The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Facility Security Unit (FSU) provides the first level of defense, emergency preparedness, and public safety in many Multnomah County facilities. This includes the downtown Courthouse, Justice Center, East County Courthouse, Juvenile Justice Complex, Inverness Jail, The Gateway Center for Domestic Violence, the Central Library, and seasonally at the Elections Office. Combining the use of state-of-the-art electronic security screening equipment, providing a strong uniformed presence, and conducting frequent security patrols, Facility Security Officers (FSOs) provide the citizens and employees in these facilities with a safe and secure environment in which to conduct their business.
The FSU is often the first contact for citizens and professionals accessing the facility. People entering these facilities may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, facing the loss of their children, or experiencing life-altering situations such as domestic violence or incarceration. People are often discouraged when trying to navigate through the criminal justice system and FSOs provide person-to-person assistance to the public. The FSOs are the first, positive, contact point for all of these people, whether it is for information, referral, or public safety.
In the court facilities, the presence of uniformed FSOs helps to deter disturbances and criminal activity. When court operations are interrupted, it costs the taxpayers money. At jail facilities, FSOs provide a contact point for both the public and professionals, such as attorneys, who need to conduct inmate business such as visiting, bail, inmate property, and money transactions. The FSU also works closely with other agencies and other Sheriff’s Office units to facilitate inmate business transactions. FSOs also help to prevent the introduction of weapons and contraband into the jail facilities through screening.
At the Central Library, the FSU provides a resource for people needing public safety assistance or information and referral to other public entities. The presence of uniformed FSOs enables library patrons to enjoy library services in a safe and inviting atmosphere. Additionally, the FSU conducts criminal history records checks for contractors, vendors, and various community partners requiring access to the jail, and other sensitive Sheriff’s Office locations.