Mayor, police chief lobby for bigger budget

Police chief warns about low staffing levels

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea joined Mayor Charlie Hales this week in a lobbying effort to pass a proposed city budget that adds officers.

A key part of Hales' budget proposal is an increase in the business income, which has received a chilly reception from the four city commissioners.

O'Dea's letter was addressed to Dan Saltzman, Amanda Fritz, Nick Fish and Steve Novick.

"Our authorized sworn staffing level, after years of cuts, is down to 2002 levels – some 100+ sworn positions less than in years past." O'Dea wrote.

His impassioned plea includes potential cuts in specialty units like gangs and youth services.

A large number of retirements will require hires not just of more officers, but the human resources staff to recruit and process them, he wrote.

His letter went out Tuesday. On Wednesday, Hales sent out a link to a website urging citizens to come to the council's budget workshop Thursday evening. His appeal included O'Dea's letter.

O'Dea Letter to Portland City Council


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