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The county sheriff visits Inner Southeast's Brooklyn neighborhood, meets people, and answers questions

RITA A. LEONARD - Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese addressed livability issues at the July meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association. Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese, in an announced appearance at the Brooklyn neighborhood association meeting of July 26, spoke about livability and crime issues.

As for his background, he told the Brooklyn Action Corps meeting that he grew up in North Portland, earned a degree in Psychology from Portland State University, then worked five years in the area's Boys & Girls Clubs – where he saw the need for social services. He said he was hired by the Sheriff's Office in 1989, and continues studying ways to serve the community.

"MCSO spends about 65% of our time in corrections efforts," he said. "When there are not enough shelters, jobs, or jail beds available in the community, we have to be creative in our response to homelessness, while focusing on individual rights and human dignity."

He continued, "In an effort to focus on livability, we met with leaders in Portland, Gresham, and Milwaukie to create a unified strategy to deal with the area's shelter capacity and diversion programs. We want to stabilize homeless individuals through appropriate treatments and opportunities. Initial contact is through jail intake, but recent funding cuts have reduced the number of jail beds available.

"Consequently, we now have to release some people before we have a chance to divert them to appropriate social services for more positive outcomes. We need proper capacity in our jail systems so that Community Policing can work better."

Other speakers at the monthly community meeting in Brooklyn included Ernest Jones from the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management; Kristin Hall with the Bureau of Environmental Services, discussing local sewer repairs; and Joel Migliaccio of "Environmental Works", who explained radon gas mitigation. Learn more about the B.A.C. online – www.brooklyn-neighborhood.org

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