Yesterday the City of Portland voted 5-0 to extend a contract with the Portland Business Alliance to pay for three police officers to be assigned to the Portland Patrol Inc., a private security agency that has no public directive or oversight and has handed out 1,100 park exclusions since November.
The city made it a point to note that the police do not work for the PPI, but according the contract between the Portland Business Alliance and Portland Patrol Inc., on page 102 dated 6/6/04 - it says, referring to Portland officers assigned to work with PPI, "This program is the only program in the nation where private security and local police work together on the same program, under the same roof. Our innovative service plan was proposed by PPI in 1997 and brought to fruition in 1998 when the Assocation for Portland Progress (now Portland Business Alliance) and the Portland Police signed a long-term contract. The contract provides (2) police officers, later increased to (3), to work directly with the PPI. These officers work in partnership with PPI officers, attending PPI roll calls and carrying PPI radios. Their primary area of responsibility is assisting PPI officers with enforcement type activities."
While this does not exactly say the police officers are working for the PPI, it does expose the relationship being closer than the city wants to admit. Attending PPI roll calls, carrying PPI radios and being described as being housed under the "same roof" seems to go against the train of thought that they aren't taking directive from one another.