For some time I have heard around town about the Bend police and Deschutes County Sheriff's department being rather abusive of their power. However, recently things appear to have completely spiraled out of control with both of these departments. Their priorities seem to focus on preying on the average hard-working, tax-paying citizen, rather than actually doing real police work and focusing on criminals. There is a simple answer for this; we are easy prey. The D.A. office enjoys this. It keeps them busy spending our tax dollars prosecuting regular citizens who many times find it easier to plead guilty than fight whatever the violation may be.
Talking around town with retired law enforcement officers and lawyers, they all feel (at least the ones I spoke to) that both the BPD and the Sheriff's office-as well as the DA-are completely out of control. And unfortunately they also feel both departments are full of "bad" cops. Both of these groups said that it is standard procedure for the current law enforcement to lie on their reports to justify their actions. When asked how this can happen their answer was: because (police) can do whatever they want without any fear of oversight - unbelievable! Many regular citizens I have spoken to feel afraid of these departments, not protected in any way.
I have read many articles about how law enforcement can be approached in different ways. There have been studies in communities where the police and sheriff departments write many more warnings than tickets. The studies show that when a regular citizen receives a warning they are more likely to respond positively and modify the behavior that may have caused the incident. According to the studies, this is because they feel indebted to the officer for giving them a second chance. This is 180 degrees from what is happening in our town-here it is all about their self-righteous power trip-no warnings or compassion here. Both departments should remove the references to serving the community on their cars; their focus is not serving anyone but their own egos. With all that said it is hard to believe that WE pay THEIR wages. Believe me, I will never again support any bond measure that supports any of these departments until something changes because right now things are not right.