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OSP Troopers Back on 24 Hour Patrol at Portland and Tualatin Offices
04/13/2009
Lieutenant Jason Bledsoe
Oregon State Police - Portland
(503) 731-3020 ext. 226
 
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

After six years of no Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers working around-the-clock in the Portland metropolitan area, the first step will be taken Wednesday when troopers resume 24-hour coverage four nights a week. OSP plans on completing the transition to seven day 24-hour coverage starting in July.
 
"During the last six years there were several challenges while OSP ran 20-hour daily coverage in this area," said OSP Superintendent Timothy McLain. "We greatly appreciate how many of our area partner law enforcement agencies tried to help fill in the gap caused by our lack of availability to respond. Our recent staffing level increases have now placed us to the point of being there to help the public and fellow officers when we are called."
 
With the support of Governor Ted Kulongoski and legislative leadership during the 2007 legislative session, OSP has been working hard to get state troopers back on 24/7 patrol at key locations around the state. The OSP Central Point Area Command office was the first to return to around-the-clock coverage last December. Other OSP offices are close to resuming 24/7 coverage in the coming months.

 
"This is another important step in reversing the declining state police presence on our roads," Governor Kulongoski said. "It took years to reverse this trend but Oregon remains on the path to ensure our communities have 24/7 coverage across the state."

 
Starting April 15, 2009, OSP will add a patrol shift to provide troopers working between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., a time period left uncovered during the last six years at the Portland and Tualatin worksites. Initially, the added shift will work Wednesday through Saturday nights. As newly hired recruit troopers complete their training and get out on solo patrol, OSP anticipates the coverage will be extended in July to seven days a week.

 
According to Lieutenant Jason Bledsoe, Area Commander at the Portland office, as of April 15th the OSP Portland Area Command office and Tualatin worksite has 36 sworn state troopers assigned to patrol approximately 575 highway miles in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. Prior to July 2007, the Portland and Tualatin offices had 22 patrol troopers.
 
"The new recruit troopers added to our office not only is helping us return to 24/7 coverage, it is also putting visible OSP patrol presence on secondary state highway areas where he have crash and crime problems that were infrequently being patrolled on a consistent basis," said Bledsoe. "My hope is that our renewed presence will alleviate the call load pressure on our law enforcement partners, provide an additional resource to these agencies throughout the night if needed, and help make our area roads safer."

 
Department staffing increases helped OSP troopers increase statewide patrol-related contacts last year. In 2008, over 237,000 traffic contacts were reported, a ten percent increase from 2007. OSP DUII arrests also jumped from 4,211 (2007) to 4,478 (2008).