Back in 2007 the City of Portland realized something alarming: Portland Police Sex Crimes Unit has a problem.
Seven years ago most of the bureaus unsolved cases sat around without a detective for seven days or more. So the city launched an audit. And all these years later we have some answers.
The audit found the bureau is doing better with sex assault victims. And they’ve cut down the time to contact victims to 48-hours. However the audit did find that Portland Police are still making glaring mistakes and completely fumbling some cases all together. For example the case of Jeffrey McAllister. He was the ER nurse convicted of assaulting patients. They found the bureau didn’t follow up for weeks, and it took multiple victims before they touched the case.
Portland Police SGT Greg Stewart says that those cases are now the exception and not the rule. He told KGW “Now victim advocates report directly to the sergeants, so that the sergeant can be fully informed how those are going as well as expand the follow up with victims,” Stewart said.
Another alarming statistic is the percentage of rapes that get cleared. In 2008 55% were cleared, in 2012 that dropped to 28%. Auditors actually believe that the reason for that drop is because the police have become more victim focused, and taking on more cases, while spending more time on each case.
Auditors told KGW “We found that significant progress has been made, although more work needs to be done.”