October 17, 2007
Portland Police/Fire Agencies Collaborate for Public Safety Training Center With Interact Business Group
According to The Oregonian (January 01, 2007), the Portland region is busy pursuing partnerships to enhance collaboration and communication among law enforcement agencies. There is logic behind this method because it could result in tremendous savings in efficiency and cost.
This past year Lieutenant Rod Lucich and Captain Eric Hendricks of the police bureau's training division were assigned to "get it done" (The Portland Tribune, 9/07). Lucich and other Portland officers visited training facilities in San Bernardino and Alameda, CA; Orlando, FL; Tucson, AZ; Charlotte, NC and Reno, NV. They dispatched experts into the field to assess interest from area agencies and to look for cost options and location possibilities. Potter, a former Portland police chief, is working with Police Chief Rosie Sizer to make the Portland center a reality (The Oregonian News, 12/06).
The Interact Business Group (IBG) of Valley Center California is in the process of finalizing the business plan that will offer development, cost and management options for the center (The Portland Tribune, 9/07). IBG offers successful planning with over fifteen years experience in needs and facility assessment, operations plan, site requirements, financial assessment, and cost benefit analysis and funding strategies.
Meanwhile, Nov 29, representatives from the Vancouver Police Dept., Portland Fire Bureau, Clark County Sheriff's Office, Hillsboro Police Dept., Washington County Sheriff's Office and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office met with the Portland police to discuss options/ideas. "We're all in competition for firing ranges. We compete with Clark County, Beaverton police and Gresham," commented Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto. "We're way overdue for a facility where we train cooperatively, especially in the metropolitan area."
John Minnis, Director of the Oregon Dept. of Public Safety, Standards and Training (and a retired Portland police department detective), commented that there was a need for regional law enforcement training "throughout the state." Portland police asked him for permission to rent space for nine months a year, in Salem, Oregon’s new state of the art basic academy center. Minnis deferred, pointing out that if opened to Portland, he would have to open it to other agencies, and "that wouldn't be practical" (The Oregonian, 12/06).
Mayor Potter foresees cost roughly in the $90 million to $100 million, "including about $1 million for land." Although unclear as to how to fund the project presently, Potter suggested the feasibility of building in stages, to "make the cost more palatable."
The city is looking at a 200-acre parcel of land owned by Ed Freeman, owner of Sierra Pacific Communities, LLC. He is attempting to acquire another 100-acres so that there would be sufficient land for the public safety training center development. Freeman noted that the 100-acre site might be able to be purchased "below cost, with the remainder of the land value counted as a donation.
Apparently, the proposed site had previously been considered as a potential prison site. Senator Betsy Johnson, Democrat—Scappoose, believes the project will have much greater support with a "box full of cops," compared to a "box full of cons." She expressed that it was her belief that Columbia County and other local agencies would be willing to help with a portion of the cost, for example, if a portion of the land were sited as a new command center for emergencies (The Portland Tribune, 9/07).
IBG is the recognized national expert for the development of strategic/business plans for the public safety training community. Their Business Plan Process© method is unique. It is a product of research and years of successful projects. IBG President Bill Booth says, “We have developed Business Plans for small departments to large multi-municipal government agencies. The process is a collection of activity segments that when completed comprises a Strategic/Business Plan. We are very honored to provide a roadmap for the Portland consortium of police and fire agencies as they seek to create a state of the art public training facility.