Rapping Back #14/PPR #14-- April 1998


Perplexing Police Perspectives Present Public Policy Problems

Portland Copwatch analyzes info in the Police Union Newsletter, the Rap Sheet


In the February Rap Sheet, Loren Christensen takes us for a ride with the "Ho King." That's what Officer Brian Duddy is called by his buddies, according to Christensen.

Officially titled "Prostitution Coordinator" of the Southeast Precinct, Duddy patrols the Constitutionally-dubious "Prostitution Free Zone" (PFZ).

Christensen demonstrates an understanding of prostitution as having social causes--poverty, sexual abuse, etc. However, he is completely satisfied with the one-dimensional response of throwing these unfortunate women in jail. Christensen concedes that law enforcement can do nothing to stop prostitution­­but he doesn't care. His concern, he writes, is to keep it out of the sight of "our children and our mothers."

Duddy's comments on pimps (or, Prostitution Coordinators, so to speak) show that he is just as uninterested in actually ending prostitution and other violence against women. He observes that "most of the younger girls have pimps," and that a particular toothless woman probably had her teeth knocked out by her pimp. The article makes no mention of any effort to arrest these men ("Pimps are just real hard to work," says Duddy). The article describes elaborate undercover sting operations targeting johns, but no such effort is expended on apprehending the other men who directly exploit these women. Just as in the rest of society, the poor are criminalized while the bosses suffer no consequences.

Christensen belittles those who work to improve the lives of prostitutes through social work. He crassly complains that he doesn't see them out on the street with these women like the "Ho Daddy." Apparently, Christensen is ignorant of the fact that any number of social services would love to receive the government funding to do outreach and harm reduction with prostitutes that the cops currently receive to arrest them. Christensen waxes melodramatic about how prostitution, like "society's [other] wrinkles" is left to the police to remedy. Hey Loren- -since you all have so many other "wrinkles" to flatten and crush, why not advocate that the city pay three social workers instead of one cop to deal with prostitution?

POLICE COMMENDATIONS: What's Really Important???

In the December Rap Sheet, the Portland Police Bureau's special awards ceremony is featured on the front page. Among the winners is Officer Scott Westerman, who received the "Meritorious service medal of valor" for shooting and killing a mentally challenged woman at point blank range. The distraught woman had called 911, and Westerman and a paramedic got her to agree to go to the hospital for help. As they headed for her door, the woman apparently began to wrestle with the officer, then shot at the paramedic, who survived thanks to the key holder on his belt. Westerman fired at the woman.

One problem here is that Portland has relatively new and highly touted Crisis Intervention Team officers trained to deal with the mentally disturbed and, although the story goes that the gun took these people by surprise, perhaps lethal force was not the best option.

The article also lists a "Commendation Medal" awarded to Officer Richard Olson. Among his accomplishments: "clean-up" of over 350 transient camps. (Regular readers of the People's Police Report know that "clean-up" is a police euphemism for busting up homeless people's living spaces, making arrests and confiscating or destroying their personal possessions.)

Finally, we have a glorious photo in February's Rap Sheet of PPA Secretary-Treasurer Tom Mack receiving a "Top Cop honorable mention" at the National Association of Police Officers gathering, handed to him by a glamorous CNN news reporter! (Way to stay neutral CNN!!)


Perhaps to earn his Top Cop Honorable Mention, Tom Mack wrote a few nasty pieces aimed at the Chief's office. In January, he expresses concern that Chief Moose told the press that morale must be good since the number of civilian complaints against police are down. But, Mack says, complaints of rudeness are up 30-40%.

Not only does this blow the Chief's theory, but it is the first time we can remember that PPA leadership has come so close to admitting that these complaints may be true. When Mack wonders if this statistic means the morale is low, he doesn't deny its accuracy. Nor does he postulate that these complaints are "frivolous." In other words, Mack is indicating that perhaps the rank and file are discontent and taking it out on the public.

In the February Rap Sheet, he notes that the Chief publicly revealed his own Internal Affairs record, which Mack characterizes as mostly verbal abuse of females in positions of authority. Despite his own misconduct, Mack says, Moose doles high levels of discipline to the regular officers.

There was also the case in which Moose turned an IA investigation on a bureau manager, who was removed from the managerial position. This person eventually won $68,000 in a suit against the City (see PPR #13). "What was the consequence of this repeated behavior of our Chief? ...are the Mayor and Chief not concerned because it is not their money[?]"

This a very good point when looking at civilian complaints of misconduct--officers who cost the city money in lawsuits also do not have to pay out of their own pockets, and face no direct consequences for their actions.

C'mon Tom, you're SOOO close to seeing things our way....


In this column, we often relate the anti-civilian, sometimes misogynist, and deeply sarcastic remarks of Rap Sheet editor Loren Christensen. But sometimes, he seems to "get it," and we want to give credit where it's due.

In one of his more transcendent moments, Christensen related his experiences in the County Morgue for January's Rap Sheet. "Instead of having kids mindlessly chant 'say no to drugs' and collect balloons in DARE classes," he wrote, "they should be given field trips to the morgue to see drug overdose victims who have been given autopsies." This is a step in the right direction, since DARE has been proven ineffective (see "Rapping Back" in PPR #12). It would also mean keeping the police out of the schools.

On the down side, Christensen's book review in December's Rap Sheet begins "Okay, all you pious, holier-than-thou, politically correct cop watchers, here is a book that will make your sandals come unbuckled." The book is How to avoid a sexual harassment suit and it's clear from the book's excerpt that this is not aimed at enlightening sexist male readers. "Innocent Male: The feminazis would like this definition to be standard: 'An oppressive beast, crude, lewd, domineering, selfish, arrogant, fit only for reproductive assistance, and if the scientists get to work in the lab, someday will be unnecessary for that purpose.'"

Christensen openly admits his agreement with such thinking in his March book review of a mystery book called Violence Beat written by a woman ("a chick book"). Christensen asks the readers if they expect that he "tossed out my sexist beliefs? Nope." He says the book has "too many doilies" and states that he is an "Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of reader."

Back to his more reasonable persona, in the same column Christensen reviews a bi-lingual handbook for public safety professionals. This is a book that gives guidance to understand and speak rudimentary Spanish for interactions with the public, which actually would do the Portland Police a lot of good.

Finally, proving that he's really an old softie, Christensen wrote about his recent retirement as a cop in the January issue. He lets other officers know you need perspective; that not everything revolves around police culture (the "web of blue"), and that there's much more to the world. He says "In order to do a good job in police work, to maintain healthy relationships with your family and friends, to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy and to thrive as an individual, you must be willing to de-cop yourself and expose yourself to people, places and things other than police work."

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