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Tigard Police Department

Chief's Corner

 Chief McAlpine Celebrates Three Years on the Job

“I am grateful for the opportunities and consider it a privilege to serve the city in a leadership capacity,” says Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine on her three-year anniversary. “Every day I’m exposed to some pretty awesome people inside the department, city and out in the community.”Chief McAlpine photo

Kathy McAlpine is known for being a highly-engaged police chief. She regularly attends officer roll calls, stays informed about trends in calls for service, and timely communicates with staff. Despite her rank, she maintains an open door policy, encouraging feedback from all employees.

Chief McAlpine also enjoys a strong connection with the Tigard community. “We are supported by our community and they trust us. They stop by our department to express their appreciation for our first responders and see what resources they can provide us. That goes a long way for me wanting to come in uniform every day to serve this community.”

In kind, Chief McAlpine attends many community meetings and events ranging from National Night Out, Rotary Club meetings to a Tigard bunco night where she was a featured speaker. She started Chat-with-a-Chief events out in the community, and recently has sponsored virtual events, allowing community members to engage in an open dialogue and learn more about their police department.

When it comes to operations, she reveals, “My time here can be described as this steady pressure on the gas pedal. I needed to hit the ground running from the start. Even after three years, there is always something to be done. Cops are great at handling fires, but you can’t constantly be reactive. My job has been to strategically move us forward despite all of the distractions that naturally arise in this line of work.”

Within the first nine months of her tenure, Chief McAlpine set the course for the department with the development of a 3-year strategic plan. The plan factored in employee and community surveys, industry best practices, five years of crime trends, response times, staffing levels, overtime spending, case clearance, and community outreach efforts.

“I pride myself on understanding the value of the strategic plan. It’s not something you do to check off a box and leave on a shelf. It is a living, breathing document with a blueprint for success. It demonstrates to our future leaders how to strategically think and make conscientious decisions.”

The department has already accomplished many of the plan’s goals. One highlight is achieving accreditation from the Oregon Accreditation Alliance after meeting all 103 standards and complying with industry best practices.

Despite the best-laid plans, including a continuity of operations plan for emergencies, “we have to be nimble during these uncertain times,” says McAlpine. “We are learning every day about coronavirus.” That includes discovering more about what kind of supplies and personal protective equipment are needed, decontamination practices, and policies needed to ensure officer and community safety. “We want to protect our community while also trying to protect ourselves, so we stay healthy, our families stay healthy, and we can come into work again tomorrow.”

Chief McAlpine considers staffing to be her biggest challenge during her three years on the job. When the 2018 levy failed, the department had to cut four vacant sworn positions and strategically reassign personnel. As a result, a lieutenant, two school resource officers, and narcotics detective positions were eliminated.  The department also and temporarily held six positions vacant during the budget year. “We are a full service organization,” says Chief McAlpine. “We need adequate staffing not just in patrol, but also to ensure there are enough school resource officers, traffic officers, and detectives to provide the community the level of service they deserve and expect.” 

On many patrol shifts, officers are at minimum staffing levels of 3-4 officers. As demand has increased due to population growth over the years, officers are often running from call to call.

At times, the pace they must maintain can affect the quality of service and, in some cases, put officers at risk. “Do I wait for back up or do I go in? That’s never a good thing. If an officer is responding to a suicide attempt when back up is two minutes away, I may decide to go in to stop him because it could be the difference between life and death. That’s not an ideal situation because this person could try to do a suicide by cop. You don’t want to live by that. It’s important to have enough officers on the street.”

Chief McAlpine and supervisors are trying to manage resources as best as they can and help prevent officer burnout. The City Council has also referred a police services levy to the May 2020 ballot to fund additional officers.

Over her 34-year career, Chief McAlpine has experienced many successes, lessons learned, and challenges along the way. “I have realized that the only thing that is constant is change,” she says. “You have to be adaptive, whether laws, technology, equipment or, expectations from the community are changing.” That philosophy has served her well during her three years at the helm of the Tigard Police Department.

COVID-19: Tigard Police Modify Services

Our thoughts are with our community right now, knowing that this is a challenging time for residents and businesses.

The health and safety of our officers, staff, and community members are our top priorities. In conjunction with the most recent COVID-19 developments and our Continuity of Operations Plan, we have made following modifications to our services to balance the importance of staying healthy while keeping our community safe:
  • Focus on our core functions. Officers will primarily respond in person to threats to life and property, crimes in progress.
  • Reinforce patrol unit staffing where necessary. “We will have to be nimble in how resources are deployed,” says Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine. A plan is in place to reassign sworn officers to patrol from other units if staffing levels are impacted by the virus. School Resource and Traffic Safety Officers have already been reassigned to patrol as a proactive measure.
  • Conduct business by phone whenever possible. Many cold crimes and questions can be handled over the phone.
  • Adhere to social distancing practices. Officers will maintain recommended distances of 6 feet and interact outside of a home and business, where possible. Officers and police staff are also maintaining a social distance with each other to be safe, resulting in cancellations of inservice trainings and shift briefings. 
  • Ask about exposure. Before they visit, officers will ask about whether the people they are contacting have been exposed to the virus to determine if additional precautionary measures are needed.
  • Close police lobby. Until further notice, the police lobby is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The prescription drug collection unit is not available at this time. 
  • Cancel community events until further notice.

Accessing police services:

  • If there is an immediate threat to life, property, or a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.
  • If you need to speak to an officer and it is not an immediate threat to life or property, contact the police non-emergency number at 503-629-0111.
  • For deliveries, police records requests, tow releases, liquor licenses, alarm permits, and other general inquiries, call 503-639-6168 and choose option 5. 

Chief McAlpine and the Tigard Police Department realize that these necessary changes are not ideal. Says Chief McAlpine, “Thank you for your support and assistance during this temporary modification. We appreciate working through this together.”

For more info on how COVID-19 is impacting police work, visit here.

Chief's Message on the Department of Homeland Security issuing immigration enforcement subpoenas to produce records to law enforcement agencies across the country (2/24/20)

Posted: February 24, 2020
To: Valued Tigard Community and Stakeholders
Re: Chief’s Message on the Department of Homeland Security issuing immigration enforcement subpoenas to produce records to law enforcement agencies across the country.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett two immigration enforcement subpoenas to produce records related to two different individuals in current custody of the Washington County Jail. In January 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began issuing subpoenas requesting information from jurisdictions with so-called sanctuary laws.  Subpoenas have been served in New York, Colorado and now in Oregon.

As the Chief of Police, I have yet to be served one of these subpoenas, but should that happen, this is what the Tigard community can expect:

The subpoenas are generally signed by an authorized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official and, if properly served, are authorized by Federal law, 8 United States Code section 1225(d) and by the Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 287.4.  This administrative power has existed as part of the Federal law for decades and has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. See US v. Minker, 76 S Ct 281 (1955).

Oregon law prohibits local police from sharing certain information for purpose of enforcement of Federal immigration laws, EXCEPT as provided by State or Federal law (see ORS 180.805). 

As your Chief of Police, I have sworn to uphold State and Federal law. The information commanded by the subpoenas is required by Federal law and may be provided as specifically allowed by ORS 180.805 (1) as one of the exceptions.  Failure to comply with these subpoenas may be punished by an order of contempt by a Federal Judge. Therefore, should the Tigard Police Department be served with such a subpoena, the requested information will be shared. 

Kathy McAlpine
Chief of Police

Chief's Message on Federal Gov't Increasing Immigration Enforcement (6/19/19)

From the Office of Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine
(June 19, 2019)

A recent announcement by the federal government advising of increased immigration enforcement to begin across the country next week may generate fear and confusion in our community.

As Tigard’s Chief of Police, I want to assure members of our community that our mission is to provide public safety services to all persons in our community, regardless of status.

The Tigard Police Department is bound by Oregon law, not federal law, on immigration matters. Specifically, ORS 181A.820 prohibits our involvement in any administrative or civil immigration matter. The statute does give some limited latitude for local police to exchange information about immigration matters with federal authorities when a crime is involved, or arrest a subject wanted on a federal arrest warrant for an immigration crime signed by a federal judge.

Immigration enforcement is the work of the federal government, not local law enforcement. All members of the Tigard Police Department will follow State law. Except as authorized by Oregon law, a person's immigration status is not our concern. The Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are federal law enforcement agencies. If they call and ask for information, we will cooperate with them as we cooperate with other law enforcement agencies, within the statute that governs us.

In the event of an emergency, call 911. For non-emergency matters, call 503-629-0111.

Mensaje sobre las rdenes judiciales del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional para hacer que departamentos policiales por todo el pas den reportes (24 de febrero, 2020)

24 de febrero, 2020

Para:  Nuestra Comunidad en Tigard y Personas Interesadas
Re:  Mensaje sobre las órdenes judiciales del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security) para hacer que departamentos policiales por todo el país den reportes.

El martes, 18 de febrero, 2020, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security)(DHS) le emitió una orden judicial al Aguacil del Condado de Washington Pat Garret pidiendo que produjera reportes acerca de dos individuales actualmente en custodia de la cárcel del condado. En enero 2020, la Oficina de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE por sus siglas en inglés) comenzó a emitir órdenes judiciales pidiéndole información a los municipios santuarios. Estos citatorios han sido emitidos en New York, Colorado y Oregón.

Como Jefa de Policía, no se me ha emitido una orden judicial. Si llegara a recibir una, esto es lo que pueden esperar:

Generalmente, las órdenes judiciales están firmadas por un oficial de ICE, y si son emitidas como dicta la ley federal, son autorizadas por la Ley Federal, 8 Codigo de los Estados Unidos sección 1225(d) y por el Codigo Federal de Regulaciones, 8 CFR 287.4. Este poder administrativo ha existido como ley federal por varias décadas y mantenido por la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos (caso U.S. v. Minker, 76 S Ct 281 (1955)).

La ley de Oregon prohíbe que los departamentos policiales locales compartan alguna información con el fin de hacer cumplir leyes federales sobre inmigración, EXCEPTO bajo la ley Estatal o Federal (ORS 180.805).

Como su Jefa de Policía, yo he tomado un juramento para aplicar ley Estatal y Federal. La información que solicitan las órdenes judiciales es requerida bajo ley federal y puede ser dada según lo permite la ley estatal ORS 180.805 (1). Incumplimiento de la ley puede ser castigado con un desacato judicial (desobedecimiento de la ley) emitido por un juez federal. Por lo tanto, si recibimos una orden judicial, la información se compartirá. 

Kathy McAlpine
Jefa de Policía

Mensaje del Jefe: Asesoramiento del gobierno federal sobre el aumento del cumplimiento de la ley de inmigracin (19 de junio de 2019)

De la Oficina del Jefe de Policía de Tigard, Kathy McAlpine – 19 de junio de 2019

El anuncio reciente por parte del gobierno federal informando que se aumentará el cumplimiento de las leyes de inmigración en todo el país la próxima semana puede generar temor y confusión en nuestra comunidad.

Como Jefe de Policía de Tigard, yo quiere asegurar nuestros miembros de la comunidad que nuestra misión es brindar servicios de seguridad pública a todas las personas de nuestra comunidad, independientemente de su estatuto.

El Departamento de Policía de Tigard está obligado a seguir las leyes de Oregón, no leyes federales en asuntos de inmigración. Específicamente, ORS 181A.820 prohíbe nuestra participación en cualquier asunto administrativo o de inmigración civil. El estatuto otorga cierta libertad limitada a la policía local para intercambiar información sobre asuntos de inmigración con las autoridades federales cuando se comete un delito, o arrestan un sujeto buscado por una orden de arresto federal por un crimen de inmigración firmada por un juez federal.

Control migratorio es el trabajo del gobierno federal, no de la policía local. Todos los miembros del Departamento de Policía de Tigard seguirán la ley de Oregón. Excepto según lo autorizado por la ley de Oregón, el estado de inmigración de una persona no es nuestra preocupación. Las agencias federales encargadas del control migratorio son el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional y el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas. Si llaman y piden información, cooperaremos con ellos como cooperamos con otras agencias para el cumplimiento de la ley, dentro del estatuto que nos rige.

En caso de una emergencia, llame al 911. Para asuntos que no sean de emergencia, llame al 503-629-0111.
Contact
Kathy McAlpine
Chief of Police
503-718-2565
Kathy.McAlpine@tigard-or.gov
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