Sheriffs Won’t Send Deputies to Portland

September 1, 2020 Updated: September 1, 2020

Two county sheriffs said they will not be sending their police officers to Portland after Oregon Governor Kate Brown requested support from the two counties and a city police department to help quell riots in the troubled city.

Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett and Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said in separate statements on Monday that they would not send police officers to Portland because the liability for their officers would be too great.

A spokesperson for the Gresham Police Department told The Epoch Times via email: “Governor Brown released her plan without consultation with the listed agencies. At this time, Gresham Police Department will not be assisting our colleagues at Portland Police Bureau.”

The Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and Oregon State Sheriff’s Association said later on Monday in a joint statement that they could not send officers into Portland, saying they “cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve.”

Brown, a Democrat, in a plan announced on Sunday requested that the sheriff’s offices of the two counties, as well as the City of Gresham Police Department, “support the Portland Police Bureau with personnel and resources to keep the peace and protect free speech.”

In response, Garrett called the bureau a partner and said he sympathizes with what officers are enduring.

However, the lack of political support for public safety, the uncertain legal landscape, the current volatility combined with intense scrutiny on use of force presents an unacceptable risk if deputies were deployed directly,” Garrett said.

Roberts said that increasing law enforcement in the city would not work because Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt recently changed policy to presumptively dismiss charges against many demonstrators.

“Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and now, murder,” Roberts said in a statement. “The only way to make Portland safe again, is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destruction and violence.”

portland victim
A man is treated after being shot in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 29, 2020. (Paula Bronstein/AP Photo)

“That will require the DA to charge offenders appropriately and a decision by the Multnomah County Presiding Judge not to allow offenders released on their own recognizance, and instead require bail with conditions,” he added.

Charles Boyle, the governor’s chief-of-staff, told the Associated Press, “It is up to each county to determine the personnel and resources they have available to volunteer for this effort.”

Boyle said that the governor appreciated Clackamas County’s willingness to backfill calls normally taken by state police while troopers are in Portland.

Brown has repeatedly rejected offers from President Donald Trump for federal help in quelling the riots.

She released her new plan on Sunday, after a Patriot Prayer supporter was shot dead.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

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