Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts announced Friday his deputies would no longer be responding to most service calls within the city of Portland.
In a letter to Sheriff’s Office employees, Roberts wrote that he will be pulling back services from Portland in the coming weeks.
“I will not place you at unnecessary personal and professional risk,” he wrote to the workers.
The move follows a similar withdrawal by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in early April. According to the Oregonian/OregonLive, officers from that jurisdiction injured a North Portland man while helping serve a search warrant and were sued, leading Sheriff Pat Garrett to end much of his department’s work with Portland.
“I don’t make these decisions lightly,” Roberts wrote in his letter. “Our work is dangerous enough without adding unnecessary risk when responding to calls for services in the City of Portland.”
Roberts said he also considered an April 8 statement from the Portland Police Association when making his decision. In that statement police union President Daryl Turner said there is an “intense anti-police sentiment in our city that City Council seems to share.”
Speaking to OPB’s “Think Out Loud” in March, Portland Police Chief Danielle Outlaw said actions like the city recently pulling out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with the FBI send a message that can be worrisome to agencies like Washington County, and now Clackamas County.
“There’s a perception that political ideology trumps public safety here,” she said.
Though Clackamas County deputies will no longer service most calls in Portland, Roberts said they will still provide assistance to “any officer from any agency in immediate need of assistance.” He also said Clackamas deputies will continue work with TriMet on county matters and will deploy officers who work with special teams like SWAT on a “case-by-case basis.”