stephanie is our Homeless Outreach liaison for the Bureau.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Hi.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Hi, Stephanie. Thanks for being here.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Thanks for having me.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Can you tell us a little bit about your assigned role with port with PPB?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Sure. I served in this position of August of 2019. I'm the first ever homeless liaison for PPB which is pretty exciting. My job mainly is to make sure we have ongoing relationships and open communication with our community partners for issues related to homelessness. I also act as a resource for those community partners and for our officers for resources that are related to homelessness as well and I do spend time talking about our internal policy and training needs for PPB members.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. What has changed for you and your role during this pandemic?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
I have been telecommuting since mid-March, so just about a month now since the mayor's state of emergency declaration. Interestingly, my work hasn't changed significantly. A lot of my work is meeting with people, which is preferably done face to face. With these changes though, I would say probably 99% of those meetings are continuing through a variety of technology. There are definitely more meetings that have been added, so we can help keep people safe and figure out the best ways to help people understand social distancing and the governor's stay-at-home order for the folks who are experiencing homelessness.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Well, I think that it's fortunate that you started before this, so you could meet all the partners face to face before you had to shift to this.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
It's been really useful because at this point I do know a good portion, if not all of the folks that I'm continuing to work with from a distance. Those relationships are already there which makes the collaboration piece that much easier.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Just since it might not be clear, which partners are you referencing with that you have regular contact with?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
I work with a variety of homeless services agencies, so people who are running shelters, who are doing food delivery in the community, who continue to do food delivery in the community for people experiencing homelessness, other government agencies, other nonprofits. Mainly, I would say anyone and everyone who has anything to do with homelessness in the City of Portland.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Is there anything related to your work that you think that the public should be aware of?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
This has been a really busy time because there are so much concern about how do we help people experiencing homelessness understand the social distancing piece, how do we help people maintain social distancing in environments where that's really difficult. Obviously, stay-at-home orders are very difficult for people who don't have homes. In the beginning of this when the governor stay-at-home order first came out, I worked quite a bit with our communications team that came up with messaging around PPB's role.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
There was a lot of fear that I was hearing about from our community outreach workers. There's a lot of fear in the homeless community about whether or not they're going to get arrested if they weren't "at home" or if they were seen in public, if they weren't adhering to social distancing. We worked internally to come up with some messaging to help people understand that PPB's role is an educational role and that arrest is a very last resort and that continues to be true. We are not out there as people ... We're fearing essentially rounding people up and taking them against their will to some location.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
We continue to educate people on social distancing. We're continuing to help people feel more comfortable with the way that the world is running right now and how things are working by just having communication and developing relationships. That has now turned into bigger conversations for me on a daily basis around these new outdoor social distancing shelters, the first of which opened yesterday. I've been on daily calls with one of our lieutenants from PPB and a large group of people from the city and county to help plan for those and to help talk about safety issues and try to mitigate any safety concerns going into the camps as the camps are getting built.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
My work has very much shifted to those conversations as well as mitigating some unforeseen issues or challenges that may be happening in some of the other things newer shelter spaces.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Is there anything that I forgot that you wanted to touch on or add from your perspective?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
I am just really proud of the way the city and county and all the eight social service agencies are collaborating right now in this unprecedented way to very quickly get resources set up for people experiencing homelessness to help people stay safe and healthy.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Do you have any tips to share about managing stress during this time of crisis?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Yeah, you've probably heard some of these before, but I'm somebody who needs to be moving throughout the day. Working from home has been very challenging. I'm very much an extrovert, so not having access to other humans has been pretty hard. I'm trying to do things via Zoom and have social hours with friends, making sure I'm seeing people even in a two-dimensional way, trying to stay connected. I also need to be exercising on a regular basis. If I can be outside, I'm grateful that the sun has been out, it's been helpful to be able to spend time on my deck and maybe go for walks by myself, adhering social distancing of course.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
That reminds me of one last thing I want to point out and I know you've put it on your social media, but you were involved before you were here and helping put together a program for some seniors. Can you give us just a tip so that maybe our media partners can help us share that?

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Absolutely. I think you're referring to the Senior Loneliness Line?

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Yes.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
When I was at Clackamas County Behavioral Health a couple years ago, we at Clackamas County in partnership with Lines For Life, developed the Senior Loneliness Line which is specifically for people 50 and over, who are experiencing loneliness and would like to talk to somebody whether that's somebody who's a clinically licensed professional or just somebody to have day-to-day conversation with. That has recently gone statewide. It was initially a Clackamas County project. During the time of COVID though, OHA has decided that will be a statewide resource for people

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
That's awesome. We'll make sure we get that information out. I think that's one of the things that we saw initially was called social distancing and now we're referring to it as physical distancing because we've recognized that we have to remain our social connection, especially with our elderly. Thank you for helping us get that information out.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Thank you for putting that out there. I appreciate it.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Absolutely. If you have more information that you want to know about Stephanie and her role, we did do a podcast not that long ago. It's on our website. And if you have further questions, feel free to send them to the PIO and we'll get them answered. Thank you, Steph.

Stephanie Herro (Homeless Outreach):
Great. Thank you so much.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Next, we're going to shift gears a little bit and talk about some of the trends that we're seeing with gun violence. We've got Sergeant Ken Duilio from the Gun Violence Reduction Team here to share the latest on that. Hi, Sergeant Duilio. Thanks for coming in.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
How you doing?

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Good.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Thank you.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Can you tell us a quick update on what your role is and what GVRT does as well?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Yes, again, I'm Sergeant Kenneth Duilio. I've been with the Police Bureau for approximately 22 years. I'm assigned to the Gun Violence Reduction Team, and the Gun Violence Reduction Team, our number one goal or mission is to reduce shootings in the City of Portland. We do that in three areas. One, we have the uniform component of the Gun Violence Reduction Team and they're the proactive arm of the unit. They also gather Intel. It's really important that they focus on relationship building, which they do an excellent job of.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Secondly, we investigate these Measure 11 shootings and we have detectives that are assigned to our unit specifically to investigate these shootings and they investigate those and there's a lot of work around those investigations and followup. Thirdly, we work with the Office of Youth Violence Prevention and help provide intervention and prevention services to people that are affected by gun violence.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
What has changed for you and your unit during the time of the pandemic?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Initially, we saw reduction, and honestly, it was like a breath of fresh air.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
A reduction in?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
I'm sorry, we saw a reduction in shootings, and honestly, it was a breath of fresh air for our unit. Then after a week or so and when I say initially, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, when the governor issued her stay-at-home order, we saw that reduction. Then after about two weeks, we saw a dramatic spike which stretched for about two weeks, 14-15 days and we saw about 30 shootings in that time, which at least in the last few days, which we've seen a slight decrease, which is good and we hope that continues.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
In looking at some of the numbers I think that were sent out, you guys are at what? 150 shootings?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Approximate, yeah.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Approximately that you're aware, your to date, and where does that compare to last year? If you don't know that on the fly, we can look it up later.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
This is an increase in last year's number.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
An increase from last year. How are you and your team managing the work differently given the situation?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
The Bureau has put out good direction on this and we're following it. When we're out doing our work, we're wearing our mask. If we're contacting people involved in gun crimes or shootings, we're wearing gloves, wearing eyewear and making sure that we're protected out in the community. We're following those social distancing guidelines, being at least six feet apart, and if not, make sure that you're protected, wearing your PPE equipment that's been issued by the Police Bureau. Also, we used to meet daily for roll call briefings, and now we do that through the Zoom app which is an online teleconferencing app. We could we conduct briefings every day which is important to share information and that's the new normal for now.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Is there anything related to your work and your team's work that you think the public should be aware of.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
I think that for the public, if you hear something or see something related to gun violence, shooting or gun-related incidents, call 911. The information provided by the community is super valuable and I think more valuable than the average citizen maybe believes. A lot of times people think somebody else has called in or the police already know and most times we don't. The ones that do provide the information later proves to be very valuable in solving these crimes.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
I know you talked a little bit about the uniform component and the proactive nature of that work. They're seizing guns off the street and I know from some search warrants and things. Where are you guys at as far as gun seizures this year?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, like we've talked about, we have had shootings and we're still doing our job. We're going out there and trying to interdict some of this violence. Again, back to the proactive arm of our unit, that would be the uniform side. They're going out there and contacting people that are suspected of being involved in these shootings and carrying guns illegally. To date since January 1, they recovered 25 firearms. These are in individual contacts, individual stops. Several of these guns have extended magazines upwards of 30-round capacity and several these guns have connected back to other shootings.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
I think even having worked, dealing with some of this work that you do, as well, it's still shocking, I think, to me, and even to a lot of members of the public that given everything else that's going on, people are still going out and engaging in shootings across the city. It's disheartening, but I think your team is trying to do what they can to stop that trend.

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Yes.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Well, we appreciate you coming out and I know we'll be trying to provide some other context and numbers for our media partners on that. Any final thoughts?

Sergeant Ken Duilio (Gun Violence Reduction Team):
Nope. Just want to stress again, if you see something or hear something, call 911.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Thank you so much. We're at that time in the program. Are we're going to welcome the Chief? Hi, Chief.

Chief Jami Resch:
Hello.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Thanks for coming again, making time. Happy Friday. This is I think our third time doing this, and every time, we have a little bit different information, so what is the latest on PPB's staffing situation and where we're at now that we're about six weeks into the COVID situation?

Chief Jami Resch:
Well, still we have not seen any significant changes since our Incident Management Team has been in operation which is fantastic. We continue to monitor our sick leave which is holding steady, another great news for us. We are aware of some bureau members who have been tested for COVID. However, we are still not aware of any Bureau member who has tested positive. Even with that in mind, though, our Incident Management Team is still in place. They are still planning for any contingencies and still planning on how much PPE we have and trying to keep us on top of everything. It's very important that they monitor it daily and they're doing a fantastic job.

Chief Jami Resch:
I also do want to stress that we are still responding to all calls for service and including the ones where an officer has to be present on scene due to the nature of calls, officers are responding to those.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
What has changed since we last talked? What changes have been implemented in the past couple of weeks at PPB?

Chief Jami Resch:
Right. I think one of the biggest things is we did adapt to the change in the CDC guidelines and I directed all PPB members, no matter sworn, non-sworn or of rank to wear their protective equipment if they could not maintain the appropriate physical distancing, whether they're inside or outside. That includes our precincts, partner cars. You'll see officers wearing masks, elevators and anything like that, every member of PPB has been provided the appropriate protective equipment to wear. I know for a lot of folks including myself, it feels very awkward sometimes to cover your face when you're talking to people because it's not something that we normally do.

Chief Jami Resch:
It's difficult when you're trying to interact with people when you can't see sometimes, but we understand that a lot of the times our community members are doing this in an effort to protect each other. We greatly appreciate that and we appreciate their tolerance of us having to wear masks as well.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
It's just a new time.

Chief Jami Resch:
It is.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
The context has changed.

Chief Jami Resch:
Very much so.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Then, I know we touched on this, but I think it doesn't hurt to reiterate. I know some community members had expressed some concern about the perception of how that would look if they went into, say, a business with their face covered.

Chief Jami Resch:
Right.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
A lot of folks have been joking, but not, about going into a bank, say.

Chief Jami Resch:
Yeah, we have had a lot of questions about that. What I really want to stress for the community members is the officers are focusing on behaviors. We are all very aware that this is a different time and that the masks play an important role right now in keeping our community safe. The officers are taking everything into context when they're responding to calls.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Awesome. Let's shift gears and talk a little bit about crime and what we're seeing. I know we talked a little bit earlier before you came in with robbery and burglary and talked about gun violence and bike theft. We've been seeing some different trends, but what can you share about any new trends in our crime rates?

Chief Jami Resch:
I think at the beginning, I mentioned a couple times that we had seen a dip in a lot of calls for service types. What we're seeing now though is a lot of our calls for service are trending back up to what we would normally see during this time of year which is a bit concerning because sometimes that means that maybe folks are not staying at home as much as we would like them to. We are monitoring that. There are a couple of notable items that we're keeping track of. We have seen a significant decrease in our residential burglaries, I think, about 40% while we've seen an increase of approximately 80% in our commercial burglaries, but I like to keep that in perspective because percentages can be tricky sometimes.

Chief Jami Resch:
In perspective, it's about three additional calls per week related to commercial burglaries. I just want to make sure that folks are keeping that into perspective when we start talking about percentages.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
It's important information. We talked a little bit about that earlier, that shift that we've seen from residential burglaries to commercial burglaries and Detective Posey was able to provide some good tips for that as well.

Chief Jami Resch:
I know the detectives have interviewed and the street officers have made some arrests related to that. Hopefully, we'll see some declines.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We want to remind the public that we're still here and working and we're doing what we can to interdict that and so we are catching folks ...

Chief Jami Resch:
Absolutely.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
... and arresting them. What about some of the other trends?

Chief Jami Resch:
For our civil-type calls, I know that I mentioned, I think, in one of the previous media events that we had done that this is where the violation of the governor's order call types are being held basically. If somebody calls in and BOEC dispatches a call, it comes out as a civil if somebody is calling to say they believe somebody is violating the governor's order. That also includes certain things like if it's a neighborhood issue or not neighborhood but neighbor issue, like one neighbor saying something about another neighbor or a roommate issue, those can also be coded as civil.

Chief Jami Resch:
While we're seeing about 11 more calls per day, it may take a little bit of time for us to actually process how many of those are actually violations or possible violations of the governor's order because there has to be a bit of investigations when the officers get there, and then, it has to get processed through records. We could see a little bit of change in those numbers, but it looks like we are seeing a significant increase in the number of those types of calls.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Have we seen any citations issued related to the order?

Chief Jami Resch:
No, we have not issued any citations, as of that I know of which would have been earlier today.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
No new updates there?

Chief Jami Resch:
No.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
What about traffic? I know we talked last time a little bit about traffic.

Chief Jami Resch:
Thankfully, we are still seeing a decrease in the number of collisions. We're at about 50% of what we were this time last year. Unfortunately, we are still seeing a significant increase in the number of people driving excessive speeds. The proportion of citations issued specifically for speeding has doubled since March 12. I think about 30% of our citations were issued for speeding prior to that, about 60% are right now. What's even more troubling is the number of people who are still being cited for driving 31 miles an hour over the speed limit. While these two may be a few calls per day or a few citations per day, the impact that those types of calls can have when somebody is driving that fast can be significant.

Chief Jami Resch:
What I'd like folks to think about when they're out on the road and driving is that a lot of people who are out here driving right now are doing so because they have an essential job function. They need to get to and from work and we need to keep that in mind. We need every essential worker that we have right now. We do not need anybody involved in a collision because they're driving that speed. If it's something that you need to actually really, really think about, I would encourage you to just set your cruise control. We are all getting places faster than we have prior to this because there are less cars on the road, so enjoy the fact that you will get there a few minutes early and drive the speed limit.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Now is not the time to end up in the hospital or to get in a collision with a doctor who's headed to the hospital.

Chief Jami Resch:
Exactly. We need our essential workers, so everybody please slow down.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We touched a little bit on shootings with Sergeant Duilio. I know there we had seen a decrease and then uptick as well, but that I know is of concern. I don't know if you had anything to add on that part, but I know that we've had a lot of concern expressed about some of the shootings.

Chief Jami Resch:
Right. Sergeant Duilio did an excellent job of explaining. I think I really want to highlight to the public that the GVRT Team is still out there working. They are still out there doing their job. They're contacting folks. They're doing their investigations. They have made some arrests which hopefully will result in a decline in the shootings that we're seeing, but I'd also like to highlight Sergeant Duilio's request that if the public sees something or know something, even if they think that now it's not important or maybe somebody else has already mentioned it, to call. You just don't know whether or not that could be that just one little piece of information that leads to a significant arrest that could have significant impact.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
What's the latest on domestic violence? I know we've talked on that a couple different times. Are we still seeing an increase from before?

Chief Jami Resch:
We do believe we are still seeing a little bit of an increase about an average of one DV arrest per day. Our domestic violence arrests were up from January until now. We're not 100% sure if it's really specifically related to COVID, but we are still seeing an increase in the domestic violence arrests that were making per day.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
You said they were up from January, so that was before all of this up came up.

Chief Jami Resch:
Right, so that's why we can't 100% say that everything's attributed to that. We did see a little bit of uptick, but as of right now, we are still seeing about one additional DV arrest per day.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
We're still watching that, and again, just a reminder for anybody out there, we do have resources ...

Chief Jami Resch:
Absolutely.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
... with our advocates and a lot of the different crisis lines as well.

Chief Jami Resch:
Yes and that leads, I think, right into our suicide calls. I think at the beginning, we had mentioned that we had seen an increase for the first couple of weeks, but thankfully that number has continued to decline. I think we're at about half of what it was and it's maintained that. I'm hopeful that our messaging and our partners' messaging and just making sure that everybody is aware of the resources that are out there has helped people. We will continue to push that message out because there are a lot of resources available for people.

Chief Jami Resch:
Again, I would like to encourage people if you know people who aren't able to leave their house, to reach out to your friends and to your family, and just make sure that everybody gets that personal connection throughout the day.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
It's super important right now. At our last event a couple weeks ago, we had the director from Sunshine Division, Kyle Camberg came out and talked about the partnership with PPB. I was just wondering if you had an update about how that's been going. They kicked off a new home delivery program the following Monday. What can you share about that?

Chief Jami Resch:
Sunshine Division with the help of a lot of people including the Portland Police Bureau, I think we're able to deliver over 1,200 food boxes last week. I think Kyle mentioned that they were shooting for about 1,000, so they were able to exceed that which is an amazing number, which I think if we do the math correct is about 34,000 meals that they delivered last week.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Wow.

Chief Jami Resch:
The food pantries' requests are still up. I think Kyle said last week it was about up six times what it normally is this time of year. As far as I know, it's maintained that level. The Sunshine Division is doing an amazing job, just being able to reach out to folks. I just want to highlight one little story that I heard. I got an email today from an officer who normally works in our Narcotics and Organized Crime Division but today was out delivering food boxes for the Sunshine Division. Not all day, just part of the day, if folks are wondering.

Chief Jami Resch:
He was able to meet with a woman out in northeast Portland who was 94 years old and was able to take a few minutes and talk to her today out on her porch and was able to hear basically her life story, how she ended up here, all the things that she had been through and then at 94 years old to also be experiencing now this pandemic. Just after reading the email from the officer, one, that it impacted the officer enough to actually send an email related to this incident is showing how truly impactful these interactions can have.

Chief Jami Resch:
I think it's important too because we are limited in our ability right now to interact with the public and so I think it highlights just how important those even just small gestures are, not only for our community right now but for our officers.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
That's awesome. Well, I know, Kyle shared with me that they were able to get funding for about 10 weeks. I think they talked about two months. That's a little bit more, which is great. They're looking for other funding partners, and then, he's still updating their website. What can you share about community support related to PPB?

Chief Jami Resch:
It's been amazing. We've had so many people reach out, "How can we help? How can we help?" We've had businesses donate different types of PPE. We've had different types of face masks delivered. We've had hand sanitizer delivered. We've had a lot of people who want wanted to bring things that some things we can't accept at this point, but we are so thankful of the offer that people are wanting. Last week, we had the Chinese American Society and Home Depot donate different types of PPE to the Portland Police Bureau.

Chief Jami Resch:
I think it's so important for the officers to understand that the community wants them to be safe and they want them to be able to respond and to do their jobs. I think it helps the officers realize just how critical they are and how supportive they are by their community. Another quick story. Today, I got a text message from one of the commanders who received a letter from, I will just say Jack, and it was Jack explaining how sorry they were because they were unable to bring doughnuts to the police officers at this time, which I thought was so sweet, but they were going to bring doughnuts as soon as they could.

Chief Jami Resch:
Jack, if you're listening, the officers would appreciate doughnuts as soon as you can and they would love to meet you. We will try to highlight that as much as we can, but I think it's something that the officers need to hear.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
Well, I know, we got to participate in a parade yesterday thanking our frontline medical workers and just I know from watching their responses and reactions because I was out there for many of the hospitals, just having others say, "Thank you," and all the ways, it matters and we're seeing that here as well, whether it's letters or cards and so it's awesome.

Chief Jami Resch:
In fact, my sister works at one of the hospitals that we visited yesterday and it went through her division and everything like wildfire. Everybody was so thankful. It was a bit of a break, I think, for people just to take a moment, realize that we're all in this together and that we are going to be successful and that we're supporting each other.

Lieutenant Tina Jones:
It's pretty amazing. I feel like in many ways, our distancing and everything else is just bringing us closer together. So awesome. Well, I think that wraps up our time. Thank you very much.

Chief Jami Resch:
You're welcome.

Announcer:
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