As a rule, budget workshops tend not to be terribly interesting. The exception, of course, is when the bureau presenting its budget is the police bureau, the largest single taker from the city's general fund.

Opening an hour-long gabfest—attended by citizen advisers, city officials and a generous contingent of uniformed police officers—Mayor Sam Adams, Portland's police commissioner, offered the first interesting development: He was demanding new, "more robust" cost estimates in hopes of speeding up the bureau's request for more less-lethal weapons, including new Taser shotguns and pepper-spray flashlights.

Then it was Chief Mike Reese's turn to further charm a council that's plainly still madly in love with him, almost a year after Adams (backed by Reese's good friend, Randy Leonard) promoted the onetime Central Precinct commander.

"Over the past decade, we have fractured the community trust," Reese said in his opening remarks. "I want to take ownership of the problems that the Portland Police Bureau has faced, and the realization that trust is a perishable commodity and something we always have to work at."

The chief is making a big ask from a council working with a surplus: More than $5 million in new ongoing cash from the general fund, to $146.2 million, bringing the bureau's base budget back closer to where it was a couple of years ago before severe cuts. (And before the bureau gave its officers big raises that will cost millions of dollars.)

He also wants $3.2 million from the city's "shadow budget," expenses listed as one-time costs that typically are funded every years. (A request, perhaps distressingly, that accounts for much of the bureau's social-services work and civilian oversight protocols.) And some capital money for a new training center and even some cash to make up for pension payments for transit cops the bureau had been hoarding for years.

How'd he do it? Hit the jump.

The basic message to the council was this: Yes, we've been flexible, creating a guns task force and a burglary task force, and looking to buy less-lethal weapons and get out in the community. Crime, per resident, is at its lowest point in years. And we've done it in the face of a crumbling social safety net (but not without nine officer-involved shootings since last January.)

But here's all the stuff we've stopped doing since our budget got pared and we put the brakes on overtime: traffic crash investigations; fraud reports; patrolling the drug markets in Old Town; fewer property crime reports; less DNA and fingerprint analysis.

"While we're very lean," Reese said, "it does come at a price." Perhaps a political price, was the unspoken piece of that comment.

Reese also brought in Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner (who negotiated the pay raises in the latest contract) to bolster his call for more cash. And Reese shrewdly tied money for hiring more cops to long-stated calls from the community for a more diverse police force.

Budget cuts have driven some of those reductions, and the city's financial planners want many of those to continue. But Mike Kuykendall, the bureau's civilian director of services, said their bottom line also was hit recently when the courts forbade Oregon cities from towing cars (and charging big fees) that were otherwise parked safely after drug busts, DUII busts, prostitution busts. Kuykendall says that loss cost the city $3 million in its current budget.

Saltzman pushed hardest against Reese—whose appointment as chief came at the same time Adams dumped Saltzman as police commissioner.

While Leonard and Nick Fish were joking about Reese being physically fit and, a couple of years ago, managing to tackle a perp downtown, or while Adams and Amanda Fritz were heaping on managerial praise, Saltzman brought some harsh by hammering on the pension issue payment. The issue cropped up when the bureau, in past years, never paid the city's pension fund money it had gotten back from TriMet for the cost of supplying transit cops.

"Hopefully this will be the year to get you onto a modest pension plan," at least $100,000, Saltzman told Reese, tightly.

The highlight of the affair came when a citizen adviser sitting in for several workshops, Carl Farrington, ripped into the media for not telling more of a happy story about the bureau, begrudgingly calling stories about shit like police brutality and shootings "newsworthy."

He said people like to see horse patrols, because they're "friendly." (Except maybe if you're homeless.) And that the bureau needs to do "a better job" of getting good news like the training facility and mental health work "on the front page of the Oregonian."

At which point someone noted that the O's cops reporter, Maxine Bernstein, was sitting in the room.

"A lot of things you mentioned have been in the paper," she piped up from the sideline. "That's just my two cents."