‘Coffee with Cops’ day held in Woodstock this year

By David F. Ashton, The Bee
Original article HERE

Neighbors gathered at Papaccino’s Coffee House & Cereal Bar in Woodstock on Wednesday morning, October 2, for “Coffee with a Cop” day with representatives of the Portland Police Bureau. Last year the meeting took place in Sellwood.

Folks gathered around a table on which a large pot of coffee was available, as they chatted with East Precinct police officers and Commander Tashia Hager.

“This is nice; there are some familiar faces here,” commented PPB Sergeant Lacey Sparling.

About law-enforcement-related issues, Sparling said neighbors were voicing concerns about “houselessness” and property crimes, among other things.

“We are hearing that the ‘houseless’ population causes concerns; and along with this are drug addiction, and mental health issues, that are often associated with some of this portion of the population,” Sparling told THE BEE.

“I didn’t get the latest statistics, but my sense of it is that property crimes are running quite high; and across Portland, property crime is rampant – worse than it was twenty years ago, when I started in the Bureau,” remarked Sparling.

Due to chronic staffing shortages, the sergeant suggested that people use the Bureau’s online crime reporting page – www.portlandoregon.gov/police/cor

“Reporting is really important, because the [resulting] statistics show city leaders what’s happening; and while we don’t have the capacity to do a lot of extra patrols, we supervisors use the statistics to put a little mission in focus, or [make an extra] effort in a high crime area, between taking calls,” Sparling said.

“Even if it’s not a high dollar item, if it’s reported, and we find it in a suspect’s possession, and it helps us match it up with them; victims could get it back.”

When asked how people can support their cops, Sparling said, “Having patience, knowing that a cop is likely not to come as quickly as you’d like, because of our [low] staffing.

“And, do not give up on us; continue to report crimes, continue to share your thoughts and feelings with us, because we really do care about our community.”