Given the general concern about police accountability and abuse of force sweeping the country, would this be a good time to consider repainting Milwaukie police cruisers and utility rigs that look like sharks or wolves, or whatever predatory animal inspired the design?
The first time I saw one — the lunging red-and-black lettering on white doors disappearing into a black hood and trunk — these police cars struck me as intentionally aggressive and unnecessarily intimidating. I can understand the motivation for adopting a don't-mess-with-me Oakland Raiders style, but in my travels I've seen few departments that take it to this level.If the point of hosting officers dedicated to public safety really is to de-escalate tense or potentially violent situations, the police could do better than driving up in a particularly threatening and lawless-looking vehicle. If we're going to spend so much money giving these vehicles fancy color schemes, shouldn't it be one that reflects their primary mission to "make this community as safe and welcoming as possible for all those who live, work or travel here," as the police chief states in an online welcome message?
Jesse Benjamin Brown is a resident of the unincorporated area to the south of Milwaukie city limits.
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