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Captain and Kruger will leave Traffic Division

Posted by on January 8th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Lt. Mark Kruger, PPB

Lt. Mark Kruger will no longer
work in the Traffic Division.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Some major personnel changes have been made at the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division.

Speaking from her cell phone a few minutes ago, Assistant Chief of Police Lynnae Berg confirmed that Captain Vince Jarmer and Lieutenant Mark Kruger will soon be leaving the Traffic Division (this division is the most important part of the Bureau for bikes because they write 80% of traffic tickets, they conduct crash investigations, and they work parades).

Berg says that Jarmer is transferring to become commander of the Transit Police Division. Lieutenant Larry O’Dea will be promoted to captain to take Jarmer’s place.

Berg says O’Dea is highly regarded “both internally and externally” and that he “has a strong history in community policing” during his previous tenure as a lieutenant in Central Precinct. Before this assignment, O’Dea served as Berg’s executive officer (her “right-hand man” is how one person put it). This means O’Dea can offer the Traffic Division (and in a sense, the bike community) a straight line of communication to the Chief’s office.

Also moving out of the Traffic Division is Lieutenant Mark Kruger. Berg confirmed that Kruger has been promoted to captain and will now head the Bureau’s Drug and Vice Division.

Kruger’s policing style (and not-so-nice past) have made him the focal point of frustration and dissatisfaction among many in the community. Most recently, his handling of two high-profile bike fatalities increased the calls for him to be disciplined or removed from the Traffic Division.

Despite all that, Kruger’s move to a new division is not being seen as a disciplinary action. It’s clear to many people I’ve talked to both inside and outside of the Police Bureau that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.

Did the intense community outcry around his faux pas in October have something to do with his move? It’s hard to say.

The changing of the guard atop the Traffic Division continues a frustrating trend. Bike advocates and insiders have long grumbled that it is much more difficult to establish a good working relationship with this division because the top position is constantly in flux. Lt. Larry O’Dea will become the fifth leader of the Traffic Division in the past three years.

I have heard good things about O’Dea and I hope to bring you an interview with him soon.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

99 Comments
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    Dog-Eye January 8, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Yee Haww! the hills are safe again.

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    gus January 8, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Glad he\’s out, but why with a promotion? He should be sacked. He\’s a liability to both the Portland police and to the citizenry that underwrites all potential payouts for misconduct. Alternatively he could be locked in a cage and given jackboots and truncheons to polish…

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    Brian January 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    It doesn\’t seem that the \”intense community outcry around his actions in October\” can claim much credit given that he was PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN.

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    Steven J. January 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Let\’s hope they find a nitch more suited for their gifts
    … and the replacements near bikes have some background

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    LE-OH! January 8, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Oh, happy, happy, sweet day.

    Two of the most hard-nosed, rough, over-policing officers in the PPB getting moved to two places where their kind of attitude is actually NECESSARY (Transit Security and Drug/Vice). I like that.

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    Robert Dobbs January 8, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Despite all that, [Herr] Kruger’s move to a new division will not be officially considered a disciplinary action.

    I almost fell off my chair from the spin there, Jonathan! I fail to see how a promotion to Captain could remotely be consider a \”disciplinary action\” by anyone.

    Oh well, out of sight, out of mind.

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    Smilie January 8, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    New one will be same as the old one.

    Word on the streets is that a motorcycle cop laid down there ride on sandy today. Still looking for more details.

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    true January 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I would cheer emphatically…….

    but promoting Kruger to captain of the drug and vice squad just raises images of prostitutes being beaten and pepper sprayed on the side of the road instead of legally protesting folk, \’accidentally\’ shot children in drug busts receiving no investigation instead of cyclists…

    there is absolutely no excuse for Kruger remaining in the PPD in any capacity.

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    BillD January 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Officer Brian Hunzeker was left hooked by an auto at NE 28th and Sandy.

    From KGW:
    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_010808_news_police_officer_hit_bicycle_sandy.124965d.html

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    gus January 8, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Smilie: more info can be found at the Oregonian website. http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/01/morning_wreck_blocks_northeast.html

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    Dat Nguyen January 8, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I don\’t think is over yet.

    Institutional reform of the Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division is still needed.

    dat

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    a.O January 8, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Good riddance, scumbag!

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    Former 49er.. January 8, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    It\’s hard being a cop.. even harder being a bicyclist.

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    Donna January 8, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    This is a hopeful development. That said, if they think this is all they need to do to repair relations between the PPB and us, they would be sadly mistaken.

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    specialK January 8, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Ah yes, just like the corporate world – promote to the appropriate level of incompetence. I can\’t believe how many times I\’ve seen it.

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    BURR January 8, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Hmmmm.

    Kruger gets juicy promotion to captain and choice drug and vice appointment for screwing up in traffic. too bad for local druggies and whores.

    Jarmer gets appointed to Transit. I predict we\’ll hear from him again…

    O\’Dea, a relative nobody, gets appointed to Traffic.

    Lucky us.

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    Smilie January 8, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks BillD and gus.

    I am more curious how the replacement handles two traffic officers in particular, which I am sure everyone here knows of whom I speak. (BB+BB)

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    BURR January 8, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    \”Despite all that, Kruger’s move to a new division will not be officially considered a disciplinary action. It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion. However, one has to wonder whether or not the intense community outcry around his actions in October had something to do with his move.\”

    I can\’t believe you actually wrote that, Jonathan. Are you sure you\’re not quoting from the police press release????

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    wsbob January 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    So, as Captain in the PPB\’s Drugs and Vice division, what will Kruger be doing? Do captains deal face to face with suspects, storm crack houses at the front of the pack, or do personnel at that level of bureau hierarchy finally only issue orders?

    In the example of an officer such as Mark Kruger, does \’capable\’ mean something good? I would imagine a lot of people don\’t think so, and yet, for people in positions outside the bureau itself that don\’t, it seems to be difficult to induce behavioral and attitude changes from people within the bureau. PPB officers have good job security. It takes a lot to get rid of one of them, so Portland is probably stuck with Kruger until he wants to leave. Maybe Kruger will cause less damage to honest, hard working people in Drugs and Vice.

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    Todd B January 8, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    To SpecialK…the concept you speak of used to be called \”the Peter Principle\”…as documented in a business studies book of the 60\’s/70\’s.

    So what do our bike leaders have planned for this \’fresh start\’? Scott: Any thoughts of an olive branch welcome to Cptn Larry O’Dea and the PPB?

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    PoPo January 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I\’m a cop, and I ride a bike. I will tell you the former is much harder. All officers are human, thus none are perfect. And there are definitely none who can make everyone happy.

    In the first week of my police academy we had a class where an experienced officer from an outside agency opened by asking us, \”Do you really want to do this job?\”

    He followed up with some clarifying questions. \”Do you really want to work a job with a real danger of being injured or killed? Or permanently disabled?\” \”Do you want to work weekends and nights and miss being with your friends and family?\” \”Do you want to be sued?\” \”Do you want to be called every name in the book, to your face and behind your back?\” \”Do you want to be generally unrecognized for the countless calls you handle well and minutely criticized for the very few that go wrong?\” \”Do you want your trust in people and faith in humanity to become jaded?\” \”Are you willing to use deadly force if necessary?\” \”Do you accept the possibility of the psychological trauma and public scrutiny of using deadly force?\” \”Do you want to be personally attacked in the media by people who don\’t know you or have a full understanding of complicated intricacies of your job?\”

    None of us walked out of the class, so I guess we all accepted the challenge.

    Portland has high expectations for its police officers, as it should. Public feedback is an important part of that. Hopefully we can also be constructive in our criticism. And remember that all of us, including our police officers, are human, simply doing our best to make it through our Portland lives.

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    Todd B January 8, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Get well Officer Brian Hunzeke!

    When I first read about his crash…I though it was that worst intersection of Sandy at Burnside…an intersection no driver, walker, or bicyclist likes to cross.

    Perhaps it is time to redesign our older state / regional multilane arterials…to simplify the intersection design…from multilanes with traffic signals to single lane roundabouts? (I know Sandy just had a lot of reworking last year…but it seems more like minimal \’window dressing\’ on a bigger design problem…lack of access management/ high speeds/ long distances to cross on foot…especially for these oblique crossings.) Kinda of a Safe and Secure Streets programme for drivers too.

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    Antonio Gramsci January 8, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Actually, Todd, the eastbound Burnside intersection with Sandy is a very manageable intersection by bike (in fact, it\’s the safest way to cross Sandy east bound and south, maybe the only safe way).

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    Michelle January 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Bummer about Jarmer, I think. Turnover really does make it hard to establish relationships and, perhaps more importantly, to demonstrate success after trying a change in tactics.

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    Metal Cowboy January 9, 2008 at 12:34 am

    This is good news. I hope the new traffic division chief takes a more community approach with all vulnerable users. Time will tell.

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    Moo January 9, 2008 at 6:26 am

    It actually isn\’t a promotion for Kruger…nobody else wants the pile of paperwork and long, dark hours in the drug and vice division. He\’s got to be on call 24/7 too! Have fun in your new desk Krug.

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    chuck January 9, 2008 at 7:38 am

    while I\’m glad to see Kruger getting out of the traffic division, I\’m wondering how Jarmer will handle his position in the Transit Police. I don\’t know too much about the guy, but it will be interesting looking into his history with the force.

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    peejay January 9, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Jonathan:

    With the start of new leadership in the Trafic Division, this gives us the opportunity to develop better relations with the police. There is no objective reason to believe that the two new officers will be any better than their replacements, but they will be and can expect to grow into their jobs.

    So, maybe now is the perfect time to start some kind of citizens traffic safety council, or something similar, where community reps can discuss traffic strategies and tactics with the police, so they won\’t feel like they can make it up on the fly. Drivers, truckers, bikers, pedestrians, and children\’s advocates should all be included in this group (oh, and working bike messengers, too).

    The meetings can cover current crash data, problem intersections, and proposed enforcement actions, to give some more structure to the mission at the division, lest it fall into the \”squeaky wheel gets the grease\” syndrome, where they spend a big chunk of their resources doing stings in Ladd because of a crotchety old man who complains. Instead, these complaints are reviewed by the council, who collectively decide if it\’s really a priority, based upon actual data.

    Now that you\’re back from a well-deserved vacation, Jonathan, can you think of any way we can get such a mechanism started? I offer whatever help I can on this, subject to my work schedule.

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    Todd Waddell January 9, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Thanks, PoPo.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Hey PoPo, if you really think being a cop in Portland is harder than riding a bike here, let\’s compare the number of PPB officers killed on the job in 2007 with the number of cyclists killed on Portland\’s roads.

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    Moo January 9, 2008 at 9:06 am

    PoPo… Just like in all professions, you get what you give. The easiest philosophy to live by is that nobody can demand respect, they must earn it. I don\’t know how the other cops feel about Kruger, but it seems he can make it harder on those around him by being the way he is (so I\’ve heard and read), in certain situations that could have / should have been handled differently. Just an opinion.

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    brady January 9, 2008 at 9:20 am

    a.O

    Are you a cop? Since PoPo is a cop AND rides a bike, hopefully most reasonable people would be willing to afford him the benefit of the doubt as to the validity of his comments on the relative difficulty of each, at least to the extent he has participated in each. I am asking whether you are a cop to decide whether to afford you the same benefit, while attempting to ignore your argumentative tone, since your point re: the deaths of cyclists is valid and far from trivial. I\’m going to guess you\’re not a cop (neither am I) but feel free to correct.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I am not a cop. I am sure it is a difficult job, as is mine. The objective evidence clearly demonstrates that working for the PPB in 2007 was not as dangerous as riding a bike on the streets of Portland. Or am I missing some PPB deaths?

    By the way, tooling around on the Hawthorne sidewalk at walking speed hardly counts as \”riding a bike,\” at least as far as risk to health and safety goes. I\’m sure PoPo can tell us if there is more to his bike riding than that — but why aren\’t you posing that question to him?

    Sorry you don\’t like my tone.

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    wsbob January 9, 2008 at 9:34 am

    PoPo raises good points about the extraordinary contribution and personal sacrifice that some people as police officers are capable of making towards helping to make life in our society as good as possible for everyone.

    At least for myself, I also think it\’s helpful to keep in mind that the idiosyncrasies of the law enforcement profession have an uncanny knack for bringing out the worst of human tendencies in some individuals staffing law enforcement. Personal problems lurking under the surface, denied or deftly camouflaged, periodically find their way to the surface in reactions to the public that are the opposite of what the bureau\’s mission to the public claims to be. Does that not perhaps help to explain some of Officer Kruger\’s notorious moments in Traffic Division?

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    true January 9, 2008 at 9:34 am

    From the Mercury – \”In one chilling encounter in April 2003, Kruger roughed up a young female protester near Pioneer Square. At the time, the woman was being arrested for the minor crime of jaywalking. From seemingly nowhere, Kruger emerged, grabbed the woman, and cranked her arm harshly behind her back. Although she cried out, \”you\’re hurting me,\” Kruger continued to twist her arm and then, to silence her, grabbed her face in his hand, completely palming it. About 100 marchers and downtown shoppers watched in stunned silence.

    During a Mercury reader survey in March, Kruger was overwhelmingly nominated as Portland\’s \”Most Rotten Cop.\” Beyond humanitarian issues, Kruger has opened the city up to more than $1 million in liability lawsuits.\”

    PoPo – I appreciate the police force, and I understand that, like in any other profession, a few rotten eggs can spoil the whole salad. I understand that being a police officer is VERY difficult work, and that most police officers do an admirable job, and I have had a number of positive encounters with the Portland police. However, Kruger is the poster boy for the increasing militarization of American policing. Violently assaulting a citizen without due cause HAS to be grounds for dismissal. To repeat, violently assaulting a citizen without due cause HAS to be grounds for dismissal. Imagine the opportunities for Kruger to expand upon this history when he is in the drug and vice squad, where the general public will gladly turn its collective head if a report of needless violence emerges from a drug sting. Calling an officer on dangerous behavior does not necessarily condemn the entire force, but criticizing the entire force for protecting a dangerous officer does.

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    Sean January 9, 2008 at 9:54 am

    a.O. If you want to pick nits, re-read PoPo\’s post. He didn\’t state that being a cop is more dangerous; he said it was \”harder\”. I for one appreciate his statement and hopefully some of us on this board will see the humanity in police officers rather than taking a wholesale stance against them in general due to the actions of a few individuals.

    I\’m happy to see Kruger go but as in any situation in life, recognize that he could be replaced with a worse entity. I hope his replacement shows better judgement than he did.

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    brady January 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

    I don\’t have the numbers, but sense that there are more bike riders than cops in PDX. If \”more difficult\” is measured in deaths–I\’m not sure it is that simple, as many riders are hit and not killed, while I\’m guessing the many cops are also injured but not killed, not to mention that considerations other than physical ones contribute to the \”difficulty\”, or lack thereof, of an activity–then it is probably more useful to compare the relative death rates rather than absolute numbers. (This too is tough, due to the nature of the data… many years with zero deaths for the police, with spikes seen in any given year.) Agree that tooling around in a park on the bike is not the same as riding busy roads without bike lanes, in terms of danger.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Sean, if you want to pick nits, you can\’t possibly believe that PoPo intended to literally compare the act of pedaling and steering a bicycle with all of the tasks involved in being a police officer. So what was he saying?

    If you re-read the post, you will see the first words he uses in describing specific reasons why his job is difficult are \”injured,\” \”killed,\” and \”permanently disabled.\”

    Those are real possibilities for cops. Those were actual facts of life for Portland cyclists in 2007.

    I\’m not going to recount all the people who were hurt or lost their lives, or who nearly did, as a result of legally riding their bike last year.

    I invite you to go read Jonathan\’s year in review post, paying particular attention to the fatalities and injuries suffered by cyclists in Portland. Also check out the \”near miss\” sections.

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    Chuck D. January 9, 2008 at 10:21 am

    a.O. is merely a self-styled activist with an ax to grind and much time on his hands. (I hope that you don\’t bill clients for all of the net surfing and blog posting that you do.)

    By the way, he is never wrong and knows far more than you ever will. He is compelled to answer and argue nearly every topic on BikePortland and must have the last word-always. It\’s nothing more than an ego fueled form of Tourette\’s syndrome and he simply cannot help himself. He wants to be Dabby but doesn\’t have the street smarts and hard won perspective of The Messenger King.

    a.O. retort coming in 3…2…
    ______

    ***Chuck D., please try and keep your comments focused on the issues and not on individual commenters. Thank you.—-The Editor

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    steve January 9, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Jonathon said-

    \’It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.\’

    Clear eh?

    Is this another example of how you refuse to offer commentary about Kruger? Remember how you told us you could not take sides on this and could only report facts? Nice journalistic integrity there.

    Did Kruger remember to send ya a christmas present this year?

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    bahueh January 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

    a little sad fact of life…

    promotions are a useful tool to rid one\’s work department of an individual who is no compatible within the department…happens a lot in government funded positions…

    its basically writen off as a \”mismatch\” to the departmental managers…a way of washing their hands with the problem…
    firings bring union grievances or lawsuits…promotions just make the problem disappear.

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    rixtir January 9, 2008 at 10:31 am

    a little sad fact of life…

    promotions are a useful tool to rid one\’s work department of an individual who is no compatible within the department…happens a lot in government funded positions…

    its basically writen off as a \”mismatch\” to the departmental managers…a way of washing their hands with the problem…
    firings bring union grievances or lawsuits…promotions just make the problem disappear.

    The all-powerful drug dealers and sex workers lobby will soon putting intense pressure on the next Mayor to fire Kruger…

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    tonyt January 9, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I have to agree with a few of the posters Jonathan. The following quote is either extreme snark or extremely ill-considered.

    \”It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.\”

    Perhaps you should have written;

    \”It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, the Portland Police Bureau considers him to be a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.\”

    I can\’t believe that YOU think \”it\’s clear\” that he\’s a capable officer.

    PoPo,

    I\’m sure being a cop is tough, and we don\’t understand a lot of what you go through. But I can\’t help but think that cops get to the point where they forget what it\’s like to be a simple citizen. We don\’t get you and you don\’t get us.

    Our opinion of cops doesn\’t materialize out of thin air. Our opinion is colored by our own individual interactions with the numerous meathead cops who are out there and obviously need to find a more suitable job.

    I\’m a pretty boring, 40 year old bike riding property owner white guy, and I\’VE had it with cops flying through neighborhoods, no lights, no sirens, hardly ever yielding to peds, incapable of interacting with us as people, using the threat of arrest as their FIRST means of interaction. Those are all first-person observations. I get a finger pointed in my face and lectured when I get hit by a driver who runs a red light?? Screw it.

    There is a well of community respect for cops. Cops can either make deposits into that well, so that when they need it it\’s there, or they can constantly strip mine it for every last ounce of anything resembling respect, and then complain when we don\’t acquiesce like peasants.

    PoPo I do think you are a good cop. I\’ve read your articles and I appreciate what you do, even if you do think riding on the sidewalk gives you street cred.

    But as a good cop, you should know that coming on here to defend the likes of Kruger and the bureau that coddles him, is counterproductive to improving our view of the PPB.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 9, 2008 at 11:10 am

    tonyt (and others) said:
    \”I have to agree with a few of the posters Jonathan. The following quote is either extreme snark or extremely ill-considered.

    \”It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.\”

    You guys are right. I should have made that sentence more clear but I did this story at the end of a very long day and I was a bit scattered.

    What I was trying to communicate is that both within the bureau and within certain circles at PDOT and elsewhere, it is thought that Kruger\’s record and police skills are very solid.

    I like your re-write suggestion tonyt and I will take a second look at that line right now.

    Everyone… please understand that Kruger and this enforcement issue is a very challenging situation for me to cover for many reasons. I am doing my best and I am actually very excited about the improvements I see down the road and the impact that I think you have all made to the dialogue thus far.

    Now…I\’m going to do a bit of editing.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

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    woogie January 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I don\’t think PoPo was defending specific people, but police in general and as he stated

    \”All officers are human, thus none are perfect. And there are definitely none who can make everyone happy.\”

    The generalizations made on this board about police are accepted, yet if generalizations about cyclists are made you are called to task repeatedly.

    I think PoPo was calling out a number of people on this board who never have anything nice to about police, and that cyclists can do no wrong.

    Being a cop is a tough job, and it is tougher than being a cyclist, even if the statistics on deaths don\’t point in that direction.

    As a cyclist list the number of times you interact with another person in a day and have to worry about them pulling a gun on you or assaulting you just for doing you job. That happens every time a police office responds to a call or pulls over a car. Why, because of the type of animosity directed towards police that is shown on this board.

    How many times a day on your bike do you have to make a decision that impacts the quality of life in this city. Every time a police officer goes on the street they do just that, trying to determine how best to make the city safe.

    Overall they do a damn fine job out there, but they aren\’t perfect, even PoPo admits that they aren\’t perfect.

    It is a case of walk a mile in my shoes. I\’ll bet that a lot more cops have ridden their bikes on Portland streets, than cyclists have patrolled the streets.

    And proportionally I\’d say there are more bad cyclist than there are bad cops, the difference is that they have to stand up to much more public scrutiny than any red light runner on a fixie, flipping the bird at pedestrians. (and that\’s a first hand experience as well)

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    tonyt January 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Thanks Jonathan. You too, do not have an easy job.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 9, 2008 at 11:24 am

    steve said:
    \”Is this another example of how you refuse to offer commentary about Kruger? Remember how you told us you could not take sides on this and could only report facts? Nice journalistic integrity there.\”

    Hi again steve. I\’m not surprised to hear from you on this thread. I regret that you are still not satisfied with my coverage (or lack of) about Kruger. I have thought a lot about your previous comments and about how I\’ve handled him in the past.

    One thing that\’s important to realize is that all of this has much more to do that me (or us) versus Kruger. I have to consider the larger picture of balancing my misgivings about a single officer with the broader context of building an ongoing, positive relationship with the Police Bureau.

    I do not always make the right decisions, but I feel that for the most part, things are headed in the right direction.

    Yesterday, I got a call from the Asst. Chief of Police. We spoke candidly and she was very forthcoming with information about this potentially sensitive story. Think about that for a minute: The Asst. Chief of Police called back a \”blogger\” who has hosted many less-than glowing comments about her officers and who has written stories highlighting alleged bias in the Bureau. But even with all that, I sensed a willingness from Berg to build bridges between the bureau, myself, and the community in the future and I think that is a very good step.

    I realize you and perhaps many others are not happy that I did not probe into Kruger\’s past or try and get him fired, or at least disciplined in some way.

    I hope to soon report on very positive developments within the Bureau and I would rather keep working in partnership with them for a better future, instead of taking risks that might burn bridges and close doors. Yes, it is a gamble. But I will try to remain both a skeptical watchdog and an ally of theirs at the same time.

    Thanks for your feedback and I welcome your continued feedback on how I\’m doing.

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    Qwendolyn January 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

    \” I would rather keep working in partnership with them for a better future, instead of taking risks that might burn bridges and close doors. Yes, it is a gamble. But will try to remain both a skeptical watchdog and an ally of theirs at the same time. \”

    That is a very clearheaded and rational way to behave.

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    steve January 9, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Jonathon-

    All I can say is bullsh!t!

    No one is critiquing your lack of coverage on Krugers past. The lack of which is already a glaring example of your bias. The stories of Krugers antics are well documented. This is legitimate news that you refuse to post, not commentary.

    Instead of any sort of fact, this article was filled with opinion and direct regurgitation of PPD propaganda. Honestly, you should be ashamed both as a citizen and doubly so as a journalist.

    You weasel out of any sort of actual reporting by saying you only want to give facts not opinion. Let us make up our own minds. Well then, what the hell is the post?

    These are your words Jonathon-

    \”It’s clear that, in spite of his past and sometimes rough communication skills, he is a very capable officer who is deserving of a promotion.\”

    This is not an oversight, this is your honest opinion. The entire article had this tone.

    Own your words man! What is this \’edit\’ crap? You would not pass a high school journalism course with this nonsense. Though I suppose that is why you are a blogger..

    Why must we wade through spin here?

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Being a cop is a tough job, and it is tougher than being a cyclist, even if the statistics on deaths don\’t point in that direction.

    You can choose to simply ignore the evidence if you want to, but that doesn\’t make it true. What better indication of how difficult or dangerous something is could there possibly be than how many people have died doing it?

    As a cyclist list the number of times you interact with another person in a day and have to worry about them pulling a gun on you or assaulting you just for doing you job.

    Every time I ride in traffic people weilding deadly weapons that kill 40,000 people a year — that\’s more than firearms, in case you become interested in evaluting the objective evidence — come within inches of me and could easily kill me. Many times, when I\’m obeying the law, they assult me with their vehicles, or attempt to.

    So: Every single day, just like being a cop.

    How many times a day on your bike do you have to make a decision that impacts the quality of life in this city.

    Every day I decide to ride a bike, I make a decision that impacts the quality of life in this City — at great personal risk to myself, and without any pay, flack jacket, sidearm, back-up, or immunity from prosecution.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

    \”This is not an oversight, this is your honest opinion. The entire article had this tone.

    Own your words man! What is this \’edit\’ crap? You would not pass a high school journalism course with this nonsense. Though I suppose that is why you are a blogger..

    Steve,

    I did not go to journalism school and I do not attempt to follow any tradition reporting methods. I make things up as I go.

    I feel that is what makes this site so special.

    Whenever I make edits I always call attention to them either directly in the story or in the comments.

    I do own my words…and I have nothing to hide. My usually positive spin on Kruger is because I tend to be more of an idealist and an optimist and not the typical \”blogger\” intent on finding ways to \”take down the man\” whenever I can.

    As for what is or isn\’t newsworthy, I have worked hard to stay completely independent (I am not a non-profit and I have no editorial board) so I can always make those decisions on my own.

    For now, I have decided that Kruger\’s past is not something that I think necessitates more coverage (and besides, commenters like yourself usually do that for me whenever I mention his name).

    I don\’t feel I am a weasel. I do try to only report facts and I try to limit my opinion as much as I can.

    Sorry I do not fit into your box of what a journalist should be.

    I hope you\’ll continue to read and contribute regardless of my \”bullshit\”.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 11:45 am

    steve, your otherwise, IMHO, valid points are being obscured by your inability or unwillingness to refrain from making personal insults.

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    steve January 9, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Sorry Ao and Jonathon.

    Everyone please recalibrate to optimistic lala land.

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    tonyt January 9, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    steve,

    please recalibrate your meds

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    Todd Waddell January 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Wow! This thread sums up all that is wrong about the Portland bike scene.

    We\’re so busy nit picking policy decisions, press coverage, bike integration theory, and each other, that we loose sight of the bigger picture.

    Can\’t we just all agree that the following things are good, but none of them are perfect:
    1) Kruger\’s departure
    2) bikeportland.org
    3) Portland\’s bike infrastructure (relative to other cities)
    4) Portland\’s bike scene (relative to other cities)

    Why don\’t we try not looking for opportunities to tear each other apart and try to work constructively?

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    woogie January 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    \”Every day I decide to ride a bike, I make a decision that impacts the quality of life in this City — at great personal risk to myself, and without any pay, flack jacket, sidearm, back-up, or immunity from prosecution.\”

    And you are able to do that in one of the safest cities in America because of the infrastructure in place. City Hall, Police Department, Fire Deparment, Road Department etc etc etc.

    I served in the military and went places I don\’t want to ever go to again, and I get fed up with civilians who think protecting your freedoms is an easier job than riding a bike.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    And you are able to do that in one of the safest cities in America because of the infrastructure in place. City Hall, Police Department, Fire Deparment, Road Department etc etc etc.

    You mean the Portland Police Department? The one that doesn\’t enforce traffic laws when people driving deadly weapons injure people on bikes?

    It\’s more accurate to say I am able to ride around Portland *despite* the PPB.

    I served in the military and went places I don\’t want to ever go to again, and I get fed up with civilians who think protecting your freedoms is an easier job than riding a bike.

    I\’m proud to have never been part of America\’s imperialist death machine and I get fed up with people who think there are threats to our freedom that we didn\’t first create ourselves.

    And if you\’re so good at defending my freedoms, how come you haven\’t stopped the President from taking away my Fourth Amendment rights?

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    true January 9, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Todd Waddell (55) –

    Kruger did not depart, he is now captain of the drug and vice squad. Still your cop in your city (and I\’ll say again that most PoPo\’s are a credit to our city, but this one isn\’t).

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    gabrielamadeus January 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Also, Steve, any glimmer of a valid point you try to make is obscured by your inability to spell Jonathan\’s name correctly. You would not pass a high school journalism course with this nonsense.

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    brady January 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I wish I had time for the scenic route, but need to resort to bullet points in the interest of time. (Although got windy on a. O\’s bullet… oops.)
    1) #56 Woogie: couldn\’t agree more. Too many people haven\’t \”worn the shoes\” and don\’t care.
    2) Steve: there\’s no crime in treating people decently… it usually doesn\’t hurt your chances for being understood, and sometimes even helps. Also spelling Jonanthan\’s name incorrectly might give him the impression that you don\’t care what he has to say, even if you do.
    3) a.O : I was once part of the \”death machine\”, and have to wince a little when I think of the personal risk and sacrifice involved with that for the benefit of people like yourself, who seem to value it so little. Your point re: aggression is well taken, but were it not for all of the dissemination of misinformation and outright lying of our President and his staff, you might realize that the generals are far less willing to commit the troops to war than are the papmered, privileged, draft-dodging bureaucrats on the Hill. Our current aggression problems have much more to do with the right wing\’s influence than the military itself. The problem isn\’t our military… it\’s the way that Curious George and Dick use it for personal gain at the expense of our soldiers and the rest of the world that is the problem. On another note, some of the people in the cars that make our lives as cyclists so dangerous are malicious, but many more of them are just oblivious… you can try to fix that, but I hope you have some good ideas, \’cause that one has me stumped. Meanwhile, I\’m going to slow a little approaching an intersection, even when I\’m lit up like a x-mas tree and have the right of way. My rights are no match for the daydreaming abilities (and lack of driving skill) of the average motoroist.
    4) Jonathan: You rock, and so does BikePortland.Org. Way to put your heart into something you love, regardless of the crap that is slung your way from all sides. Keep up the good work.

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    Anonymous January 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    From #57
    \”It\’s more accurate to say I am able to ride around Portland *despite* the PPB.\”
    —-
    \”I\’m proud to have never been part of America\’s imperialist death machine and I get fed up with people who think there are threats to our freedom that we didn\’t first create ourselves.

    And if you\’re so good at defending my freedoms, how come you haven\’t stopped the President from taking away my Fourth Amendment rights?\”
    ——-
    It amazes me that Jonathan doesn\’t put any kind of moderator asterisk next to your inane comments. I lurk on this site quite a bit because it\’s usually humorous to watch someone as pedantic and tiresome as yourself bait the other regulars. I\’m not sure if, today, you are \”off your meds\” or what, but everything you\’ve said in this thread is bullshit. You are a complete moron as well as a pompous ass. Have a nice day.

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    tonyt January 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Todd #55,

    I would say that other than Steve\’s personal attacks, this thread is what is right about the bike scene here.

    Jonathan wrote stuff that a number of us, including those of us who know him personally, had issues with. We brought it up and he engaged. He makes us better and we make him better.

    PoPo thought some of us were stepping over the line with our criticism of the PPB and there were some strong opinions about that. He gave me some things to think about and hopefully I gave him something to think about.

    Yes, it gets heated sometimes, and toes do get stepped on, but for the most part, there isn\’t anyone here who I wouldn\’t have a beer with and continue a conversation face to face.

    I\’d MUCH rather have the Portland bike scene contain a wide variety of opinions and some occasionally bruised egos (my own included) than a homogenized glop of \”we all get along \’cause we all ride bikes.\”

    None of us can possibly be right about everything, and it\’s only when we hash it out and hold each other\’s feet to the fire, that we ever get anywhere.

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    a.O January 9, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    tonyt nails it again.

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    Josh January 9, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    a.O

    I believe like Tonyt and yourself that diversity in a blog is what makes it interesting to read.

    But when talking about statistics you must be carefull. You first have to take the ratio of cops and police deaths in portland and compare it to the number of cyclists and respective deaths. Also take into account the national average. Are there more cyclist deaths per total cyclists then there are police deaths per officers in the US? then we may be able to decide who has the higher death rate. I do not know this but I would venture to guess that more police officers are killed.

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    BURR January 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    \”…promotions are a useful tool to rid one\’s work department of an individual who is no compatible within the department…happens a lot in government funded positions…\”

    and so are demotions, lateral transfers and dismissals.

    there is no clear case to be made that Kruger deserves a promotion of any kind, yet the City of Portland has a long history of rewarding incompetence with promotions, which extends beyond the PPB to most other Bureaus as well.

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    Appreciative January 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    1) I am happy to be rid of Kruger. I wish he were completely gone and am dismayed by the actual promotion, but am pretty sure he\’ll be doing less damage where they\’ve put him. I say this having been a witness to some of his violent behavior towards war protesters in 2002-2003. I am a realist about the power of the police union to protect their undeserving.

    2) I am more than satisfied with PoPo\’s cycling credentials outside of his work in the SE bike patrol. If you ever had a conversation with him about bikes and riding, you would know that as well.

    3) I am very grateful to Jonathan for trying to maintain a balance in his writing such that he actually gets good info from the PPB. It\’s a very tough job and I am certain he doesn\’t get paid anywhere near what he deserves to do it.

    That is all.

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    girl-shawn January 9, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Jonathan, you\’re doing a wonderful job interfacing with The Man while staying true to your ideals and representing the feelings of the bike community. Thanks a ton for playing this difficult, demanding role so thoughtfully.

    I hope the new heads of the traffic division are more bike community-focused as well, dammit.

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    PoPo January 9, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you Jonathan for this superb opportunity for us to build community and communicate. You do have a tough job. And as Todd (#55) said, none of us are perfect at anything.

    Thanks all for thoughtful commentary. I read and learn here every day. More than I can say about most other web sites.

    I have good feelings about the new Traffic Division leadership.

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    beefa January 9, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    No rain until 1645 today. I can say it was a good day. Did anybody else on this blog ride this week so far? HMMM? or just complain?

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    Antonio Gramsci January 10, 2008 at 12:25 am

    The truth about police work:
    \”Rightwing mythologies of crime and policing\”: http://tinyurl.com/2qwx9u

    (Cites occupational health and safety statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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    a.O January 10, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Thank you, Antonio Gramsci, for providing some ACTUAL FACTS rather than the whiney bluster we\’ve had here thus far.

    I stand by my original contention: Riding a bike around Portland is far more dangerous than being a cop.

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    anon January 10, 2008 at 7:38 am

    another dangerous job

    http://www.ahalenia.com/memorial/

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    woogie January 10, 2008 at 8:19 am

    A place some of you might want to visit.

    http://www.portlandpolicemuseum.com/museum_004.htm

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    a.O January 10, 2008 at 8:43 am

    One PPB fatality in the last 10 years, and that from a car accident. There were more cyclist deaths than that in October, 2007. Thanks for proving my point, woogie.

    And I\’ll go you one further: It is more dangerous to bike in Portland than it is to be a cop in Portland because of the PPB.

    Frankly, I don\’t care who runs the Traffic Division. He or she could be a baby pepper-spraying Nazi sympathizer, but if he at least enforced the traffic laws he would be minimally competent.

    You know what \”good feelings\” are worth? Jack sh!t. Just like a change of personnel without a change in policy.

    O\’Dea and Sizer: Start doing your job and enforcing the damn law, then maybe we will see some actual improvements in safety in the City and there will be more cyclists around to share the \”good feelings.\”

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    Robert Dobbs January 10, 2008 at 11:15 am

    To all of you who served in WWII, thanks for keeping me safe from a creeping fascist threat our country at first ignored, supported then placated and later, internalized. c.f. Kruger\’s neo-Nazism.

    To the rest of you claiming to protect MY freedoms, STFU. You are highly trained, highly brainwashed tools. Your lot is your lot, do not put that on me. I live my life responsibly, trying my best not to sh!t on other people or get sh!t on by them, you have z-e-r-o to do with that. You chose a sh!tty job, and they stuffed all that self-righteous crap down your throat to get you to it.

    And regarding PoPo, it really is too bad that the 90% of cops give the the other 10% a bad name, but I\’m with a.o. on this one – more dead cyclists than dead cops, year over year. Cry me a f\’in river.

    When a court gives me super-citzen powers to empty a clip into a driver that attempts to murder me, then gives me a PAID VACATION for my homicidal efforts, we might see eye-to-eye. Until then, I\’ll continue to see you cops as power-tripping psychopaths that need to have a maximum 4 year term limit.

    And Johnathan, you have no nuts. Ever consider that you may need to ask hard questions while you are in the spotlight? That you may have a real political responsibility given your present position? Ever hear of the Fourth Estate? Sitting on your hands does none of us any favors.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 10, 2008 at 11:30 am

    \”And Johnathan, you have no nuts. Ever consider that you may need to ask hard questions while you are in the spotlight? That you may have a real political responsibility given your present position? Ever hear of the Fourth Estate? Sitting on your hands does none of us any favors.\”

    Robert, I share your frustration about the cops. Trust me when I say that I have serious concerns about their culture and their ability to be effective at true \”community policing\”.

    As for my nuts. Like I have said before, I am learning how to be a good journalist on the fly. I agree that I need to get better at asking tough questions, but that is a skill and its not something I am great at doing. I hope to get better at it in the future.

    I do understand that my present position has put responsibilities on my shoulders (whether I want them there or not). I just ask that you take your obvious energy for this issue and put it to good use.

    Thanks for reading and please try to be a bit more respectful of others in future comments.

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    brady January 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Antonio, saw the link, although admittedly didn\’t read the whole article (but did look at the graphic)… it was a little too sensationalistic to take more seriously. When computing death rates for cops, it might be more appropriate to report the stats by job description. Although some some cops have indoor jobs (bailiff) that can pose danger, many cops have indoor jobs (PoPo, you could probably help us with the relative breakdown) that probably are not any more risky than my job, whose greatest risk of death is a toss-up between a) falling down the stairs and breaking my neck, b) banging my head on the urinal after slipping on a wet tile in the men\’s room or c) food poisoning from lunch in the cafe. If we include in the death statistics those cops who are confined to an office somewhere pushing paper, that is kind of like diluting the \”cyclist\” death rate by including, under the umbrella of \”cyclist\”, those people who only attend spin classes or ride exercycles in the gym, but never ride outside.

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    wsbob January 10, 2008 at 11:44 am

    \”I do own my words…and I have nothing to hide. My usually positive spin on Kruger is because I tend to be more of an idealist and an optimist and not the typical \”blogger\” intent on finding ways to \”take down the man\” whenever I can.\” Jonathan Maus (editor)

    This article represents more the first time Jonathan Maus has regarded Kruger\’s job performance in complimentary way. At least once in past when that\’s happened, I\’ve asked, in comments I\’ve made to articles, what exactly it was about Kruger\’s job performance that found to be so positive. Response? Zilch. Nothing. Unless you consider the same, generally admiring references to that officer in articles down the road to be a response.

    Finally, after Brett Jarolimek was run over by a garbage truck, an incident in response to which Kruger presented another example of his apparent contempt and disregard for certain law abiding members of the public (he offered a sound bite to the media shifting responsibility for the collision to the fatally injured cyclist without supporting facts, and dismissed need for an investigation of the collision), did editor Maus begin to consider that maybe Kruger doesn\’t exactly have the public welfare in mind as he goes about his job in the refuge that the bureau can offer people like Kruger.

    I\’ll go along with many others that have said so, and say editor Maus is doing a great job. Well, a generally great job, at least. I would just add that I think it\’s probably well advised to be very careful in concluding that people are swell individuals because they perhaps offer some accessibility to information. That\’s been my conjecture about Maus\’s positive opinion of Kruger; he needed info about PPB performance in response to the cycling public, and Kruger was prepared to talk to him. And, no doubt, Kruger can probably be a very charming guy in a casual setting. So can sociopaths, but that doesn\’t mean we should imagine that we can safely hire them to protect people, and accordingly, equip them with the authority to use weapons such as bodily force, guns, tazers, pepper spray, rubber bullets to do so.

    We the public, probably need a police force. We need to be very careful to staff it with people that can truly serve the public in the kind of responsible and honorable, self-sacrificing humanitarian manner that PoPo describes in comment #21. It\’s not going to serve the public to hire or continue to keep on staff, people for the PPB that bury aggressive, sociopathic tendencies within their personality, periodically unleashing them on the public.

    Maus is a good enough reporter, and hopefully he\’ll continue to get better. And with luck he\’ll continue to develop an ever better sense of reality than he presently has in regards to those disposed to offer themselves as important sources of information for the news he provides everybody with on this weblog.

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    Robert Dobbs January 10, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Jonathan –

    Sorry about making disparaging comments about your manhood.

    Safety, Public Image and Police Enforcement – Kruger has unquestionably made all of these issues (and many others outside of cycling) much worse for the people of Portland – much per the PPB Status Quo. Appeasement doesn\’t help any of us, it erodes your own support amongst your \”constituency\” and is incredibly divisive of the community that has formed around you.

    Do us all a favor and do not take your position for granted. Learn to ask the tough questions or put your weight behind someone who will.

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    brady January 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Wow, Robert, you\’ve seem to have a lot of enrgy… with your knowledge and energy, you should start you own blog, for sure. That way, you could be sure it was done right!

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    brady January 10, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Robert, I hit \”submit\” before seeing your post #79, so you know.

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    Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Robert Dobbs said:
    \”Appeasement doesn’t help any of us, it erodes your own support amongst your ”constituency” and is incredibly divisive of the community that has formed around you.

    Do us all a favor and do not take your position for granted. Learn to ask the tough questions or put your weight behind someone who will.\”

    And wsbob said:
    \”This article represents more [than] the first time Jonathan Maus has regarded Kruger’s job performance in complimentary way…be very careful in concluding that people are swell individuals because they perhaps offer some accessibility to information.\”

    Both of you make good points and I have taken note of your feedback. One quick thing to wsbob: it\’s too simplistic to say that I think Kruger is a \”swell guy\”. My feelings toward him are mixed and complicated.

    But seriously, I have taken all this feedback to heart and it will help inform my future decisions. Thanks for commenting.

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    brady January 10, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Holy cow; I am illiterate. My apologies, and a free piece of candy to the first person to find all 37 mistakes in post 80.

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    Robert Dobbs January 10, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    @brady #80

    Hmm.. So fostering apathy, distrust and infighting amongst your community – all so you can bend over backwards to appear to be fair to hostile outside groups is doing it \”right\”? Interesting…

    Chance occasionally happens upon individuals and puts them in a position for a time where they have an opportunity to pull the levers of influence. My \”enrgy\” is a finite quantity. I – like many, many others – prefer to use it in support of those individuals who are willing and able to effect greater change.

    If that is not an option, I have plenty of other things to spend my time on.

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    brady January 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    @Robert #84

    \”I – like many, many others – prefer to use it in support of those individuals who are willing and able to effect greater change.\”

    This is actually my point; the limited time we have is better spent in lending greater support to the people and ideas with which we agree, than in lashing out and engaging in personal attacks when we see something with which we disagree.

    Some of the posts here are so caustic that valid points are lost in the ranting. Of course we in the \”choir\” don\’t mind, but I doubt any converts will be won that way–and we DO need to win converts. If our choir were already large enough, there wouldn\’t be a need for this blog, or bike advocacy in general.

    I\’m all for tough questions and calling things as we see them, but it seems to me that we\’ll be better off–and sooner–if we can find a way to ask the tough questions and call things as we see them, without alienating the very people whose alliances we are trying to gain.

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    Antonio Gramsci January 10, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I too admire Jonathan Maus\’s work a great deal on this website. On the whole it\’s done a great deal of good and helped many, many people. He has a lot to be proud of.

    However, there are some issues that are extremely delicate, and in particular, regarding the police, he\’s very painfully tread on some toes here without even realizing it. This could have happened to anybody.

    The thing to be aware of is that a lot of people have been very badly hurt by brutal and unjust police and their \”work,\” both in this city and elsewhere.

    Our society has huge amounts of propaganda generated by the world\’s biggest media corporations that are constantly at work to glorify the police

    The fact that the voices of people hurt by police brutality are continuously drowned out by these media corporations wielding their gigantic bullhorns is a bad enough injury. But it adds insult to injury when even people in the community who are not plugged into the cash river of the megamedia seem to amplify the noise drowning out those victims.

    I don\’t directly have as much at stake in this as some friends of mine do. I\’ve never been injured by cops, never gotten into it with them, and generally give them a very wide berth wnenever possible. But I have numerous friends who have had painful and highly traumatic, personally costly experiences with cops, through no fault of their own.

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    Carl January 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I\’m with Mr. Dobbs on comment 6, Jonathan. That struck me as very weird spin.

    That said…

    Here\’s a question for all of you folks who think Jonathan is too soft on Kruger:
    -Do you think Kruger would\’ve been removed from the traffic division without the help of this website?

    So you want him fired and he wasn\’t. Okay. But don\’t deny the fact that bikeportland.org was key in bringing this to a boil and forcing Rosie Sizer to take a closer look at what\’s going on in the Traffic Division. If Jonathan had stomped on Kruger and called him out as a Nazi way back during one of those stop sign stings, this wouldn\’t have happened.

    Next: a.O Really? I can\’t believe this needs explaining. Something can be \”hard\” without it being likely to kill you. Being a Parking Enforcement officer or a telemarketer is \”hard\” because people hate you for doing your job. Riding a bike isn\’t your job. My guess is it\’s how you get to your job — a minor chunk of your day. So while it may be more likely to get you killed and it may spur the occasional derisive remark from angry motorists, it\’s my guess that commuting by bike doesn\’t leave you feeling stressed out, hated, and questioning humanity. But…I\’m not a lawyer. So while riding a bike may be more dangerous than being a police officer, it sure as hell isn\’t \”harder.\”

    I wish we\’d had a chance to work with Jarmer more. He seemed promising. I hope he likes Zoobombers given his new position.

    Keep up the good work, Jonathan.

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    Antonio Gramsci January 10, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    The community generated an outcry over Kruger\’s remarks and actions, and Jonathan heard the outcry and certainly helped to broadcast it. Kudos for that!

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    Antonio Gramsci January 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    BTW: I\’ve never been critical of Jonathan here before, and the only reason that I\’m saying this stuff now is that I know people personally who have suffered at the hands of cops like Kruger, and I directly know people who have seen Kruger in action, tended the wounds of Kruger\’s victims, and who have given ME an earful for being too easygoing towards the cops, if you can believe that!!

    I don\’t blame people who have suffered traumatic firsthand experiences with police brutality for getting angry about it, and I think one has to be highly aware of this issue when talking about the cops in general, but especially when dealing with someone with Kruger\’s background.

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    wsbob January 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    I appreciate editor Maus\’s explanation of his regard for officer Kruger, expressed in comment #82. I\’d guess that talking to bureau personnel and getting good information from that organization could be a delicate balancing act. Not everyone can do it. Hostile driven questions aren\’t going to produce very constructive answers, nor will passive accepting questions.

    The public needs as good an inside line to the PPB as it can get to this very insular organization. That can the help the public to better manage performance of PPB personnel in their interactions with people. Discussion, that this weblog has helped to support, over job performance and personality of bureau personnel such as officer Mark Kruger will hopefully place increasing focus on the PPB\’s recruitment testing and training practices.

    Obviously, the bureau needs people that can be tough when the job calls for that, but it takes a quality with a little more dimension than this. A toughness managed by a genuine sense of concern for and obligation to people that make up the public the bureau is committed to serve, is what\’s required. Does Kruger have that sensibility? And what about some of the others of the PPB that seem to be of a similar personality to Kruger\’s, and that may have escorted James Chasse on to a speedy death?

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    antonio gramsci January 13, 2008 at 4:57 am

    Brady:
    Your criticism of these occupational hazard statistics is weak. EVERY occupation has its more or less hazardous moments, including groundskeepers, one of the occupations cited as having a significantly higher death and injury rate than police work. Some groundskeepers have to use hazardous heavy machinery regularly, some only rarely. Likewise, even the beat cop working the toughest neighborhood this side of Bed Stuy does not spend his whole career or even his whole day chasing gunwielding bad guys. In such cases the only things we can ever have to go on are averages. The numbers speak for themselves and belie your claims.

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    woogie January 14, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Sure not all police are \”chasing gunwielding bad guys\” but every traffic cop is under a level of stress when they pull over a vehicle.T hey don\’t know if the driver holds views such as \”I\’ll continue to see you cops as power-tripping psychopaths that need to have a maximum 4 year term limit.\”

    That stress is what makes the job hard.

    This is not the same as actually being killed on the job.

    How about looking at the stats on PTSD.

    Population on average 2-3%
    Police 13%
    Firefighters 18%
    MIlitary veterans 30%
    Raped adults 36%
    Battered women 45%
    Abused children 50%

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    Eric January 14, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Jonathan, it\’s always been tough to write about bicycle-police stuff! Here\’s a piece from the Oregonian in 1897. It\’s strangely ambivalent to me and reflects tensions on both sides. Anyway, there\’s a long history here…

    PROTECTION FOR ABUSED BICYCLISTS. – Bicyclists, whose experience has led them to regard the police as their bitter and implacable enemy, will no doubt be pleased to learn that they are mistaken. The fact is, that wheelmen are really very near to the hearts of the police, and the objects of their tenderest solictude. This is evidenced by an order recently issued to a patrolman to strictly enforce the throwing of glass, nails, and other enemies to the bicyclist’s peace of mind, on streets and sidewalks. Of course, it is well known that ordinances are not supposed to be enforced unless special orders to that effect are given, and wheelmen may feel very grateful to think so much consideration may be given them. If the ordinance is strictly enforced, the annoying habits of certain misanthropes of placing tacks and bottle necks in the paths of bicyclists will be checked by fine and imprisonment, and soon a wheelman may safely ride through the city without rooting his eyes apprehensively on the sidewalks in front of him.

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    Alan March 3, 2008 at 2:30 am

    About Captain Kruger… what we should be looking at is what is down the road for this guy. He will not be in DVD for ever. Kruger will continue moving up. Next stop: Commander. Then, Assistant Chief. And finally, Chief of Police. Don\’t think that will ever happen? Well, who ever thought Kruger would have been promoted in the first place? And of course captain and DVD are promotions for him. Kruger could have ended up in worse places, like the ID Division where they stuck Mike Garvey a while back… Today DVD, tommorrow the world? How would everyone like to live in a city with a Kruger controlled police bureau? Don\’t think it can happen??

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  • What’s New With Mick :: Bikers Win March 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    […] reports that Lt. Mark Kruger has been transferred and promoted. Lt. Kruger will soon be the captain in charge of the Drug and Vice division, a position for which […]

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    AquaPig February 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Sometimes there is no appreciation for the work a police officer does everyday and the CRAP they put up with. In the culture of today, anyone in a position of authority can be seen as a jack-booted, nazi, racist thug. Phil Busse in his article about Kruger shows that he has a bias against police. It was a dark night and we pulled over a car for running a light. The first thing out of the mouth was…you pulled us over cause were black. My response was…””You were 100 yards from us when you blew the light, I couldn’t tell if you were blue, black or green, so that kinda racist crap won’t work with me, shame on you lady!”
    I’m not saying that 100% of the cops are not racist or nasty, but I would bet the majority…High 90%, are good people, just trying to do good.

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    joe February 8, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    AquaPig – I think we all agree with your comment “I’m not saying that 100% of the cops are not racist or nasty, but I would bet the majority…High 90%, are good people, just trying to do good.”

    the problem is that the 5% or so bad apples continue to terrorize our city with impunity. If we had PPB leadership that would identify, discipline then remove these repeat offender bad actors in the PPB; the whole city would view the cops in a better way.

    Recently, one of these bad actors was just sued, Again. As long as people like Christopher Humpreys are allowed to wear a badge here, the department will have problems.

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    Kruger's Nazi Plaques Found October 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm
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    I am not Chris Humphreys October 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    There was a cover-up for awhile AquaPig, but even the Police are starting to admit that Kruger’s bizarre obsession with genocidal murderers crosses the line of acceptability…

    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/10/portland_police_panel_finds_ca.html

    Personally once he started pepper spraying reporters I thought they should fire him.

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