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Walker replaces Reese at East Precinct

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Walker replaces Reese at East Precinct


After less than a year, East Precinct once again has a new boss. At least this time, the learning curve should not be great.

Bill Walker began serving as acting commander of the precinct last month. He stepped in after Commander Mike Reese was suddenly elevated to Chief, following Mayor Sam Adams' abrupt takeover of the Portland Police Bureau and firing of Chief Rosie Sizer. Reese had served less than a year at East Precinct, having transferred from command of Central Precinct. He replaced Mike Crebs, who left to take over the Detectives Division.

Walker is not new to the area. “I was a sergeant here from 2000 to 2004,” he told the Memo. “I was a lieutenant from 2005 to 2006 and a captain here in 2009. As a patrol officer I spent 17 years in southeast and east.”

His top priorities will be “fighting crime, whether it's auto theft, gang activity or drug trafficking.” Asked which threat he currently considered the most serious he replied, “All of them. Car theft is on the increase. So is gang activity. It could be that the problem moved out here when the old Columbia Villa was shut down, but we've seen an increase in Gresham too.”

He declines to discuss what strategies he will use to combat these problems but says, “We'll try new ways to deal with it with the budget we have.” (Sizer was fired after she called a news conference to complain that the mayor's budget for her Bureau, and the cuts it contained, would impact public safety.)

One direction Walker will try to head, in accord with what Crebs and Reese attempted before him, is to be “representative of the community we're trying to police. We have a very diverse community here.” He will continue to hold monthly precinct Citizen Advisory Council meetings at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. At these meetings, he says, “We have good representation from the community in terms of total numbers, but we'd like to see more participation from the African American, the Hispanic and Asian communities.”

Walker is currently acting commander. He speculated that Reese will make final command assignments after the Rose Festival.
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