According to a statement on the Police Bureau website, Interim Police Chief Rosie Sizer has just named Central Precinct Captain Marty Rowley the new Commander of the Traffic Division. Rowley takes over for a retiring Bill Sinnott and the change is effective April 13.
The Commander of the Traffic Division is a very important position to the bike community. Sinnott, the outgoing Commander, had a positive impact on many issues including Critical Mass, traffic violation enforcement, bike safety and crash response. In addition to this, he was open and sincere in his dedication to traffic safety and worked to build effective working relationships with many citizens and advocates.
He was even cool enough to let me interview him and take questions from readers.
Without personal knowledge of Marty Rowley, I can only hope his style of policing continues to move this relationship in a positive direction, carrying on the solid foundation built by his predecessor.
However, my initial research (a Google search of his name) causes some concern. There are several allegations from people on Portland Indymedia that have witnessed Rowley use excessive force while working events downtown. This would be quite a contrast to Sinnott’s calm, cool and collected demeanor and could foretell a drastic shift in the relationship between the community and the Traffic Division.
I am also concerned at what seems like an abrupt decision made by an Interim Chief during a time when the Mayor is embroiled in a huge scandal involving Chief Foxworth.
But before making any further assumptions or passing judgement on Rowley’s character, I will put in a request to interview him as soon as possible. It’s important for us to learn more about his ideas and perceptions regarding bicycles. We had some exciting momentum going with Sinnott and I hope Rowley can pick up the ball and run with it.
Welcome to the Traffic Division Captain Rowley, I look forward to working with you.
[Photo taken from Portland Indymedia]