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File #: 20-367    Version: 1
Type: Informational Report Status: Filed
In control: City Council
On agenda: 9/21/2020 Final action: 9/21/2020
Title: Work Session on Police Response to Non-Criminal Issues Ward(s): All Wards Councilor(s): All Councilors Neighborhood(s): All Neighborhoods Result Area(s): Safe Community.
Attachments: 1. Police Program Details including FTE Allocation.pdf, 2. Police General Fund Budget and Officers per Thousand by Population
Related files:

TO:                      Mayor and City Council   

THROUGH:                      Steve Powers, City Manager   

FROM:                      Jerry Moore, Chief of Police  





Work Session on Police Response to Non-Criminal Issues    


Ward(s): All Wards    

Councilor(s): All Councilors    

Neighborhood(s):  All Neighborhoods    

Result Area(s): Safe Community.  





City Council Work Session on Police Operations and Impact of Response to Non-Criminal Issues     






Information Only.    





The Salem Police Department is a full-service organization responsible for the safety and well-being of the entire community. The police department responds to a wide variety of community issues, including neighborhood nuisances, traffic enforcement, traffic accidents, welfare checks, suspicious activity, community events and criminal activity.


This work session is intended to discuss how we respond to non-criminal types of calls, options that would be advantageous for this community to have, and the resources necessary for that to occur.


In recent years, responses to calls commonly considered non-criminal in nature have increased dramatically. These include responding to people experiencing emotional distress, people unable to care for themselves due to drug or alcohol use or addiction, and individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have found themselves unsheltered and may be causing disruption or safety concerns as they attempt to find places to stay for a night. As these calls increase, less time is available to officers to establish a presence in neighborhoods and to address criminal activity.


When a community member calls for help, we respond. Sometimes we are the only organization available to respond to many of the non-criminal issues. In other communities, community service agencies may also respond in partnership with or as an alternative to law enforcement. In Salem, our partners do not have the capacity to respond as an alternative to a police response because of the volume of calls.     





The work session presentation will provide information regarding the Police Department and community:


                     Total number of general fund positions within the department and where they are assigned


                     Information regarding population growth and the department’s ability to stay current with staffing to meet the needs of the community


                     Data regarding police department calls for service throughout the City


                     Information relative to calls which we are unable to respond to due to limited resources


                     A summary of officer-initiated cases and unobligated patrol time compared to other agencies and best practices


                     Information on the Behavior Health Unit, goals of the team, calls they respond to, and partner agencies


                     A recap of the special units within the department who respond to calls related to nuisance properties, neighborhood issues, and calls for help with disruptive behavior of individuals who do not have a stable place to live


                     Department efforts to maintain and improve relations with our community through a variety of public engagement strategies


                     Overview of new officer training, quarterly training, and examples of topics of yearly in-service training sessions provided to all officers


The information provided focuses on the department’s ability to respond to community needs but does not describe in detail all areas of the organization. The presentation is intended to give a brief overview of the department’s response to non-criminal issues and how and by whom that occurs. 




Detailed information regarding the entirety of the Department’s budget and activity is included in the FY 2021 Budget available on the City’s website.  Budget summaries are attached.   


                     Jerry Moore     

                     Chief of Police    



1. Police Program Details including FTE Allocation.

2. Police General Fund Budget and Officers per Thousand by Population.