In a bid to save money, the Portland Police Bureau hopes to replace some of its sworn officers with volunteer bike riders in this year’s Grand Floral Parade.
Lieutenant John Brooks with the PPB’s East Precinct is in charge of the parade. He says they usually use about 266 officers to work the route, but this year he wants to cut that number to 80. To fill that gap and bolster efforts of bike cops, he hopes to find about 40 bike riding volunteers to step forward and help.
“There is no reason to pay sworn police officers straight time and/or overtime for an event that does not require that degree of qualification.”
— Lt. John Brooks, Portland Police Bureau
Lt. Brooks says it’s about “fiscal responsibility” and adds that citizen volunteers would be perfect for the job. “There is no reason to pay sworn police officers straight time and/or overtime for an event that does not require that degree of qualification.”
Here’s more from an email I got from Lt. Brooks:
“From the cycling community I am hoping for 40 cyclists who I could break up into groups of three citizens and one police officer (on a bike) to help with a section of the parade route. This cadre of four would have the responsibility for a 6 block section and would help spectators understand where they can sit and where they can’t.”
In addition, Lt. Brooks says the people on bikes would also act as helpful hosts and answer questions about the event (stuff like “where’s the bathroom?”) from parade-goers.
I’ve always wanted to see more bikes in the Grand Floral Parade and this seems like an excellent step on many fronts. Or, as Lt. Brooks puts it, “It’s a great way to serve your community from the saddle of a bike.”
The parade is on June 12th and the PPB needs volunteers from about 8am to 2pm. If you’re interested, please contact Lt. Brooks at (503) 823-4829 or john[dot]brooks[at]portlandoregon[dot]gov.