PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland City Council voted Wednesday to end the Clean & Safe funding for police in the business district.
The decision came with a 3-2 vote against a new contract, with Commissioner Mingus Mapps and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in opposition.
“I don’t see how the amendment in front of us today helps with any of that. In fact, it seems like this is a retreat from the City from providing basic public safety resources to a community that we have heard over and over again is in a public safety crisis.” Mapps said.
The vote against a new contract, with the current one ending on June 30, 2022, comes after both sides shared concerns about the partnership with a city auditor in August 2020, saying there is little oversight of the property management license fee-funded public services. A report released in March 2022 was a progress report showing the City was in the process of establishing oversight.
Clean & Safe has also previously said they don’t want to be funding basic services.
During the meeting Wednesday, commissioners heavily focused on the fact certain areas of Portland would have more police presence.
“I think every part of the city should be entitled to a certain level of policing and that is not our experience today.” Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said during the meeting.
Hardesty voted against the proposal because she feels the phase-out period is too long.
Property owners currently pay for services such as graffiti removal, expanded trash pick up and extra security patrols.
Businesses will continue to pay those fees for two years while PPB collects data on how to best police the area based on calls for service. In the third year, funding will stop while the four bike officers will remain to police the area in an attempt to not rip services away immediately.
Portland police have partnered with Clean & Safe for more than two decades as the organization pays to have officers patrol the business district.
“It’s not dissolving the Bike Patrol Unit. It’s simply removing Clean and Safe financing for the Bike Patrol Unit rather moving it back to the city’s purview, so if the data shows the Bike Unit needs to remain in the Downtown District to maintain the current level of safety, it’s up to PPB to decide that.” said Shawn Campbell, the Enhanced Services Districts coordinator for the city.
A review of Enhanced Service Districts by the City Auditor found concerns over a lack of oversight by the city and equitable policing across the city.