Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 29th, 2011 at 9:35 am
The Portland Police Bureau is once again turning to the community to help them save money and work the crowds at the upcoming Grand Floral Parade. Lieutenant John Brooks says he hopes for a repeat of last year's parade when 40 bike-riding Portlanders teamed up with police officers to staff the event.
Lt. Brooks tells us that not only did last year's event turn out to be, "A very positive experience for both the Police Bureau and the citizens who participated," — it also saved the bureau $69,000.
Lt. Brooks came up with the idea to use bike-mounted volunteers as a way to cut the number of paid officers. In 2009, 271 officers worked the parade. Last year that number dwindled to 90. The two-wheeled citizen volunteers help fill that gap.
Portland resident Todd Roll was one of the volunteers last year. "It was a fantastic opportunity," he recalls, "It was as fun as Sunday Parkways and I hope to see more bike volunteers this year."
Lt. Brooks says the bike-mounted crowd control units will work in groups of four — one police officer and three volunteers. Each cadre will monitor a six block section of the route, helping people understand where they can sit (and where they can't), answering questions, and making sure the hordes of candy-grabbing kids don't get too out of hand. Volunteers get a special t-shirt, food, and a gift card.
The parade is June 11th and volunteers are needed from 8am to 2pm. If you're interested, please contact Lt. John Brooks at (503) 823-4829 or john[dot]brooks[at]portlandoregon[dot]gov.