Last week we blogged about the Oregon State Marine Board boss's skepticism regarding Portland Mayor Sam Adams' proposal to save Multnomah County money by taking over the river patrol.
Now we can add one more naysayer to the plan: Detective Todd Shanks, head of the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriffs Association.
Shanks says his 90-member union—which is heavily influential in sheriff's elections with its endorsement of a candidate—opposes Adams' plan. About 15 deputies in Shanks' union work the river beat.
"Those are our jobs that we perform and have performed for a long time," Shanks says. "We plan on continuing to deliver the level of service we have for our river community and the citizens of the county."
Shanks points out that a committee met several years ago to look at whether the city or another entity should take over the county river-patrol duties. The conclusion: "Nobody can provide better service or do it cheaper than the sheriff's office," Shanks says.
Shanks says the union would adamantly oppose using city fire crews to patrol the rivers. Shanks says fire crews are not trained to handle many demands of the job.
"We don't think that is fair to the citizens," Shanks says.
Adams met Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton for the first time last week to discuss the plan, which Adams first floated at his State of the City speech last month. The mayor and the sheriff agreed not to discuss the proposal publicly for several weeks while both sides research the issue, according to Staton's office.