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Tigard Police Department

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview
The Tigard Police Department (TPD) runs a 24/7 operation. The patrol division, with supervisors and 33 sworn officers, responds to 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls 24-hours per day, 365 days a year. Calls can run the gamut from a commercial robbery in progress, a burglary that happened while a resident was at work to concerns about individuals experiencing mental health crises. Responding to emergency calls is the Department’s top priority.

Officers are also assigned to specialty units such as the School Resource Officer program, K-9 Unit, Traffic Safety Unit, Commercial Crimes Unit (CCU) and Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). There are a number of Washington County and regional interagency teams that TPD participates in such as the Westside Interagency Narcotics team and the SWAT team.

Despite an increase in demand for service, the number of TPD sworn officers has declined over the last 10 years from 74 to 72 while total TPD staff has declined from 93 to 88.5.

Since Chief McAlpine joined TPD in April 2017, the department is in the process of finalizing a strategic visioning plan based on the input of staff, supervisors, city leadership and community members, and the analysis of crime trends, staffing levels, response times and service demands.  This process is centered on identifying best practices and ways to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness in delivering police services.

How do I report a crime or get police services?
If you have an emergency dial 911. For non-emergency police services call 503-629-0111 any time. For police records information or other Tigard police business call 503-639-6168 everyday from 8 AM to 11 PM.

Why haven’t I seen an officer patrolling my neighborhood recently?
Officers proactively patrol neighborhoods when they are not responding to calls for service, following up on cases or working on community policing projects related to ongoing criminal activity in neighborhoods. Since 2012, dispatched calls for service have increased by 16% to 21,016 calls. Officers are also responding to more calls related to mental health crises and homelessness / transient issues, which are often time intensive. As officers dedicate more time to calls for service, they are less available to engage in pro-active, community policing efforts such as patrolling neighborhoods to increase visibility.

Please report every crime to the police as well as suspicious activity. If your neighbors are not reporting incidents to the police, TPD may not be aware of crime trends in your neighborhood that require attention.

Why does TPD have specialty units?
TPD has specialty units such as the School Resource Officer program, CCU, CIU, Traffic Safety Unit as well as officers assigned to county and regional narcotic and other teams. By focusing on a specialty area, officers develop expertise and become efficient in their responses and investigations. For example, Traffic Safety officers know how to efficiently clear a complex crash to re-open lanes of traffic fast but still investigate the scene accurately. With nearly 1700 crashes reported in 2017, this skill helps lessen the impact of these incidents on traffic flows. With I-5, 217 and Pacific Highway within city limits, these skills are tested every day.

Why did it take so long for officers to respond to my non-emergency call? 
In general, TPD emergency response times have increased over the last five years from 5.18 to 6.23 minutes.  Calls to 9-1-1 and the non-emergency number are prioritized based on the severity of the incident, i.e. person crimes are the highest priority.  Other factors such as call load, time required to address an incident and the number of officers available on a shift also affect response times. If shift is at minimum staffing levels and there is a call where resident and officer safety is a factor, multiple officers may be required to respond to an incident, leaving only one to two patrol officers available to respond to all other calls in the city.

What kind of training do officers receive?
Hiring and training an officer can take 12-18 months before they are ready to work alone, just like any other apprenticeship. New officers receive 3-5 weeks of orientation training as soon as they are hired, then sixteen weeks of basic police academy, followed by at least twenty weeks of on-the-job supervised training with journeymen officers evaluating their work. Each year seasoned officers receive continuing education in firearms, defensive tactics, confrontational simulation and other “tools of the trade” like the Taser®.  They also take communications, report writing, leadership and other job-related courses such as first aid, crisis intervention and DUII detection training.   

How is TPD addressing unauthorized campsites in Tigard?
Over the last year, TPD has received more calls related to camps throughout the city, many that are on private property. In the past, officers have been able to do proactive outreach with campers, providing them with social service resources to help them get into transitional housing. While the number of individuals experiencing houselessness in the city has increased, staffing limitations have prevented the officers from proactively doing outreach over the past year. Limited resources mean officers can only react to problems at sites called in through 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number by working with the property owner, alerting social service agencies about the camp and providing advanced notice to campers to leave the property. One camp, which grew to nearly 15 people, drew numerous complaints from neighbors about excessive garbage, human waste, safety issues and drugs at this site. The site likely wouldn’t have grown to this size if officers could have continued to perform proactive outreach. The Tigard Police Department’s vision is to have the staffing available for officers and our social service agencies to reach out consistently and with compassion to individuals experiencing homelessness.

How do I report a problem with parking, abandoned vehicles or speeding in my neighborhood?

At www.tigard-or.gov/contact, you can find links to webpage complaint forms to alert the city about parking, abandoned vehicles and speeding issues. Those complaints will be forwarded to TPD when applicable. For a complaint involving speeding, choose the option traffic complaints and include the time of day and days of the week that you are noticing a pattern of speeding.

How can I learn what crimes are happening in my neighborhood?

TPD provides a crime mapping tool called Crime Spotter at http://tigard-or.gov/police/crimespotter.php.  The data used in Crime Spotter is derived from Tigard Police reports.

Are there going to be budget cuts in the department?

The City of Tigard is potentially facing budget cuts over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years. The department currently has three open positions that will not be filled due to an anticipated hiring freeze beginning July 2018. If the financial picture does not stabilize, additional staff reductions may be made during the 2019-20 fiscal year. If that is case, then the Department will need to reduce and eliminate specialty units and reassign officers to core services—responding to 9-1-1 calls and investigating felony crimes.

Why can’t you raise funds for the department by issuing more speeding tickets?

Traffic Safety Officers focus on speed enforcement when they are not responding to crashes, which are frequent and time-intensive.  Patrol officers can only work on speed enforcement if they are not responding to emergency and non-emergency calls for service. Finally, the amount of the fine for a speeding violation is often reduced based on the individual’s driving record. The state and county will then receive a sizable portion of the fine before the remainder is remitted to the city. There also costs associated with operating a local court.

How do I get a restraining order? 
You need to contact Washington County Circuit Court. They are located at 145 NE Second Avenue in Hillsboro, Oregon. For additional information you may contact them by telephone at 503-846-8767. 

I see graffiti. What should I do?
The Tigard police department is aware of the problems graffiti is causing in our community and we work diligently, on a daily basis, to get it cleaned up as quickly as we can. At one time we considered implementing a "reporting form" on this web site for reporting graffiti and other crimes but decided against it as these types of incidents need to be tracked through normal reporting channels, such as our dispatch center. To report graffiti, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 503-629-0111. If you observe it being done—then call 911. Read more about Tigard's Graffiti Ordinance. 

How do I get a Concealed Handgun Permit? 
You will need to contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office to obtain a permit. For additional information please call 503-846-2761. 

How do I obtain a Business License? 
All businesses doing services in Tigard are required to pay a business license fee to the City. Information and fee schedules can be obtained at Tigard City Hall located at 13125 SW Hall Blvd. For information regarding Business Licenses, call 503-718-2487 or visit the Business License page. 

Are dog licenses required in the City of Tigard? 
Yes. Licenses may be obtained through Washington County Animal Services. This agency enforces all animal ordinances within the City of Tigard. You may telephone their office at 503-846-7041 to learn about services they provide.
    
How can I find out if there is a Neighborhood Watch Program in my area? 
Contact our Crime Prevention Officer at 503-718-2561 during normal business hours. In the event there is no active program in your area, consider initiating one. The Crime Prevention Officer can provide you with details. 

I have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. What should I do? 
Follow these guidelines from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

 
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