Traffic Division officers star in new PPB ‘Talking Beat’ podcast

Posted on May 8th, 2019 at 1:05 pm.

Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom is featured in the new podcast.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Everyone’s podcasting these days… including your local police officers.

The Portland Police Bureau launched a new podcast today. The ‘Talking Beat’ aims to provide, “Thoughtful conversations that… will inform and provide you with a small glimpse of the work performed by Portland police officers as well as issues affecting public safety in our city.” Among the first three episodes unveiled today included a discussion about transportation issues.

Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom and Ofc. Chris Johnson joined the host for a wide-ranging chat that included topics like distracted driving, visibility of walkers (or lack thereof), why people are allowed to speed without being cited, and more. (You might recall that Sgt. Engstrom was recently featured in our story about stop sign enforcement at Ladd Circle.)

Below are a few salient excerpts:
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Comments of the Week: Perspectives on more law enforcement

Posted on April 12th, 2019 at 4:51 pm.

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As our community continues to grapple with a spate of deadly and serious injury collisions, much of the discussion in the past few days has focused on enforcement.

It’s an important topic that deserves a productive debate.

Out of around 260 comments in this shortened week (I was out of town Monday-Tuesday), here are three that stood out:

Reader MTW had this to say in response to our story about North Fessenden:[Read more…]

Amid spate of collisions, Portland Police Chief calls for more enforcement

Posted on April 11th, 2019 at 4:55 pm.

With 14 fatal traffic crashes so far this year and six in the past four days, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw couldn’t stay quiet any longer.
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Ask BikePortland: What should I do if a driver harassed me and police don’t take it seriously?

Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 2:49 pm.

(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The latest installment of our Ask BikePortland column comes from a woman named Sabrina S. I’ve changed her name at her request.

Here’s what she asked via email earlier this week:

“Hi – I was hoping someone at BikePortland could give advice on getting help from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) when confronted by dangerous drivers.

I was riding on Southeast Division Street with a friend. We were looking for a restaurant (which we couldn’t find) before heading over to the Clinton greenway. As we were on Division, a car came up behind us then went around us (plenty of room, not a problem). But then the driver started screamed profanities at us to get off the road. We continued on (legally riding on the street, well to the side) when the driver stopped, screamed, “You wanna fight, punk?” and then more profanities as we ignored him to continue on to our destination.
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Opinion: Why words matter in police statements about traffic crashes

Posted on February 4th, 2019 at 2:47 pm.

Scottie Graser died after a collision with a truck driver while he was riding on Highway 30 on January 13th.

Most people think it was his fault.

The truth is, we don’t yet know exactly what happened. So why do most people blame Graser? Because the Oregon State Police said so.

The official crash statement released by the OSP a mere six hours after the collision read, “Preliminary investigation reveals… Graser… entered the eastbound right lane and a collision occurred.”
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PPB Traffic Division Sgt. on Ladd Circle: ‘We don’t want to do more enforcement’

Posted on January 31st, 2019 at 1:28 pm.

GIF made from Sgt. Engstrom’s video.

I want to clear a few things up about the recent kerfluffle around Ladd Circle.

Turns out the Portland Police Bureau is anything but eager to do more enforcement. That’s what Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom shared with me in a phone conversation today.

First, let’s recap: On Tuesday, the PPB issued a statement and shared a video about the lack of stop sign compliance by people who ride and drive through Ladd Circle. The statement included a video of people blowing dangerously through the stop signs (as you can see above, one person rides through just as another person steps into the crosswalk). The behaviors were taking place at intersections where we’ve covered the exact same problem several times since 2007. The statement also said, in response to multiple complaints from nearby residents, that the PPB plans to do enforcement missions. A mention of last year’s fatality statistics and the city’s Vision Zero efforts further tied Ladd Circle to the PPB’s ongoing safety concerns.

Unfortunately, the statement didn’t fully capture the agency’s thoughts and intentions on this sensitive issue.
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With video of lawbreakers, PPB will increase focus on infamous Ladd Circle stop sign

Posted on January 29th, 2019 at 3:42 pm.

Stop sign entering Ladd Circle.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

UPDATE, 1/31: Please read this update where I give Traffic Division Sgt. Ty Engstrom the opportunity to clarify and expand on his concerns about this issue.

Here we go again.

The Portland Police Bureau just released a statement saying they’ll step up education and enforcement efforts around Ladd Circle because road users are not coming to a stop and watching for others before rolling through.

Here’s the statement:

After receiving multiple community complaints about motorists and cyclists failing to heed stop signs and endangering pedestrians in the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood, the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division responded to assess the situation. Sergeant Ty Engstrom of the Traffic Division observed the area and also the practice of most motorists and cyclists failing to come to a complete stop as required by law at the intersections.

The Ladd’s Addition intersections are roundabouts with one-way traffic and many of the motorists and cyclists, in addition to failing to stop, are also not looking to their right to check for pedestrians who have the right of way. This puts vulnerable pedestrians at risk. This residential neighborhood has a high amount of pedestrian traffic as adults, children, and pets travel on foot.
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Police stopped 34 people during a ‘crosswalk enforcement mission’: Here’s what they got cited for

Posted on January 25th, 2019 at 1:29 pm.

East Glisan at 134th Place.

The City of Portland recently conducted one of their regularly scheduled “crosswalk enforcement missions” (a.k.a. traffic stings) on Northeast Glisan at 134th Place. Portland Police Bureau officers made about one stop every three minutes during the 90-minute mission and handed out a mix of citations and warnings for everything from careless driving to failure to wear a seatbelt.
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Portland Police deploy canine, air support units to chase down bike thief

Posted on September 17th, 2018 at 11:31 am.

Good girl Utzi!
(Photo: PPB)

On Friday evening we learned what great lengths the Portland Police Bureau will go to retrieve a bicycle.

It happened around 6:00 pm in northeast Portland when someone reported that a child’s bike had been taken from the front lawn of a house on the 5500 hundred block of NE Simpson Street.

The suspect was seen walking away with the bike and didn’t stop after several neighborhood kids asked him to return it. Here’s how the ensuing chase unfolded, according to the PPB statement:

Arriving officers obtained the subject description and learned from the family members that the subject might have boarded a TriMet bus with the stolen bike.

Officers were able to locate the correct bus. Officers observed a child’s blue bike matching the victim description, mounted on the bus bike rack. Officers flagged down the bus driver, who confirmed that a male subject matching the suspect’s description was inside the bus.
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Portland Police Bureau names (another) new Traffic Division captain

Posted 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.
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