[Foxworth's Foxhole Graphic]

Foxworth's Foxhole:
Portland's Chief Volunteers Info to "Watchdogs," Gives to Newspaper on Court Order

Community Policing Resolution One Year Later

In August 2004, the City Council passed two resolutions, one reaffirming Portland's commitment to "Community Policing" and the other listing a number of specific steps the Police Bureau would take to further that vision. On November 24, 2004, Chief Derrick Foxworth gave a report to Council outlining what steps he was taking, such as additional "in-service" training and recruiting efforts (see PPR #34).

editorial 9/19/05] Now, one year later, the resolutions are more urgent as scandals swirl around the police: the second- hand stores (see article), the questionable background of two of Foxworth's Assistant Chiefs (right) and a resurgence in police shootings. The Oregonian ran an editorial with a huge image of Foxworth in their September 19 issue, challenging Mayor Tom Potter and the Chief to foster "policing involving more partnerships, contracts and collaboration." But their main focus was to see the various precincts re-opened 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. In the past, precincts were always open, but hours were limited to business hours years ago. The editorial claims that decision "cut the heart out of community policing. It felt to many Portlanders as though the Bureau had slammed a door in their faces."

In response, Foxworth and Potter wrote an op-ed which alerted the citizenry to keep an eye out over the next 18 months (Oregonian, September 30). They promised to staff more "internal positions" with civilians to get police out on the streets (maybe Internal Affairs being handed over to civilian investigators at an independent review board...? Probably not--see OPS story). This seems to be part of their plan to re-open the precincts.

They also made reference to a number of advisory committees such as the Use of Force Review Board (where the citizen members are being kept anonymous--see PARC article) and the "Training Advisory Board" which to our knowledge has also never had its membership made public.

In conjunction with the Albina Ministerial Alliance and the Latino Network, Portland Copwatch has asked the Chief to give a full report before Council on the resolutions along with the PARC shootings report.

The op-ed asked the public to give input to the mayor and the chief. Their emails are: mayorpotter@ci.portland.or.us and chieffoxworth@police.ci.portland.or.us.

Assistant Chiefs Accused of Deadly Threats, Degrading Name-Calling

Chief Foxworth is also under media scrutiny and was apparently questioned by Mayor Potter regarding two of his Assistant Chiefs. One, Stan Grubbs, has been his right-hand man since he became chief in 2003. Grubbs was also Foxworth's partner when they started as cops many years ago. On November 9, the Willamette Week reported that Grubbs was the subject of a lawsuit for retaliating against Detective Ann Friday, who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against Sgt. Michael Barkley in 1994. "The lawsuit's core allegation that Grubbs is a vindictive, sexist jerk assuredly comes as no surprise to Potter, whose daughter is a Portland cop," wrote WW's Nick Budnick.

[ The article delineates a number of complaints about Grubbs, such as telling a male officer who was denied a transfer from his precinct, "you're going to be my bitch," calling Friday a "bitch," and telling her her career was over.

Adding to his troubles, Foxworth recently promoted Capt. Dorothy Elmore to Assistant Chief. Elmore achieved fame in 1997 when she slashed the tires on her then-husband's car, shredded his clothes, left menacing messages on his answering machine, and threatened to kill him. On November 11, 2005 she told the Tribune, "I'm sure I used those exact words: I will kill you." Though her ex-husband, also a Portland cop, withdrew charges so that Elmore could continue to carry a gun (and thus keep her job), he is now reluctant to talk about the incidents because "I still have to work here, man, and she's a big boss now."

The November 21 Oregonian played up the fact that Potter had, at minimum, repeated negative feedback he'd heard about Grubbs' alleged behavior and Elmore's "domestic history" to Commissioner Randy Leonard. In a front page story, they pictured Foxworth, reflected in a conference table-top, as "caught between loyalties."

Foxworth defended Grubbs and Elmore, taking full responsibility for his decisions to keep them on. The article ends on a positive note, that the Bureau has "made great progress....the mayor and chief are talking about community policing--not police shootings." Too bad, they should be talking about both.


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