Mike Krantz

Mike Krantz

Mike Krantz has been in the middle of a move from Portland to Bend since July 3, his last day with the Portland Police Bureau, where he worked for nearly three decades and rose to the rank of assistant chief.

Much has happened to Portland and the bureau since then. On July 4, federal officers arrived outside the city’s federal courthouse to control protesters, though state officials have blamed them for inflaming tensions and injuring and arresting dozens of people.

“I haven’t been there so I’m looking at this from the outside-in,” Krantz said.

He hasn’t entirely avoided controversy. When he was named Bend’s next police chief at the end of June, Krantz upset racial justice activists who fear he will bring a big city style of policing to a small town.

They say he isn’t interested in what they have to say and question his stance on the use of tear gas.

Krantz said Thursday he will meet with local protest groups as soon as he can. His first day on the job is Aug. 10.

“The problem is I’m not there yet and I haven’t started working,” he said. “As soon as I get down there, I’d like to start building relationships and hearing what they have to talk about.”

In choosing Jim Porter’s replacement, City Manager Eric King employed a selection process praised by many as inclusive. But Krantz’s selection was met with skepticism and anger by some community members, including Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, who recommended that Krantz not be hired.

“At the time when thousands of people in our community took to the streets to demand improvements to the criminal justice system, hiring someone from the Portland Police Bureau, a department that is under court oversight for excessive use of force and is presently gassing protesters, disrespected them and their views,” Hummel said. “That having been said, Krantz was the choice of the city manager and I’m committed to working with him to make our community as safe and just as possible.”

Hummel said he and Krantz had a 20-minute phone call last this week that was “frank and productive.”

It wasn’t just Hummel who preferred hiring a local candidate to lead Bend Police Department. The three internal finalists were popular among community members who took part in forums during the hiring process, according to feedback sheets obtained through a records request. They also show concern with Krantz’s Portland connection among Bend Police officers who participated in a group interview with the finalists.

Though protests have roiled the Rose City since the death of George Floyd in May, violence and arrests have been largely avoided in mainly white Bend.

Kerstin Arias, co-founder of the Central Oregon Diversity Project, doesn’t want Krantz’s arrival to change that.

Answers cause alarm

Arias was alarmed at several answers by Krantz in an Embrace Bend meeting over Zoom. He was asked if he would forbid the use of tear gas on protesters. He didn’t immediately commit to a yes or no answer.

“I don’t agree with this man,” Arias said. “Any time he was asked about people of color or injustice, he completely went around it and kept saying he treats humans like humans.”

Krantz told The Bulletin the tear gas question is an example of not wanting to commit to positions before actually starting his new job.

“It’s difficult to make a sweeping policy decision when I’m not even an employee yet,” he said. “The bigger picture is, I don’t think tear gas would ever be used in Bend. Tear gas is not a tool for peaceful protests. It’s something completely different.”

Oregon law was recently changed to restrict tear gas use to only situations that are declared riots and lives are considered to be at risk. Krantz says he’s open to further restricting the use of tear gas and other weapons if that’s what the public supports.

“Nothing is off the table,” Krantz said. “I’m coming in with an open slate and an open mind, ready to listen to the community and the members of Bend Police Department and the electeds. I’m willing to do whatever’s necessary to build on the foundation that’s already there.”

Arias’ preferred candidate for chief was Bend Lt. Brian Beekman, whom she said was respectful and responsive over many contacts with her group.

“He called us anytime we had an event and let us know that he’d be there to protect us, and to let him know if we felt we were in any danger,” she said. “He made it very clear that his job was to protect and serve.”

Last week, a lengthy interview with Porter was featured in the Frankfurt, Germany newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine calling Porter a “role model in Washington, D.C.”

Krantz said he knows he has big shoes to fill.

“The reason I wanted to come to Bend is because it’s a great community and it’s a great police department, and I think I can continue to build on it and make it better,” he said.

Reporter: 541-383-0325,

gandrews@bendbulletin.com

(12) comments

Giant Lava Beaver

Thanks for the good reporting Mr. Andrews. An interesting factoid the article lacks would be to state the number of times Bend police have deployed tear gas over the past 100 years – maybe the same number of times as rocket launchers? I too was concerned about the decision to bring someone in from Portland, but learning that DA Hummel was opposed makes me feel much better. Unlike Kerstin Arias, I’m delighted that Chief Krantz vows to “treat humans like humans.” Welcome and good luck to you, Chief Krantz.

CardiacSpike

There is a particularly good reason some in Bend do not want Chief Krantz at the helm of the Bend Police Department. Krantz is aware of who is who in Central Oregon / Bend in terms of legitimate activist organizations and groups/personalities, and those likely not so much.

When “peacekeeper” Luke Richter tells the Bulletin “I hate politics,” he said. “All of them are corrupt. It’s pretty obvious,” and offers he’s participated in the Portland “protests”, there is clearly little room for talk. When the “peacekeeper” FB page denounces and mocks Krantz in both word and image then one must ask who and what is this group?

Especially as the violence in Portland starting yesterday is on the uptick despite federal law enforcement not being visibly present at the federal courthouse

https://nypost.com/2020/08/01/us-marshals-injured-by-homemade-weapons-in-portland-attacks/

Mayor Wheeler said several weeks ago “we know who these people are”. He was referring to the small group of professional agitators who, after peaceful protesting ends at midnight, hijack the mood and intent for purely political purposes such as those promoted by the Portland Socialist of America.

How Wheeler and others know “who they are” is due to the Oregon wide criminal intelligence information network shared by multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the state to include the Portland Police Bureau. This effort is supplemented by the federal intelligence gathering efforts that have gained great sophistication since the 9-11 attacks in 2001. That is how this bomber in Portland was just identified and arrested.

https://nypost.com/2020/08/01/trump-loving-grandma-outs-her-own-grandson-as-portland-bomber/

It should be noted the Portland Democratic Socialists of America (POSA) is directly linked to the Central Oregon Democratic Socialists of America (COSA). And the Central Oregon Peacekeepers (COPK) are linked, as seen on the FB site, with COSA per their shared petition sponsorship. Who are the Democratic Socialists of America? In their own words – the words of the Democratic Socialists of America -

“Unlike DSOC, the New American Movement, founded in 1971, had its origins not in a wing of the Old Left but in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the socialist-feminist women’s unions of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Founded by a talented core of New Left veterans fleeing the sectarian excesses of late SDS and graduating from campus to community politics, NAM focused on building a grassroots “revolutionary democratic socialist-feminist” presence in local struggles around issues such as affordable housing, reproductive freedom and utility rate reform. NAM not only played an important role in the reproductive rights movement, but also helped the Left reconceptualize the relationship between race, gender and class.”

https://www.dsausa.org/about-us/history/

Many of us remember the SDS as evolving into a dedicated Marxist ideology with its “action arm”, the Weather Underground, carrying out the Chicago “Days of Rage” as well as multiple bombings around the country.

That, then, is who and what these groups are truly all about. Chief Krantz knows who the players are and for those in Central Oregon that knowledge is a threat.

D Kelly

You talk too much.

CardiacSpike

Hurts to be educated, yes?

D Kelly

Smart people can make an argument in 2-3 sentences. Apparently, you can not.

Speaking of educated, see my other response to you about bike laws. Apparently, you are not up to date.

CardiacSpike

I am not making an argument, nor do I speak in metaphors and memes.

My comments, sourced or referenced, provide what Paul Harvey referred to as "The Rest of the Story".

Stories oft lacking complete facts and reporter bias.

You don't have to read my comments. You can always skip to the "funny pages".

Giant Lava Beaver

Anyone like CardiacSpike who invests time ferretting out facts and truth, then objectively shares his/her findings is making a positive contribution to society. D Kelly, your dislike for comprehensive posts inspired me to coin a phrase: “The road to Marxist genocide is paved with labels, slogans and Tweets.” Like it?

D Kelly

Marxist genocide? Crazy much? I think the looney bin has room for your “inspired phrases.”. Wow.

benditis

For those following along, "CardiacSpike" here is Greg Walker - the fella who previously graced these pages for a spat with the Peacekeepers, when Richter and others brought attention to the no-bid contract Walker received from DCSO along with some unsavory social media posts of his. Just FYI.

benditis

The problem with his tear gas answer isn't "making sweeping policy decisions" it's a matter of his judgement.

What will he declare a "riot"? In Portland, his counterparts played extremely loose with that definition.

Does Krantz share that sort of judgement? We don't know because he won't answer! Instead, he portrays us as unreasonable for wanting a clear answer.

D Kelly

One thing that Arias and other so-called activists need to remember: they don’t speak for everyone in Bend.

As far as Krantz, his first day on the job is Aug 10. And its summer. So, you will likely have to wait for an answer.

Giant Lava Beaver

Good point D Kelly. I’m not a xenophobe (just had a friendly chat with a Spanish speaking young man while waiting in line at Home Depot this afternoon) but what has Ms. Arias, a recent transplant from Texas, accomplished to deserve so much coverage in The Bulletin? Why does Ms. Arias have more of a voice than the people who have been here for decades and helped build this community? No doubt “the squeaky wheel” and social connections with Bulletin staff writers figure into the answers to those questions. Ms. Arias’ apparent obsession with tear gas is also cause for alarm. What types of activities and “peaceful protests” is her Central Oregon Diversity Project planning for the community?

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