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Portland Police Bureau names (another) new Traffic Division captain

Posted by on June 20th, 2018 at 11:13 am

New PPB Traffic Division Captain Stephanie Lourenco.

On June 28th, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw will promote Lieutenant Stephanie Lourenco to the rank of captain of the Traffic Division. We follow that position closely here on BikePortland because it’s the Traffic Division captain who has the most influence over street safety and transportation-related issues.

Lourenco will replace Michael Crebs, who is taking a position in parking enforcement with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The promotion of Lourenco to Captain is notable for several reasons: Stephanie is the first transgender person in the Bureau’s history to hold that rank, the first non cis-gendered person to lead the division since at least 2005, and just the latest in a long-running trend of short-lived captains at the Traffic Division. Since I started keeping track we’ve had Bill Sinnott, Marty Rowley, Vince Jarmer, Larry O’Dea, Eric Hendricks, Bryan Parman, Todd Wyatt, Eric Schober, and Michael Crebs. This frequent turnover makes it much more difficult to establish the the type of relationships with city staff, advocacy groups, and the community-at-large that we need to fix complex problems.


Lourenco comes to the Traffic Division as a 19-year PPB veteran and has worked as a patrol officer in several precincts throughout the city. Her record includes stints in the Family Services Division/Domestic Violence Reduction Unit and as lieutenant of Central Precinct. A statement from the PPB says Lourenco has numerous commendations letters for her community policing efforts, professionalism and compassion.

Now Lourenco will put those leadership and policing skills to use running a division that’s in charge of vital programs like DUII enforcement, enforcement actions, the Major Crash Team, the Photo Radar/Red Light program, and more.

Welcome to Traffic Division Capt. Lourenco! We look forward to meeting you and working with you on transportation issues.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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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

  • Stephen J Sanow June 20, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Welcome to your new endeavor, Officer Laurenco. I hope you’ll find it rewarding. We sure do need the help.

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  • bikeninja June 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Welcome Aboard, and may a new tide of justice roll in until the traffic scofflaws are swept from our fair land.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy June 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you for not taking an autocentric approach to that 🙂

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      • 9watts June 20, 2018 at 3:27 pm

        You would say something like that….

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      • Chris I June 21, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Right. We wouldn’t want to target the vehicles that are causing over 99% of the road deaths out there.

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  • rick June 20, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Will there be an open house meet and greet?

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  • J_R June 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    The captain’s gender is completely irrelevant. I don’t see why it is even mentioned.

    What I want to know is what’s the captain’s support for vulnerable road users and will the captain’s leadership do anything to reduce the apparent bias against bicyclists by some Traffic Division personnel?

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    • 9watts June 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      I don’t know.
      I for one appreciate learning about this aspect. Historically our police forces have tended toward white and male, which isn’t per se a good thing. Whether the also widespread institutional propensities toward violence and bias can be traced to these demographics I don’t know, but I wouldn’t rule it out. To now have a black female head the bureau and a transgender captain communicates to me that perhaps we here can move beyond some of these unfortunate legacies. I’m at least open to those possibilities, though certainly won’t suggest race, sex, & gender are necessary or sufficient to the task. Now we get to find out.

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      • Resopmok June 20, 2018 at 4:57 pm

        There is of course still a long history of chauvanistic male culture within the police force that probably won’t fade immediately, but a diversified leadership is certainly a start.

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        • 9watts June 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm

          “There is of course still a long history of chauvanistic male culture within the police force that probably won’t fade immediately”
          of course.

          “but a diversified leadership is certainly a start.”
          my point.
          class=”recommended”>Recommended 0

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    • pebbles June 20, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      Of course, the focus should not be on the captain’s gender – but it isn’t.

      As an LGBTQ+ person, I appreciate hearing about a career “first” for a trans person, especially in the police department. I’m sorry that reading the half-sentence about it was such an inconvenience to you..

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  • Granpa June 21, 2018 at 5:46 am

    A female or LGBTQ officer can ignore enforcement as well as a white male.

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    • Chris I June 21, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Your statement is not wrong, but it also doesn’t really need to be said.

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  • Rivelo
    Rivelo June 21, 2018 at 7:13 am

    I exchanged a few emails with the outgoing Michael Crebs regarding ongoing speeding issues that we were (and still are) having in NE Portland.

    He told me that on any given day, he only had four officers available for traffic enforcement, and that they were often pulled for other duty, vacations, etc., meaning that he often had less than four officers.

    Four officers for the whole city? Until *that* changes, it doesn’t matter who is in charge. Sadly.

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    • Mike Quigley June 21, 2018 at 7:56 am

      All the more need for photo-enforcement. And if they’d jack up the fines, they’d be able to afford more cops.

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      • paikiala June 21, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Yours is a common misperception, that citation revenue primarily goes to City coffers. Citation revenue to the city is a fraction of what goes to the County Court system and other funds.
        Portland enforces traffic law for safety reasons, not revenue.

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        • BrianC June 21, 2018 at 11:35 am

          And if you don’t understand how important it is to make sure that your police force does *not* become a revenue source for the municipality in which they work… Just review the events in Ferguson MO and the ensuing civil unrest.

          It’s bad, bad, bad to get into a situation in which your citizens become a *revenue source*…

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      • soren June 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

        Oregon state law hamstrings photo-enforcement. For example automated speed photo-enforcement is illegal on almost all of Portland’s road system.

        Perhaps it’s time to criticize and oppose state elected officials whose financial conflicts of interests have led them to help perpetuate regressive transportation policy.

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        • paikiala June 22, 2018 at 8:39 am

          The cameras run $35k+ per enforcement direction just to install, and cost v. effectiveness is always a public-sector factor in decision making. The speed cameras are best suited for high volume locations, probably roads above 15,000 vehicles per day. Marine Drive serves about 13,000 where new cameras were recently activated.
          I would not wish for a Singapore style police state, and expanding the reach of police powers is a step in that direction. What was it B. Franklin said about giving up freedom for security and achieving neither?

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  • Tom June 21, 2018 at 7:40 am

    I hope she will consider being innovative in the use of already existing and puchased technology to reduce the subgroup of people driving on suspended or revoked licenses who are megaoffenders with long lists of traffic citations, and/or multiple DUI. This capability exists even with limited resources and only needs to be utilized to a greater extend in order to make the streets safer from the wor st chronic offenders.

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    • paikiala June 21, 2018 at 8:25 am

      Please, enlighten us, that we might respond.

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  • paikiala June 21, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Fatal crash events typically outnumber murders in Portland. Shouldn’t the police force numbers devoted to stemming fatal crash losses more closely match the numbers devoted to addressing murders in Portland?

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  • huh June 21, 2018 at 9:52 am

    “Stephanie is the first transgender person in the Bureau’s history to hold that rank, the first non cis-gendered person to lead the division since at least 2005”

    So there was a trans or non-binary lead of the division pre 2005? Or do you think cis=male?

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  • Buzz June 21, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    The reason so many officers rotate through this position is because it is a promotional opportunity that helps pad the retirement benefits of PPB’s favored officers nearing retirement age.

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