BEND, OR -- The Bend Police Department is gathering input from the community to determine future funding needs and priorities. Chief Jim Porter says a bi-annual survey is used to target how tax dollars are spent, "It’s not me as the Chief of Police saying, ‘I want this here.’ It’s, ‘No. People – citizens of Bend – who pay for us want this; the City Council, who’s been elected, wants this. And, my staff, as professionals, believe that we can actually implement this way."
Chief Porter tells KBND News, "Our last survey, people felt extremely unsafe [in] downtown Bend in the evenings. So, that’s when I went back to ask for an increase in officers to focus on what’s happening downtown. They felt traffic was not being controlled. I went back and asked for additional traffic officers and we focused there." He expects this year’s survey to show those are still big priorities. "We’re hoping, also, to be able to propose to the City Council two new positions within the police department, and that is to address homelessness – straight-up homelessness – as liaisons to homeless, panhandling and those types of situations. To have specialists help us reduce that issue by getting those people connected with services or locations so they aren’t sleeping on the sidewalk. We’re hoping that is something we can convey a need for to the Council."
Portland State University conducted a statistically valid survey in the first phase of the community feedback project. Now, Bend residents who were not contacted during that phase are asked to participate in an online survey available on the Bend Police website, or HERE. To watch a video message from the Chief regarding the survey, visit the department's Facebook page.