Portland Council Unanimously Approves Deal For Unarmed Police 'Safety Specialists'



Portland Council Unanimously Approves Deal For Unarmed Police 'Safety Specialists'

After years of discussion, Portland is one step closer to hiring a team of 12 unarmed “public safety specialists” to respond to incidents that don’t require a uniformed police officer.
 
In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the City Council approved a change to the city’s labor agreement with the Portland Police Association, the union that represents rank-and-file officers. 
 
The agreement lays out what the new unarmed safety specialists, known as PS3s, will do and how they’ll be trained.
 
The city says the specialists will wear khaki pants and carry pepper spray. They will drive their own specially marked cars to distinguish them from armed officers.
 
“They will go on walking patrols. They’ll attend your neighborhood meetings. They’ll generally serve as ambassadors of good will in the community,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said.
 
The PS3s will respond to a fairly narrow set of incidents, including thefts and break-ins without a suspect, minor traffic collisions that don’t involve injuries, and aiding police officers searching for missing children and elderly adults.

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