Nine neighborhoods were represented by 12 people. A total of 16 people attended this meeting including Commander Kristina Jones, Sgt. Kenneth Huntinghouse and from the K-9 Patrol Unit, Officer Rob Wullbrandt and Sgt. Welbon. Oh and Mac, Willbrandt’s 65 lb. four-legged partner.
Please remember these are notes that Akemi and Judith take during the meeting and are not “minutes”. While we do our best, we know we are not 100% accurate. Please make corrections by sending us an email with the accurate information and we’ll include it in an upcoming email.
After introductions and the reading of our Ground Rules, Officer Willbrandt, who has worked in the K-9 Unit for 12 years, talked about the work the K-9 Patrol Unit does. The K-9 Patrol Unit was established in 1983. Ofc. Wullbrandt has worked with three dogs during his career. K9 Mac is a seven-and-a-half-year-old Dutch Shepherd and has been on the job for five years. He is getting ready to retire soon. It takes 6 – 10 weeks to train new dogs in basic obedience and tracking. They have an intense training schedule both to be a part of this unit as well as to remain. Once a year they go through a “recertification” program. Units from around the state come together. Obedience, Call Off, Agility are the areas they train in. Every Wednesday they also do a “Maintenance Training.”
Ofc. Wullbrandt and Mac are a patrol canine unit specializing in tracking and apprehension. The unit consists of eight officers and two sergeants along with their K9 counterparts. The dogs are trained to follow the scent of live humans. Ofc. Wullbrandt and Mac were dispatched over 1 thousand times this past year. Mac has had 135 captures. Not only do the dogs track the person, they also find evidence if the suspects tosses something away because they track the human odor left on the object. The team’s goal is to track a suspect, receive a vocal alert from the dog, and achieve a surrender by the suspect without any injuries. If bomb- or drug-sniffing dogs are needed, the network between PPB’s K-9 Patrol Unit and other K-9 units around the state is supportive and help is at hand.
If you want to follow Ofc. Wullbrandt, Mac, the other PPB K-9 teams, and see what the unit is doing, you can find them on Facebook here.
Sgt. Huntinghouse updated us on the Neighborhood Response Teams (NRT) work. They support the Homeless and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (IRP). Currently the mandate is to clean up the big camps. The one at 33rd and Marine Drive had over 200 vehicles.
There is a process they must follow before actual removal. First is posting a notice. They give people information about resources at that time. There is a scale they use when determining what camps to clean. Currently, they are focusing on camps connected to gun violence. Sgt. Huntinghouse shared that camp gun violence is up from 18% in 2019. He reported that there is less gun violence in the smaller camps (less than a dozen people?). Currently Peninsula Crossing Trail, NE 33rd and Marine Drive, and Four Corners (72nd and Marine Drive) are in the process of being cleaned.
When dealing with these larger camps, PPB’s NRTeam is there in support of IRP.
It is important to once a week continue to report smaller camps. The goal is to be able to address these smaller camps once the big ones are cleared. You can report through One Point Of Contact.
Special Investigation Unit (SIU) - helped Washington County with a drug bust. The recovered guns and a new type of fentanyl that looks like brightly colored chalk.
At this point in the meeting, people present asked questions about specific issues.
Commander Jones was asked if the large catalytic converter ring that was in Washington County would affect the catalytic converter thefts in Portland. She said they are looking at statistics now. The ring, located in Lake Oswego, was multi-state. She mentioned New York and Texas as examples of where stolen parts were shipped.
Commander Jones said you can check the PPB Open Data Portal to see Portland Police Bureau data and statistics.
Here is a link to a copy of the Zoom chat (minus direct messages).
Please note: our next meeting is September 15th on Zoom. We hope to have someone from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office as well as the Impact Reduction Program.
With the meeting a bit earlier in the month, albeit still the 3rd Thursday, please make a note to have any questions for our speakers to us by Monday, September 12th, so they can come prepared to speak on your issue.