Amend the FY 2021-22 Revised Budget for Public Safety Support Specialist program expansion
The City of Portland ordains:
Section 1. The Council finds:
- In Fiscal Year 2017-18, City Council provided the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) with ongoing funding for a Community Service Officer pilot program which included funding for 22.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, called Public Safety Support Specialists (PS3s);
- PPB developed polices, a training academy, and a field training program for the PS3s, and secured equipment and vehicles for the program. The bureau then tasked its Training Division with developing a plan to measure the effectiveness of the PS3 program;
- PS3s are able to take a large amount of low priority calls that would typically be handled by patrol officers, including cold stolen vehicle, cold theft, recovered vehicle, and lost/found/recovered property calls;
- In Fiscal Year 2021-22, Council held in the Adopted Budget contingency funding for 12.0 of the 22.0 FTE PS3 positions of the program, contingent upon a program evaluation being performed;
- In Fiscal Year 2021-22, the Police Bureau completed the internal study of the PS3 program in order to determine its effectiveness;
- PPB contacted several vendors to determine their ability to do the peer-review evaluation of the internal study and receive their quotes. A vendor was selected from the respondents; and
- The program evaluation was completed and the Police Bureau is submitting the evaluation in order to satisfy the contingency.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:
- The Fiscal Year 2021-22 Appropriation Schedule is hereby amended as follows:
Portland Police Bureau
Fund – 100
Business Area – PL
Portland Police Bureau
Fund – 100
Business Area –PL
Bureau Program Expenses- $988,032
- The actions amending the FY 2021-22 Revised Budget contained in this ordinance are binding City policy.
An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)
Passed by Council
Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero
Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information
The PS3 Program received Council approval and funding for 12.0 Public Safety Support Specialists (PS3s) in 2017 and received stakeholder approval in 2018. The first nine (9) PS3s were hired in June 2019 and began taking calls in November 2019.
Since its inception, the PS3 program has adhered to its original intent and purpose. The redistribution of workload to PS3s and the current critical staffing shortage of police officers, has allowed patrol officers to focus on responding to higher priority calls for service. Having PS3s handling more lower priority calls for service and being more involved in community engagement opportunities can improve citizen satisfaction regarding response times and the overall ability of officers to respond to calls.
PS3s are able to take a large amount of low priority calls that would typically be handled by patrol officers. Between January 2020 and October 2021, PS3s have taken the majority (66%) of all “Vehicle Stolen-Cold” calls. The top four call types taken by PS3s (“Vehicle Stolen-Cold,” “Theft-Cold,” “Vehicle Recovered,” and “Property Lost, Found, Recovered”), account for about 74% of PS3-eligible call load; all concern stolen or recovered property and vehicles. When not actively taking calls, PS3s spend time writing reports, entering property into a property collection facility, and taking calls by phone as needed. They frequently assist officers at traffic crash scenes or other locations where blocking traffic is needed, or by waiting with vehicles for the arrival of a tow truck. PS3s also actively self-initiate calls for service, such as locating and recovering unreported and unoccupied stolen vehicles.
The Fiscal Year 2021-22 Adopted Budget was amended by Council to reduce the Police Bureau’s (PPB) budget by $988,032 in relation to 12.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) Public Safety Support Specialist (PS3) positions. Council had those funds held in contingency within the Bureau’s budget, provided that PPB has the Public Safety Support Specialist (PS3) program evaluated for efficacy.
The Police Bureau performed an internal evaluation of the program, which resulted in a draft study.
PPB then requested proposals from outside individuals, firms, teams or consultants who could demonstrate their experience in developing and completing a peer review of the PS3 study. A vendor was selected and provided the evaluation, which focused on the study’s methodologies, statistical tests, interpretation of data, and outcomes.
This legislation was created to formally submit the evaluation to Council, fulfill the criteria set forth in the Adopted Budget Amendment, and request the release of the contingent funds back into the PPB budget in order to reestablish the 12.0 FTE PS3 staff positions affected by the Amendment.
Financial and Budgetary Impacts
This action reinstates $988,032 of funds held in contingency back into the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Police Bureau budget.
The legislation allows for elevated future staffing levels within the PS3 program. The legislation does not create or re-classify positions, but it does release funding that will be used to fund salaries of 12.0 FTE PS3 positions.
Community Impacts and Community Involvement
This legislation will allow PPB to expand its PS3 program to its originally envisioned 22.0 FTE member force. The PS3 program helps the Bureau to reduce the backlog of stolen property reports and vehicle crime reports. This in turn allows the sworn members of the force to focus on crimes in progress and more severe criminal activity.
Community members will have access to more Bureau employees focused on notifying them of recovered property and vehicles, they will have more PPB staff working to proactively identify stolen property and vehicles and make notifications to owners.
Budgetary Impact Worksheet
|Fund||Fund Center||Commitment Item||Functional Area||Funded Program||Grant||Sponsored Program||Amount|
382 Regular Agenda in May 11-12, 2022 Council Agenda
Passed to second reading
415 Regular Agenda in May 18-19, 2022 Council Agenda
- Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
- Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
- Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
- Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
- Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea