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How does the Lake Oswego Police Department decide where to patrol in the city?

A Lake Oswego police officer or firefighter answers readers' questions each week in this space. To submit a question, call Editor Gary M. Stein at 503-636-1281 ext. 102 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

How does the LOPD decide where to patrol?

SIMONIn between calls for service, members of the Traffic Unit and Patrol Division often conduct proactive traffic enforcement in areas of the city following requests or complaints from Lake Oswego citizens.

While we frequently get calls about motorists failing to drive in their lanes, talking on their cellphones or possibly being under the influence behind the wheel, requests are predominantly related to motorists that are speeding and/or failing to stop at controlled intersections in neighborhoods. With more than 170 miles of roadway and more than 940 stop signs in the City of Lake Oswego, officers work hard to accommodate those requests and conduct enforcement details in areas throughout the entire city.

In the Traffic Unit, officers investigate vehicle crashes, hit-and-run incidents and traffic complaints and manage a variety of department programs, so prioritizing which areas receive proactive patrols and at what times is vital and does require some analysis. Those prioritizations are typically tied to the officers' observations of the frequency of alleged activity in any given area, the number of complaints or requests for enforcement at a certain location, the examination of citation and crash data collected through digital ticketing and reporting programs, and speed data collected through our Speed Reader devices.

Lake Oswego officers try to be reasonable in how they respond to traffic complaints by dedicating the appropriate amount of time to an area based on many of the criteria previously mentioned. We strive to respond to all of our citizen's requests, gain voluntary compliance with our traffic laws and positively impact safety along our roadways.

As always, if you are witnessing a traffic issue and are in need of police assistance, you can call the non-emergency number at 503-635-0238. If it is an emergency, please call 911.

For information on the Lake Oswego Police Traffic Division, please visit our website at www.ci.oswego.or.us/police/traffic-division. There you can find information on crash statistics, review downtown parking maps, learn about special events in the city and contact our School Resource Officer. You can also review speed data collected from our Speed Reader program and submit a request for a speed reader to be deployed to your neighborhood.

— Lt. Clayton Simon

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