|Resources limited for traffic enforcement in county posted on 03/31/2023|
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Lieutenant Marcus
Mendoza addressed traffic issues at the Hoodland Community Planning
Organization (CPO) last month, noting that 86.9 percent of calls regarding
traffic by the CCSO occurred on Hwy. 26 in a recent 13 month period.
He added that since Hwy. 26 is a state highway, it is the
jurisdiction of the Oregon State Police (OSP) and that anyone who calls 9-1-1
regarding a traffic violation on the highway, the call will go to OSP dispatch
and not CCSO dispatch.
“It’s not lost on me that if you get in a crash on Hwy. 26
here in Welches … you just want help,” Mendoza said.
He added that even when calls go through OSP dispatch, a
CCSO deputy may get to the scene first, and that OSP doesn’t run true 24-hour
“It’s not the best system,” Mendoza said.
CCSO breaks down Clackamas County into various districts,
with the Mountain area and Boring staffed as a single district. Mendoza noted
that with Hwy. 26 serving as the major road from east to west, response times
can be quicker than in other districts in the county that feature a web of
smaller county roads.
Mendoza also noted that typical shifts include two deputies
for inlying areas with higher populations and one deputy for districts that are
outlying, such as the Mountain – Boring area, while one deputy is assigned to
traffic enforcement for the entire county during the day.
According to Mendoza, CCSO has hired more than 40 new
deputies in the past two years but remains understaffed and the office has more
than 40 vacancies. That’s even after a levy that was passed to fund an increase
of patrol deputies by 28.
“Money is not the issue, it is finding good people,” he
said, noting the job requires a background check and 18 months of training,
leading to approximately two years to get a new deputy on the job. “We are
constantly hiring. We are just trying to catch up, just like every other law
enforcement agency in the country.”
Mendoza added that the CCSO uses other tools to try and
improve traffic issues, including a reader board that can warn drivers of
speeding while also collecting data on the issue.
“To me it's not about writing tickets, it's about changing
behaviors,” he said, adding that he gives “a ton” of warnings to drivers. “If
we want to make a difference and help save lives, the best way we can do that
is change driving behavior and make it safer.”
The CCSO website (https://www.clackamas.us/sheriff) now
features a “Dashboards” tab that offers a bevy of information on various calls,
from traffic stops to crimes, and broken down to various areas in the county.
The CPO is also currently looking for volunteers for a
sub-committee regarding short-term rentals.
Anyone interested in serving on this sub-committee can email
The next Hoodland CPO community meeting will be at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 24, at the Church on the Mountain, 68301 Hwy. 26 in Welches. The
CPO will elect all board positions at the meeting and the Hoodland Fire
District Fire Marshall will be the guest speaker.
By Garth Guibord/MT