Sheriff Michael ReeseMultnomah County Sheriff's Office
501 SE Hawthorne, Suite 350
Portland, OR 97214
Multnomah County Sheriff’s site
About Sheriff Reese
Sheriff Michael Reese, the former Portland police chief, officially was sworn as Sheriff of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 to complete the term of Sheriff Dan Stanton who retired.
About the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
OREGON SHERIFF Magazine News
Spring, 2017 – I recently attended the joint Major City Chiefs and Major County Sheriffs Association Annual Conference in Washington D.C. While there I took part in conversations about a variety of issues that are impacting sheriffs across the country. Recurring themes quickly emerged; many of our challenges in Oregon are national points of concern as well.
Topping the list were questions surrounding the role of local law enforcement in immigration enforcement. While opinions differed, we shared common ground in our struggle to manage this complex question. From legal interpretations and policy impacts to providing information and direction for staff and the community, this issue was forefront in the minds of many of the sheriffs I met.
Returning from this invaluable experience, I was committed to reaffirming the bright line highlighting the role of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in the complex issue of immigration enforcement.
First, our mission as local law enforcement has, and must continue to be, the safety of our entire community. Building a safe community requires a relationship of trust between community members and law enforcement. Many members of immigrant communities come from countries where local law enforcement is part of a repressive regime. We have worked hard to develop healthy relationships with these communities and participating in civil immigration enforcement would undermine that trust.
Second, as these communities learn to trust local law enforcement, they share information about criminals impacting our entire community. Increasingly, we rely on this information to hold accountable those responsible for undermining the safety and security of Multnomah County.
To be clear, when someone is charged with a criminal act in our community, our agency will cooperate with our justice system partners. We want to ensure that the individual rights of those charged, as well as the rights of those victimized, are preserved. Once a criminal matter is properly adjudicated, we will ensure the timely release of those the court determines eligible and the transfer of those whom the court has sentenced to additional state or federal incarceration. Upon conviction, MCSO will share information with federal law enforcement agencies as requested.
As the Sheriff, I want members of our community to understand that MCSO will not consider immigration status as part of its policing policies. If they are the victim of a crime or in need of emergency services, I want them to reach out to MCSO without concern for their immigration status. Doing so will enhance the safety of our entire community.
It is my hope that clearly communicating MCSO’s policies on immigration enforcement will reassure vulnerable members of our community and reduce tension surrounding this complex issue.