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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 10, 2010 12:44 PM. The previous post in this blog was Farewell to Chase. The next post in this blog is Headlining in Munich. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, April 10, 2010

On duty or off, Portland cops provide entertainment

Today we learn that one of the Chasse killers -- the one who pulled his gun in a road rage incident -- is being sued for his latest tantrum.

And guess which other Portland cop has road rage problems? Yep, the Doberman himself! (And thanks, O editors, for burying bad cop news on Friday night once again. It keeps the comedy fresh.)

Meanwhile out in Gresham, another interesting story unfolds:

Evidently, Portland city cops are cruising the streets of Gresham while off duty, and in their own personal cars, issuing traffic tickets to Gresham citizens. This happened recently to a friend of mine. For the record, she is a 60-year-old grandma with zero tickets to her name.

Her first notification of this ticket came with a knock on her door at 8 p.m. March 24. A Gresham uniformed officer was there to tell her to call Officer Tom Rhodes, a Portland police officer, about a traffic offense that happen that day. She was confused but called. Officer Rhodes originally told her he witnessed her run a red light at Stark and 110th. She told him that was impossible because she never left Gresham all day.

He then said, "I mean 210th and Stark Street." That location is well within Gresham city boundaries.

He directed her to come to the East Portland Police Precinct the next day to appear before him directly.

She complied, and he issued her a ticket at that time. But not before he had to personally make a trip out to the parking lot so he could find out her car’s license plate number. Her fine is going to be $287.

The policeman in question responds:

People may wonder why a Portland police officer would cite a Gresham citizen stemming from an off-duty incident. That is a reasonable question.

My perspective, and the perspective of most officers, is that our concern for public safety doesn’t stop at the end of the shift. Nor does it end at a particular city limit. It is extremely rare that I have taken an action like this in my 23-year career, but I felt this was a situation where this driver needed attention and would benefit from the driver safety class.

I genuinely hope my efforts to contact and cite this driver will be accepted in the constructive way it was intended.

At least he didn't kill her.

Comments (19)

Hopefully he cited her in to circuit court, and not the local Muni court or the fine might have been even bigger.

I recently found out that bail amounts for traffic offenses are set by the state, but municipalities can up that amount by as much as double. Presumably to pay for the cost of the muni court. For instance, you could be stopped by a Trooper on the Hwy for no seatbelt and cited into circuit court with a $99 bail or fine. But get stopped by the locals in a town with a muni court and watch that fine double or triple.

Sounds like this cop did the right thing rather than to try and stop her while off duty. That seems to be a recipe for trouble. It might be the wakeup she needed.

These officers are going to start claiming overtime for this sort of thing, if only to enhance their stress-related disability entitlement.

"It might be the wakeup she needed."

Yeah, especially since she (claimed or actually) did not remember running the red light (which the off-duty guy claimed was done at regular speed three car lengths after the light changed).

As somebody who has an elderly family member who is still driving, I can relate a bit too much to this scenario.

But the above notwithstanding, I think that Officers (on-duty or off) should stay in their own jurisdictions.

It isn't just Mr. Nice Guy who's getting sued- CoP is named too for encouraging police to think they are above the law. That makes the Westerman story so funny it hurts.

Allan L. -

Overtime for writing the ticket is minor beans. They (PPB officers) can get a minimum of 4 hours overtime to make a court appearance in traffic court if the ticket is contested.

Something doesn't track here ... the cop observed her going through the light, and was able to track down her home address.

Then when she comes into precinct HQ, he needs to go out into the parking lot and check her license plate???

That definitely does not compute.

Roger, at first I thought the same. Just guessing, but a few possibilities come to mind.

1)He stepped out to verify the plate in case he needed to testify it was the correct car in court.

2)He called in the plate from Gresham to find the owner, but did not have it with him at the station when he wrote the ticket.

If the PoPo want overtime, all they have to do is continue their pattern of falsifying time cards as they have done in the past. Shrunk isn't going to prosecute them for the several violations of the law involved in that and they know it.

Try reporting your time accurately in the new "Highly Praised" SAP payroll system.

Why make her drive into Portland though? Just for him to confirm it was the right car? He got enough info to track down her address. How about just mail her the ticket?

Whole thing stinks. Silly things like this help promote the us vs them mentality between cops and the "civvies".

" least he didn't kill her"

How about "at least she didn't kill anybody running a red light."

A cop writes a ticket to someone for running a light, how is this news?

Keep ranting, pops. Keep showing the public how completely off the deep end the PoPo and its defenders are.

If this driver was such a hazard, why didn't he make an effort to call it into GPD right after it happened and an officer could have come and pulled over the car right than, instead of having to have her come to his station later.

Doesn't anyone in charge at the PPB have a clue about how negative the department looks right now and maybe tell the rank and file to cool it, especially off duty!?

Gee Mick, the highly publicized time PoPo reporting rip-offs came well before the new payroll system. And for the CoP and new computer system implementations..... that's always a FAIL

The cop could have yelled at her, gave her the finger, etc. but he went thru the proper channels and issued her a cite, which is lawful for him to do.

I'm sure cops see people violate the traffic laws off duty all the time just like you and I, this woman's driving must have stood out. Did you know there is such a thing as a citizen citation?

60 isnt that old but if you run a red light and don't know it maybe you are a danger to others.

How about the connection to the Westerman road-rage incidents? If cops are always on-duty, authorized to write tickets anytime anywhere they see motorist infractions, then that makes Westerman's road-rage actions equivalent to acts within the scope of his professional duties, despite his lame protestations that he was not acting on behalf of the department or (more importantly to him) the union.

I did enjoy in the cop's editorial how is he was being magnanimous by giving granny the option to go to safety school and the $30 fee instead of a full traffic fine.

Here's a quote from Amanda Fritz about Westerman, from four years ago.

"Scott Westerman served as one of the neighborhood liaison officers to SW Portland for several years. He is the epitome of everything good about Portland's police. I trust Scott to do the right thing in difficult situations. He is thoughtful, caring, and connected to the community." -Amanda Fritz.

Welcome to the hotel California..where you can check out, but you can't ever leave...


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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
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Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
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The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
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Road Work

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In 2013: 257
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In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
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In 2006: 100
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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