Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
An open letter to the community from Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese - 04/02/21

This week, the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd began. I want to acknowledge that the trial may bring renewed pain and trauma for many, especially among Black people and people of color in our community. As I shared with you following Floyd’s death last May, I condemn the actions of Derek Chauvin and the actions of other officers for failing to intervene.

Floyd’s senseless death challenged all of us in public safety to examine the systemic racism, over-policing and implicit bias that influences the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Over the past year, members of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office have deeply engaged with the community, met with community leaders and activists, attended and participated in marches and rallies, and listened to your experiences, constructive criticism and feedback. We heard you, and we acted. We assessed current policies, procedures, training and systems of accountability to ensure they are considered best practices and that they reinforce equity now and in the future.

In July 2020, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office hired its first ever Equity & Inclusion Manager. With the introduction of the new Equity & Inclusion Manager, MCSO became an active member of Multnomah County’s Workforce Equity Strategic Plan (WESP).

In January 2021, MCSO released the organization’s two-year Strategic Plan, which identifies seven goals, each emphasizing the importance of equity as a guiding organizational value. The purpose of the strategic plan is to be a road map for our organization as we work to uphold our values. The seven goals include, by the end of 2022:

  1. MCSO operates with equity as a guiding value in order to establish a work environment that is centered on safety, trust and belonging.
  2. Achieve a fully-staffed workforce.
  3. All adults in MCSO custody receive services or a connection to services, with a focus on individual need, to help them avoid future justice involvement.
  4. All persons contacted by MCSO law enforcement who are experiencing substance use or mental health related challenges receive services or a connection to services.
  5. MCSO employees have training and development opportunities that enable them to be public safety leaders and professionally thrive.
  6. MCSO has aligned and expanded internal and external communications.
  7. MCSO operations are more efficient and effective due to improved integration of technologies.

A Strategic Plan Steering Committee will monitor the plan’s implementation across the organization to hold ourselves accountable to the goals we’ve set. In addition to the goals outlined in the Strategic Plan, we have made significant changes to the way we do business at the sheriff’s office by:

  • Training employees in concepts embodied in procedural justice, de-escalation tactics, equity and bias-free policing.
  • Diverting vulnerable people to social programs and services and away from the criminal justice system when possible.
  • Expanding peer-led programs and rehabilitation services to adults in custody to reduce the rate of recidivism.
  • Improving public safety programs through unique partnerships with local organizations and nonprofits.
  • Reaffirming our emphasis on hiring a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community we serve.
  • Maintaining our commitment to a community-centered policing model that tailors public safety services specific to neighborhood needs.

We are also advocating for changes to the broader criminal justice system by:

  • Collecting, analyzing and disseminating jail data on racial and ethnic disparities to increase transparency and identify where improvements need to take place.
  • Building and strengthening relationships with criminal justice partners to address and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in our criminal justice system.
  • Expanding pre-trial release programs to individuals in the adjudication process.
  • Speaking up when there are injustices in the system and advocating for transformational change.

I want to assure you the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is proactively taking steps to continue to improve and build and maintain your trust, and be an agency that reflects the values of the community we serve. We encourage you to continue shaping our agency by providing feedback on our policy directives or by submitting a comment to iff@mcso.us">sheriff@mcso.us.

As events unfold in Minneapolis, there may be demonstrations or protests, here, and across the country. We strongly support the right to demonstrate and for people to use their individual and collective voices to express grief, joy or outrage. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, we are calling for any demonstrations to remain peaceful. Violence and property destruction are unacceptable, and they put everyone’s safety at risk.

As Sheriff, I am committed to fighting racism and hate. Let’s work together to build a community that is welcoming and safe for everyone, because Black lives matter in Multnomah County.

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Deputies arrest two following carjacking, shooting at Troutdale motel (Photo) - 04/01/21

Multnomah County Sheriff’s patrol deputies arrested two adults following a carjacking and shooting at a Troutdale motel Thursday morning.

On April 1, 2021, at approximately 6:39 a.m., deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery and shots fired in the parking lot of the Motel 6 at 1610 NW Frontage Road. When deputies arrived, they located evidence of gunfire. The adult male victim was not injured.

Deputies learned the victim was approached in the motel’s parking lot. A suspect was armed with a handgun and fired one round, before stealing the victim’s vehicle. The car was described as a grey 2008 BMW 5 series sedan. Deputies located the BMW traveling westbound on I-84 near NE 122nd Avenue. The driver eventually stopped in the area of SE 87th Ave. & SE Division St. Portland Police officers also responded to the area. Two suspects were arrested. They have been identified as Farah Mahad, 35, and Hung Cam Tat, 34. Deputies located and recovered a firearm in the course of their investigation.

Preliminary investigation shows the suspects and victim are known to each other.

Mahad is charged with robbery in the first degree. Tat is charged with robbery in the first degree, felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon. Both individuals were booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further comment will be made at this time. There is no threat to the public.

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We stand in support of our Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities - 03/18/21

Statement from Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese: “I am deeply saddened by the continuing violence towards our Asian American and Pacific Islander community members, including the eight lives lost in Atlanta on Tuesday. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is committed to racial equity, and we firmly condemn racially-motivated hate and violence of all forms. This includes the recent acts of verbal and physical violence against the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, which have been occurring throughout our county and across the nation. We recognize the immense emotional toll and trauma these continued events of anti-Asian violence have on the AAPI community, and MCSO stands in solidarity with our AAPI community members who have and will continue to be affected by these hate crimes.

At MCSO, we are committed to safe-guarding all community members and holding those who commit hate crimes accountable. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work in close partnership with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to investigate and review all potential bias crimes.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, since the beginning of 2021, eight bias crimes cases have been issued in Multnomah County. In 2020, the DA’s Office issued 32 bias crime cases.

Nationwide, Stop AAPI Hate reported nearly 3,800 instances of discrimination against Asians between March 2020 and February 2021, and 503 incidents in 2021 alone; the actual number is likely much higher.

We will not stand for hate or violence, or any other form of racism. We are committed to ensuring that Multnomah County is a place of safety, trust, and belonging for all."

If you are the victim of a bias crime or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you are the victim of a bias crime and the suspect is no longer present or if you have information about a bias crime committed in the past, call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

If you witness or experience a hate crime or any form of racially-motivated violence, you can also report it here:

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Fatal house fire in Fairview under investigation - 03/18/21

On Thursday, March 18, at approximately 6:21 a.m., the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of a house fire in the 20100 block of NE Interlachen Lane in Fairview. MCSO Deputies, Gresham Police officers and Firefighters with the Gresham Fire Department responded. A Gresham Police Officer arrived on scene within minutes, at approximately 6:23 a.m. and saw a woman was trapped on an elevated balcony. The Gresham officer sprang into action, using a ladder he found on the property to rescue the woman. An off-duty Portland firefighter assisted in the rescue effort. The woman was not injured.

The woman indicated an elderly man was still inside. Responders attempted to locate the man, but were unable to get to him because of the thick smoke and rapidly spreading flames. The adult male, unfortunately, was not able to escape and did not survive.

While battling the blaze, Gresham firefighters called for a second-alarm as a precautionary measure, ushering in additional resources from the City of Portland. It took approximately 40 minutes to get the fire under control. In total, 7 engines, 2 ladder trucks, 1 rescue unit and 3 battalion chiefs responded to the call.

Because of the fatality, Multnomah County Sheriff’s detectives and the Medical Examiner’s Office opened a death investigation. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

TIP NW (Trauma Intervention Program) responded and assisted by providing emotional aid and practical support and resources to those impacted by the fatal house fire.  

The identity of the man is being withheld until next of kin notifications are complete. No further information will be released at this time. 

Photo credit: Gresham Fire Department

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Multnomah County Sheriff's Office takes command of TriMet's Transit Police Division following Board of Commissioners vote - 03/18/21

The sheriff’s office becomes the lead law enforcement agency for the multi-agency police division helping to reshape public safety on transit.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) will assume command of TriMet’s Transit Police Division following approval of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Wednesday. The Board voted unanimously, 5-0, to approve the IGA. The first phase of the multi-year agreement will go into effect on April 1, 2021, and last until June 30, 2025, with MCSO providing law enforcement direction to the Transit Police Division during this time. After that, the agreement will be automatically renewed for three one-year periods through June 30, 2028, unless it’s terminated before then.

The agreement is the next of several steps to create public safety measures that emphasize community partnerships and racial equity. Shifting command and administrative support of Transit Police to MCSO will better link people to services offered by Multnomah County. The sheriff’s office is a leader in developing new approaches like the Homeless Outreach and Programs Engagement (HOPE) Team, an innovative program that connects people to resources that can help them get back on their feet.

“With the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office taking the helm of the Transit Police Division, we’re able to continue our efforts to make our system safer and more equitable,” said TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr. “The sheriff’s office is a regional leader in community policing and truly takes to heart how TriMet’s adjusting our approach to safety on the system to make riding a welcoming experience for all.”

The Transit Police Division is currently made up of officers from six law enforcement agencies in jurisdictions TriMet serves. As the command agency, MCSO will provide a captain to serve as TriMet Transit Chief of Police, as well as lieutenants, sergeants and deputies. Overall, the 7-year agreement will not exceed $82.5 million, or about $12 million a year, with TriMet reimbursing MCSO for salaries, overtime and equipment.

“I believe MCSO truly reflects the values of Multnomah County, and our approach to public safety on the transit system is rooted in equity and compassion,” Sheriff Mike Reese said. “Our role is to provide safety across the system, for riders and employees, who rely on public transportation every day to get to work, school, appointments and recreational opportunities. This agreement allows for Transit Police to continue its commitment to a collaborative approach, while leveraging opportunities unique to Multnomah County and the Sheriff’s Office, such as homeless outreach services and behavioral health programs. A safe transit system is central to a healthy and thriving community.”

Reimagining public safety

The agreement comes after months of candid conversations about how best to reimagine public safety on transit. TriMet began this process on July 1, 2020, when we set aside $1.8 million in police contracts. The money will be redirected to community-supported programs and used to expand TriMet’s approach to safety beyond the use of traditional law enforcement. This model allows for policing resources to be directed to where they’re needed most. To this end, the agreement reiterates that TriMet staff, not Transit Police officers, conduct routine fare enforcement activities. 

TriMet spent months reaching out to the community, engaging with local leaders and listening to riders, employees and the general public. We collaborated with the Coalition of Communities of Color, Portland United Against Hate and other groups to gather comments from their members about what they saw as roadblocks to safety. Through this initiative, the feedback we received—more than 12,500 responses— showed that the majority of riders and employees feel safer knowing that Transit Police are available to respond to emergencies.

In response to this community feedback, TriMet’s Transit Public Safety Advisory Committee recommended adding more training for security personnel and putting more staff on the system. It also called for creating mobile safety teams to assist individuals with behavioral health needs. We are preparing a five-year strategic plan for transit police that will support the broader reimagine public safety initiative, and that plan will develop performance measurements for Transit Police activities.

Making transit safe and equitable

Transit Police have been investigating crimes and responding to emergencies for more than 40 years, shifting their approach as called on to reflect the evolving needs of riders across TriMet’s expanding transit system. Hearing the calls for social justice and racial equity this past summer, we paused to listen to our riders and work with community leaders and organizations to evaluate a shared path forward, one that expands on what we’d done in the past. TriMet has embraced community-based responses and reforms in policing that align with the innovative approach of MCSO.

  • In 2016 and 2018 TriMet was at the center of two independent analyses that found no systemic racial bias in our fare enforcement process.
  • In 2017, we solicited the Oregon State Legislature to decriminalize fare evasion.
  • In 2018, we began offering Honored Citizen fare to riders on a low income, a 72% decrease in fare for those who are eligible.

TriMet has and will continue to look inward at ways to create a safe and welcoming environment for riders while working with partners to put them into practice. Learn more about our efforts to ensure fair access to our transit system at trimet.org/equity and follow our process to reimagine public safety at trimet.org/publicsafety.

The public Board of County Commissioners meeting discussion and vote will be posted to Multnomah County's YouTube page.

Attached is a PDF version of the joint press release between MCSO and TriMet.

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East County Major Crimes Team provides update on officer-involved shooting near Corbett over the weekend (Photo) - 03/16/21

The East County Major Crimes Team continues to investigate the law enforcement-involved shooting last weekend in Corbett.
The suspect in the law enforcement officer-involved shooting has been identified as Randy Scott Gattman, 57, of Gresham. Mr. Gattman remains in critical condition at an area hospital and is expected to survive.

On Friday, March 12th, 2021, at approximately 8:50 p.m., a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) sergeant on patrol witnessed a vehicle, a white Pontiac sedan, speeding and driving recklessly eastbound on the Historic Columbia River Highway near Corbett. The sergeant attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Mr. Gattman, the sole occupant, lost control of the vehicle on a sharp corner and came to rest on the shoulder of E. Knieriem Road, approximately one-half-mile south of Historic Columbia River Highway. A second MCSO deputy arrived on scene shortly thereafter. 

Mr. Gattman immediately stepped out of the vehicle with two semi-automatic handguns and pointed the firearms at both the sergeant and deputy. Both MCSO members took cover and called for additional support.

The East Metro Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) and Crisis Negotiation Teams (CNT) responded to the location. An on-duty CNT member arrived approximately 23 minutes after the sergeant and deputy arrived on scene. For approximately nine hours overnight, the specially trained members of the CNT attempted to resolve the situation peacefully. At approximately 6:02 a.m. on Saturday, March 13th, Mr. Gattman fired his handgun in the direction of the officers. Two SWAT members returned fire, striking Mr. Gattman. Fire paramedics assigned to SWAT administered life-saving aid. An awaiting ambulance, staged on scene, transported Mr. Gattman to an area hospital.

The involved officers are identified as Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Farmer and Gresham Police Officer Michael Webb.

Deputy Mark Farmer is a five-year veteran of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Webb has been with the Gresham Police Department for more than eight and a half years. Officer Webb remains on critical incident leave, as is standard protocol for the Gresham Police Department. Deputy Farmer remains on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, as is standard protocol for MCSO.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information will be released at this time.

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Original news release posted on Saturday, March 13, 2021:

On Friday, March 12th, 2021, at approximately 8:50 p.m., a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy performing a routine patrol on Historic Columbia River Highway in Corbett witnessed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle stopped on E. Knieriem Road south of the Historic Columbia River Highway. The driver, a white male in his sixties, immediately stepped out of the vehicle with two firearms. The deputy took cover and called for additional support. The East Metro Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) and Crisis Negotiation Teams (CNT) responded to the location. The specially trained members attempted to de-escalate the situation overnight. Negotiations continued until approximately 6:02 a.m. on Saturday, March 13th, when there was an exchange of gunfire. The individual was rushed to an area hospital with critical injuries. There is no update on his condition at this time. No law enforcement officers involved were injured.

Two law enforcement officers, an MCSO sheriff’s deputy and a Gresham Police officer, fired their service weapons. The members were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, per standard protocol.

The East County Major Crimes Team and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office are leading the investigation. The team consists of members from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Gresham Police Department, Oregon State Police, Port of Portland Police Department and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Additionally, two Portland Police Bureau homicide detectives are assisting in the investigation as per standard protocols.

Follow the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter @MultCOSO for updates.

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Two injured in shooting, deputies investigating - 03/13/21

On Saturday, March 13, 2021, at approximately 9:23 p.m., the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a shooting in the 2600 block of NE 205th Avenue in Fairview. When deputies arrived, they located two adult male victims with gunshot injuries. Both victims were transported to an area hospital with serious injuries. Deputies found numerous shell casings on scene, and at least one bullet pierced an unoccupied parked car.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s detectives responded and are investigating. No suspect information is available at this time.

Witnesses reported hearing a speeding car around the time of the shooting. MCSO is asking area residents to check their home security systems for any suspicious activity or speeding vehicles. If anyone has information about this crime, call the MCSO Tip Line at 503-988-0560 and reference case 21-12417.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further comment can be released at this time.

###MCSO###

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Media briefing: Law enforcement-involved shooting - 03/13/21

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office will hold a news briefing at approximately 2 p.m. at the intersection of E. Historic Columbia River Highway & E. Knieriem Rd. in Corbett following a law enforcement-involved shooting Saturday morning. The press conference will be streamed live on the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, (facebook.com/multcoso), and posted to the webpage shortly after. A press release will be shared around 2 p.m. on FlashAlert. ###

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