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An encouraging note from the Police Chief’s office

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Asst. Chief Larry O’Dea.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As I noted yesterday, there have been a lot of changes at the Portland Police Bureau lately and the Traffic Division – the arm of the bureau that is engaged with biking and transportation issues — has not been immune to them.

Today, former TD captain and now Assistant Chief of Police Larry O’Dea sent out a statement via email to a list of his “Traffic Safety Partners.” O’Dea has been a hugely positive force for traffic safety since he came to the TD back in January 2008 and, even though he left after 11 months for his current position, he has maintained an interest and involvement in the issue. With that in mind, here’s the text of O’Dea’s message (emphasis mine and shared with his permission):

“The events of last week have brought much change in short order. One of those changes is bringing Captain Hendricks from the Traffic Division to the Chief’s Office as the Assistant Chief of Investigations. I will be moving over from Services to become the Assistant Chief of Operations. The good news is that you will now have two of your Assistant Chiefs having been Traffic Captains. The bad news is that you are having to experience another turnover in that position in a relatively short time.

I want to take this time to assure you that the Chief’s Office is committed to maintaining our momentum and the collaborative direction that we have been travelling with our partners over the last two and a half years. We are committed to supporting the multi-modal transportation vision of the city and recognize our role in helping to support the education, enforcement, and engineering efforts that continue to keep Portland’s transportation system a progressive model. I also want to assure you that the next captain that we assign to the Traffic Division will be one that I, Eric, and Chief Reese believe will continue this direction and maintain these critical relationships. In the interim, Lieutenant Parman – a familiar and trusted face- will continue to be available and will lead the Traffic Division. He will also help transition the next captain into their role and responsibilities once selected to the division.”

That folks, is what building relationships and working together is all about. And it didn’t happen by accident — it’s the result of years of work by citizens, advocacy groups, city employees and elected officials coming together to share concerns and work for solutions.

Thanks Asst. Chief O’Dea. We too look forward to meeting the next captain and to continuing to build a productive relationship between the community and the Portland Police Bureau.