2008 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Portland||Charles R. Tilby
Eugene, Oregon Police Department
Captain Tilby has dedicated himself to community safety. For an extended period, he has led the Operation Backfire investigation. Operation Backfire is a nine-year joint investigation targeting more than a dozen members of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Over a period of years, various members of these movements committed 20 acts of domestic terrorism causing more than $40 million in damages. Because several of the acts were in Eugene itself and because many of the subjects lived and worked in the area, Eugene became the focal point of the investigation. Captain Tilby was vital to the overall effort, providing strong investigative leadership and a commitment to seeing a difficult case through to a successful prosecution.
The 2008 U.S. Track and Field Trials were held in Eugene. This is the largest track and field event held in the U.S., and it was the qualifying event for U.S. athletes going to the Beijing Olympics. The event included approximately 1,000 athletes and 1,000 members of the media. There were about 17,000 fans in attendance over the course of the eight days of trials as well. The nature of the event, its significance as a symbolic target, the presence of anti-government extremists in the state, and the lack of law enforcement in the area created unique difficulties for protecting the athletes, spectators, and the general community.
Because the Eugene Police Department was the lead law enforcement agency charged with security for the trials, Captain Tilby assumed a great deal of responsibility. In the planning phase as well as during the actual event, he served as the primary force behind the Eugene Police Department’s efforts. He was responsible for developing and implementing a plan for security within the community of Eugene. Captain Tilby partnered with the FBI in the security and interagency intelligence plan to provide a safe and secure environment for this major event.