EUGENE, Ore. — Complaints against the Eugene Police Department are on the rise.
The Eugene police auditor is tasked with taking these complaints.
“Eugene has a population that is very vigorous about speaking about their government,” said Mark Gissiner, Eugene Police Auditor.
Gissiner says his office has been busy this year.
“The allegations that we’ve done, I think, have had more depth than in years past, for example the property room case that’s still going on voluminous,” he said.
Gissiner says 400 complaints were filed last year–that’s a 10 percent increase. In 2012 there were 341 complaints filed. In 2011, there were 361. The complaints range from customer service problems to more serious misconduct allegations, to the somewhat obscure.
“We had someone complain that the parking officer committed an act of vandalism by chalking the tires to see how long they had been parking at that space,” Gissiner said.
Gissiner says arrest statistics are up along with traffic citations. The serious cases are down compared to years past. Todd Patopea runs Taylor’s Chuck Wagon in Broadway Plaza and says he’s not surprised by the high number of complaints.
“Because every time there is a response down here, there is someone is taking pictures and really focusing their attention on how it is going,” Patopea said.
But from him he says, there are no complaints.
“If it wasn’t for EPD and the downtown guides, we wouldn’t be able to have this nice food plaza here,” Patopea said.
Gissiner says the number one complaint is officers not responding quick enough to a minor crime. He says people want an immediate response and manpower issues limit that.
And while Eugene may seem higher than other cities, if anything it just shows the citizens of Eugene are engaged. The full statistics won’t be out for another couple of months, and that, of course, is public record.