Commissioner Lori Stegmann to co-host East Multnomah County public safety forum on May 4

April 28, 2017

Public safety partners will share priorities and recent trends at a meeting in East County this month. Community members are invited to the first of two public forums focusing on public safety in East Multnomah County on Thursday, May 4.

Commissioner Lori Stegmann represents Multnomah County District 4.
The forum will bring together members from RENEW (Rosewood/Rockwood Enrichment and Neighborhood Enforcement Workgroup), the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police and other community partner organizations. The event is 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 at Gresham City Hall, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway in Gresham.

Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann, who is co-hosting the event, said public safety has always been a high priority for her.

“From my service on the Gresham City Council as the Public Safety Liaison for six years to chairing the Public Safety Levy campaign, I know these are crucial needs for our communities,” Commissioner Stegmann said. “We cannot police our way out of the health and social issues that face our community. We need to partner with law enforcement and take a holistic approach."

The event will include small group conversations and brief presentations from public safety partners. A panel and Q&A session will follow with all attendees.  

Recent Public Safety Efforts

Multnomah County’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Council has worked to coordinate public safety policy for many years. Partners collaborate and identify strategies to address gang involvement, community livability, the over-representation of communities of color in the criminal justice system and reducing reliance on jail, particularly for the mentally ill.

From left: Ricky Ruiz, of the City of Gresham, and Lt. Miller, of Gresham Police Department, at an East County Caring Community Open House in December 2016.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office began a focused effort in spring 2016 to address community concerns and reduce tension by engaging the homeless in Multnomah County through the Homeless Outreach and Programs Engagement (HOPE) team. This team concentrates on interacting with those in need of services and connecting them to the resources that best suit their individual situation, to get them off the street and into housing. The Sheriff’s Office is also working to address concerns specific to those suffering from mental illness who are in custody in the jail. These efforts include more access to provider resources, increased staff training specific to mental health, and treatment options that would allow police officers to divert those in mental health crisis, and being charged with low-level crimes, to be send to a treatment option over a jail bed.

The City of Gresham recently added a Director of Police Services and 21st Century Policing, who will focus on data driven practices, problem oriented policing, measures to promote officer wellness and safety programs designed to promote positive interactions between police and the community. This role will also expand organizational collaboration, community outreach and listening opportunities focused on police services, crime prevention, intervention and livability.

Community members attend an East County Caring Community meeting at the Rosewood Initiative.
The public safety forum meetings will be held during the monthly gathering of the East County Caring Community, a collaborative effort that engages individuals and organizations committed to serving the needs of residents in East County. Members include community groups, faith-based organizations, educational stakeholders, economic and workforce development, healthcare partners, local law enforcement, human and social service providers, regional government, transportation and legislative partners, organizations working to increase access to parks and green spaces and many others.

“Having a space for East County partners to come together, share information and get connected is so important,” Commissioner Stegmann said. “The networking and connections that happen here are amazing and we’re so happy to be a part of that.”

Topics addressed by the East County Caring Community come from participants and change every month. The group has heard about youth employment, economic development, housing and homelessness, transportation and other intersecting issues.

The second of the public safety forums will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 1 at Gresham City Hall.

To get connected or sign up for updates, visit the East County Caring Community online. East County Community Caring meetings are held the first Thursday of each month from 3 to 5 pm. at Gresham City Hall.