View Full Version : Cops on Springwater

06-04-2007, 01:10 PM
So did anyone else notice the motorcycle cops riding up and down the Springwater corridor over the weekend? My girlfriend and I got on the Umatilla end of the path heading downtown on Friday. A motorcycle cop got on the trail behind us and followed us all the way to the cement company.

Later in the day I saw a cop on the Eastside Esplanade slowly cruising along. I can understand the possible need to patrol the Westside portion of the Esplanade during the craptastic festival, but is there really any need to go all the way down to Sellwood, other than to make cyclists feel like they're being watched?

Seriously, has there just been a rash of crime on the Springwater that I have missed somehow? Even though I ride it every single day?

06-04-2007, 03:36 PM
last weekend, BUT I have encountered groups of them out past Powell Butte on the Springwater Trail. I actually stopped and talked to a mixed group (City/County/Parks) on 4 Wheelers back in March. When I asked why they weren't on bikes the reply I got was " we cover the entire length of the trail and there is too much area to be effective on bikes. " A quick count revealed 18 officers in total. I then suggested that they split in groups of 2 and spread out every mile or so and patrol a section each. That's when they stopped talking to me.
Even if they are downtown I think,UNLESS it is a life or death emergency/rescue, they should be on bikes only.
I for one am VERY tired of the mentality that the rules don't apply to the Police in our fair Rose City.

06-04-2007, 05:56 PM
I am a bicycle cop and can tell you that there are not enough of us to go around to all the places there should be bicycle cops--Springwater from Omsi to Sellwood is a case in point.

The few times I've heard of motorcycle cops riding that trail have when we are looking for a suspect that may have ridden or run away down the trail. That may have been what he was doing, as motors will often offer to help when they hear such a call on the radio because they can get to the trail quickly and ride it quickly, if necessary. Other than that there really isn't a reason for motors to be there because they are exclusively traffic division and there really aren't any tickets to be written or traffic problems on the trail--which means you can be 95% sure that if you see a motorcycle on the trail they are there helping normal patrol officers take a 911 call that came out--certainly it would be even worse if we drove a crown vic on the path! (And that happens too, sometimes, when there are no motors available.)

I know the four wheelers train down there sometimes too, which might explain the sightings of so many at a time. Yeah, with half the people complaining that there isn't enough of a police presence on the trail, and the other half complaining about officers on the trail, I would bet they felt frustrated and stopped talking to you.

Indeed, in a perfect city, there would be enough bicycle cops to cover all the bike trails all the time, but they are expensive (in terms of officer salaries) for the limited area they can cover, thus the motorized vehicles. It could never hurt to lobby the city for more funding for more bicycle officers, though!

06-04-2007, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the reply, PoPo.

So what was kind of confusing was that at first, it had crossed my mind that yeah, maybe he was on the trail trying to locate someone. But I was riding a mtn. bike with a 40/20 gear and not really moving that fast and he hung back quite a bit.

Anyway, there could have been myriad reasons I suppose...still seemed kind of odd.

06-04-2007, 09:23 PM
(I still can't fathom why that's the last thing I say to a cop when he's cited me...)

Anyway, thank you for the inside look at tactical police deployment, PoPo. I know that on-scene it can be tough to try to explain the how and why of what you folks do.

Back when I was a candiate for a PPB position I took quite a few ridealongs. It helped me see what the job was like and, frankly, led me to other work.

Do you bike officers offer "ridealongs"? Seems like Jonathan has been out on at least a short one.


06-05-2007, 06:22 AM
"I know that on-scene it can be tough to try to explain the how and why of what you folks do."

Yeah, a couple on months ago I awoke to an entire swat team storming a house a block away. I asked one of the officers who had the street closed what was going on, and he replied "Oh, just a little community policing..." :)