Police picnic welcomes neighbors to East Precinct office

See why hundreds of everyday citizens converged on the police station, on this lovely summer Saturday afternoon …

Portland Police Bureau East Commander Precinct Michael Crebs welcomes citizens to the annual open house.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
One of the favorite summertime events we cover is the East Precinct Open House and Barbeque.

When we arrived at the police station on SE 106th Avenue, we were greeted by Portland Police Bureau East Commander Precinct Michael Crebs.

“Welcome to our open house,” Crebs said with a smile.

Joelle, Naomi, Rebekah and Hannah and Amanda Whitlock try out an ATV at the East Precinct Open House.

Jordyn Wolford tries his hand at the remote-control police robot, while his dad, Clay, looks on. “It’s just like a video game, but real,” Jordyn exclaims.

“We’re inviting people to come check out what were doing here at the Police Bureau. We want people to get to know us, and let us have the chance to get to know them,” Crebs explained.

Oftentimes, the commander noted, the only time citizens interact with police is when they’re stopped for a traffic violation, or have a home visit due to a “difficult situation. But, we like people to meet and talk with us when things are going good, so that we’ve established a relationship before something bad happens. That makes for a lot less tension.”

East Precinct and SERT Officer Larry Wingfield shows some of the tactical equipment he uses, to the East Precinct Involved Citizens chair, Dave Smith.

Checking out the police motorcycle is Emma, Melanie, and Leah Zallee, with Sgt. Erin Smith from the Portland Police Traffic Division.

All bureau departments present
At this, the precinct’s third annual open house, Crebs said all of the bureau’s major departments brought displays, including the Mounted Police, Traffic Division, SERT, Bomb Squad, and Robotics.

“Citizens pay the taxes that fund the police bureau – here, they can come and see how their money is being spent firsthand. We also have our crime prevention specialists here, helping people learn how to reduce crime and the fear of crime in their neighborhoods.”

Renee Fischer-Green holds Kylie as they meet Officer Craig Mack’s trusty mount, Merlin “the magnificent“.

Cadet James Trendell and Cadet Greg Buduy man the grills, as they help feed 500 hungry lunchtime visitors.

Police car trunk supply volunteer (a/k/a “a trunk lady”) Mary Walker pauses for a moment with Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer, while awaiting lunch.

Bernie Bretz-Erdmann watches, as her grandchild Cole Frascone is fitted with a bike helmet by Officer Kristin Watt.

About 500 people took the precinct up on the offer to meet, and have lunch with, their police; no one was arrested.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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