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Press Release

Portland Metro Event Aimed to Build Relationships and Trust Between Public Safety and Community Leaders

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
Leaders of Public Safety and Civil Society Organizations Met to Strengthen Relationships and Build Trust in the Communities They Serve

TIGARD, Ore. – On Thursday, September 22, 2016, leaders from public safety agencies and civil society organizations from across the Portland metropolitan area met to discuss barriers to building community trust and identify strategies for overcoming these challenges. The one-day summit was held at the Muslim Educational Trust (MET) in Tigard.

The event was the culmination of efforts by a diverse steering committee, established with the core purpose of developing trust and relationships in our communities amidst heightened tension and political rhetoric.

“The erosion of public trust in police, prosecutors, and judges within our judicial system poses a significant impediment to community trust, as well as the safety of community members and our law enforcement partners across the nation,” said Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Oregon is not immune to the issues that create and perpetuate this lack of trust. This event is another step forward in building these critical relationships and ensuring the safety of all Oregon communities, and the law enforcement personnel who serve honorably to protect us.”

A series of panel discussions featured representatives from public safety and civil society organizations from across the region, including the Urban League of Portland, Latino Network, Unite Oregon, Catholic Charities of Portland, Portland Police Bureau, Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Opening remarks were provided by MET President Wajdi Said and Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett. The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Shariff Abdullah, founder and president of the Commonway Institute.

For more information about the event, please contact MET Director of Public Relations Rania Ayoub at, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett at, or Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Hayden at

Updated September 22, 2016