Why I'm Running for Re-Election as Multnomah County Sheriff
When I was elected in November 2016, I promised to work hard to address very serious challenges in our community: gun violence, substance abuse, untreated mental health issues, and homelessness. I believe that trust is the foundation of a safe community, so as we work to address these challenges, I promised to focus on repairing trust with the communities we serve by treating every person we encounter with respect.
Serving as your Sheriff of Multnomah County for the last year has been a distinct honor. I am proud of the work we’ve accomplished so far:
- Gun violence – The proliferation of guns in the hands of dangerous people continues to threaten our community. Under my direction, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is part of a coordinated, county-wide response to background check failure that will improve our ability to reduce gun violence. This is just one piece of my gun violence reduction efforts focused on interdiction, prevention, and enforcement.
- Immigration – We benefit together when everyone in the community, regardless of immigration status, can report dangerous activity without hesitation. Neither Multnomah County or the state of Oregon believe that local law enforcement officers should spend their time or taxpayer’s money doing the job of federal agents. As Sheriff, my job is to provide clear direction to our staff and the community that immigration status does not affect how we treat any individual.
- Drug addiction, mental health illness, and homelessness – We cannot arrest our way out of deeper problems rooted in poverty and under-investment in mental health services and substance abuse treatment. As Sheriff, I am working with communities across the region to forge solutions that engage and divert individuals who are homeless, experiencing a mental health crisis, or suffering from drug addiction. Our goal is to reduce the harm people in crisis cause for themselves and the community.
As we build on our progress and work toward more solutions, I know that many of the problems we encounter in the criminal justice system stem from society’s failure to address root causes like poverty, untreated mental health issues, addiction, and the racial divide in America. We must find ways to bridge the divide and invest in solutions that lift people up – not lock them away.
Solving these problems requires innovative thinking and a commitment to working together with communities across the region. I am proud of the progress we have made, and remain committed to making Multnomah County a safe place to live and work.