Message from the Chief
This is our first Biennial report for the Tigard Police Department that illustrates our accomplishments and challenges during 2018 and 2019.
In 2018, the Police Department adopted a 3-year strategic plan to create a vision and blueprint for our organization while staying true to our core values. The plan was developed by analyzing five years of crime trends, response times, staffing levels, overtime spending, case clearance, community outreach efforts among other performance outputs. Employee surveys and industry best practices were factored into the final draft. The strategic plan, that includes the following strategic priorities, will guide our decision-making and activities over the next three years:
- Focus on effective use of data and technology
- Strengthen community and City relations and partnerships
- Enhance the professionalism of the department
- Strengthen our leadership system
- Build a high engagement culture
- Build a responsive organization structure that assures efficient and effective deployment of resources
I am proud of the tremendous progress we have made in implementing the key objectives of our strategic plan. A major highlight has been obtaining accreditation from the Oregon Accreditation Alliance after meeting all 103 standards and complying with industry best practices.
In 2019, after a yearlong process working with Oregon Department of Transportation and our contractor, the City installed photo traffic enforcement equipment at three intersections along SW Pacific Highway (99W): 72nd Avenue, Hall Boulevard, and Durham Road. The focus is to increase traffic and pedestrian safety along a well-traveled corridor by reducing the number of traffic violations.
In May 2018, a local option levy to maintain and expand city services was rejected by voters. Afterward, the department was instructed to reduce sworn staffing levels by four positions and temporarily hold another six police officer positions vacant to meet budget mandates during fiscal year 2018-19. The department has resumed hiring to fill those six vacancies.
Since then, we have realized efficiencies, but also seen some erosion in our services as staffing levels have not kept pace with increases in population and calls for service. Officers have been in reactive mode of running from call to call, taking reports, fighting for time to follow up on our investigations and spending less time in our neighborhoods.
Fortunately, voters approved the police services levy on the May 2020 ballot, which will fund eight additional patrol officers, one school resource officer, support staff, as well as crisis intervention and de-escalation training for officers. We are grateful for this funding that will allow us to spend more time in your neighborhoods, conduct timely follow up, focus more attention on school safety and handle one more emergency at a time. With more resources, we will be able to provide the level of service our community deserves.