PORTLAND -- A local pub owner is complaining about an issue no one really likes to talk about: the amount of human waste one finds on downtown streets and sidewalks.
The owners of a well-known Portland pub contacted KGW because they wanted something done about homeless people defecating near their business.
"We constantly have to clean up human feces in neighboring parking lots, on sidewalks, in doorways, etc," said Lucille McAleese.
"It's gotten worse actually," said her husband, Gerard McAleese.
The McAleeses own Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub in downtown Portland.
"It's just getting bad with the urban campus around here, it's just piling up," said Gerard McAleese.
He and his employees have been finding human waste in front of and behind their restaurant for some time.
"We try to make our community habitable and welcoming and we don't think a steaming pile of excrement is very inviting. Nor was the gent I saw urinating in the parking lot last week," said Lucille "This is not good for business or our city. It seems a never-ending task and certainly does not do a lot to elevate our city or encourage visitors."
Wednesday after finding even more in a doorway next door to the pub, Lucille emailed KGW a picture.
"We've got to change a little bit of the rules downtown to help the police officers to say '[you] can't go to the bathroom here,' " said Gerard.
Earlier this month, we told you about a combined effort by several agencies to develop a new approach to homelessness in the city.
But when will it start?
We went straight to Portland Police for the answer. They said they hope to start up new downtown patrols next month.
"I'm hoping to begin in March with some new officers," said Commander Bob Day with the Portland Police Bureau. "Getting maybe six or eight [officers] would be kind of ideal and we'll have our traditional patrol as well,"
Commander Day said he wants to do some 'old style policing' involving specialty courts to deal with offenders, police on foot and supportive housing options.
"There's a tremendous amount of people out there that are doing great work. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of folks who are coming here who are taking advantage of that compassion and they're taking advantage of that grace that's being extended to so many," he said.
Defecating or urinating in public is a Class C misdemeanor called "Offensive Littering" which carries a fine.