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Roberts is watching Salem

PENDLETON, Oregon – Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts, a past president of the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, is keeping a close eye on a number of bills that are being considered by the Oregon Legislature this session. One that caught the attention of OACP is another measure that is supposed to deal with racial profiling by law enforcement.

“There’s a new proposal where, if an officer initiates a traffic stop and starts to identify indicia of criminal conduct, that there has to be an admonishment that the defendant has the right to refuse any request to search,” he said.

Hate crimes are also back on the agenda for legislators.

“There’s some additional hate crime legislation that we’re actually working with the persons proposing that legislation to ensure that there’s a reasonableness and a fairness associated with the legislation moving forward,” he said.

Another bill is also being considered that proposes moving pseudoephedrine (which can be used to cook methamphetamine) back from behind the pharmacists counters. While meth use remains a problem in Oregon, the passage of the law requiring it be distributed by a pharmacist did dramatically cut down on the number of illicit meth labs in the state. Umatilla County noticed a big difference in this as some operations moved north into Washington state.

Roberts says the best way to deal with measures being considered by the legislature is to work with those sponsoring the bills to let them understand that what might work in Portland or Salem doesn’t necessarily work in more rural parts of the state.

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