First Advisor

Tim Garrison

Date of Publication

Fall 1-5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Charles A. Moose (Charles Alexander) -- Biography, Police chiefs -- Oregon -- Portland -- Biography, African American police -- Oregon -- Portland, Community policing -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, Portland (Or.) -- Race relations, Portland (Or.). Bureau of Police



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 215 pages)


In 1993, Charles Moose became Portland, Oregon's first black police chief. A nationally recognized student of the developing theories of community policing, Chief Moose's promotion was also hoped to help strengthen the diversity of the Portland Police Bureau. Ultimately, Portlanders were unable to look past Moose's public outbursts and demeanor and recognize his accomplishments. As a city, they missed an opportunity.

This thesis uses transcripts of speeches and policy papers to present some political history to the reader, but also letters to the mayor's office, letters to the editor and the like to consider the social history of 1990's Portland. Some specific touchpoints of Moose's administration are considered, including when he and his wife Sandy moved to the King Neighborhood, the Daniel Binns birthday party and the resulting march on Moose's home, his outburst at the City Council, and other examples of his legendary anger. Moose's role in gentrification, and the policies he created for the Portland Police Bureau to lead that charge will not be ignored. All the while, the context of Oregon's racist heritage is forefront in this paper.

By 1999, Charles Moose had left the bureau and accepted a job in Maryland. He was selected for many of the accomplishments that the Portland public had criticized him for. Ultimately, this study will show that Portland missed an opportunity to discuss how they wanted to be policed, and what philosophies they wanted their enforcers to personify.


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