I was very dismayed to hear that the Portland Police Department’s concerns about Preble Street Resource Center’s operational style and low-barrier philosophy were squashed by the City Council. And that the Portland Public Safety Committee’s request for more dialog between the PPD, PSRC, and the Bayside Neighborhood Association was ordered ended before even getting underway. It seems that PSRC was able to once again use its “get-out-of-jail-free card” and avoid having to actually work with the community to make Bayside a safer place to live and work.
I was at the Public Safety meeting where police Cmdr. Vern Malloch addressed the committee with his concerns about the dangerous environment in and around the PSRC. The residents, workers, and visitors of the Bayside neighborhood want to feel safe in their homes and on the streets. For many years working with the BNA I watched PSRC give us nothing but lip service when asked by the BNA to make changes to help conditions in our neighborhood. The BNA, always acquiescent, would continue trying to be fair with an organization they viewed as both problem and partner in the neighborhood.
By dismissing police concerns and ordering them to back off PSRC the council is telling the Bayside neighborhood that our safety is not your concern. Maybe it’s time for new leadership in the Bayside Neighborhood Association and a “no more Mr. Nice Guy” approach to problems caused by the Preble Street Resource Center.