Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Critical Staffing Shortages for Portland Police

 

The Portland Police Bureau is in trouble. Policing in a city where the city government does not appreciate its police officers is heading towards a hiring disaster, or maybe it’s already here. It’s only going to get worse. From KGW Channel 8 Portland:

Portland police will shut down two Street Crimes Units next month due to a critical staffing shortage. Central and North precincts will disband the teams effective Feb. 6, according to a bureau spokesperson.

The Street Crimes Units work to investigate violent crime, illegal drugs and chronic offenders with the goal of reducing calls for patrol officers.

Command staff at North and Central precincts made the decision to disband their Street Crimes Units independently based on limited staffing. The teams could be restored if staffing levels improve, explained Sgt. Kevin Allen, spokesperson for Portland police.

The Portland Police Bureau is currently facing a critical staffing shortage, with more than 100 vacancies. The problem is likely to become more pronounced in August 2020, after a large group of retirements.

Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner has called staffing levels at the police bureau “catastrophic.”

Most city councils’ are to the left of Bernie Sanders. The City of Portland is no exception. The parody “Portlandia” was a documentary, not a comedy. The working middle-class does not go city council meetings. When you’re busy trying to earn a living the last thing you want to do is go to a city council meeting. You do not want to listen to the whining from every advocacy group whose title begins with “Friends of,” or a Gutter Bunny (urban bicyclist) that has run every red light in the city and has displayed the impudent digit to every motorist that came close to ending his headlong rush to oblivion. His complaint: the city is not providing enough bike lanes, which he has no intention of using even if they were provided.

The pool of qualified applicants is shrinking. Out of the 1,075 people who applied to be Portland police officers last year, 817 met minimum requirements. From there, only 303 people were sent to background checks, and that’s where the pool of eligible candidates got even smaller.

Roughly 85% of people didn’t pass the background check, leaving only 43 that got hired. Out of that group, five didn’t make it through the probationary period. So from the original 1,075 people who applied, only 38 people are still employed with the bureau.

On top of all that, fewer people are applying to be police officers.

“You know we do hear feedback that the job is less attractive to people these days,” Davis said.

At the beginning of April, Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, released a statement saying, “The reason the Police Bureau is experiencing catastrophic staffing shortages, drastically declining recruiting success, and the inability to retain officers is due to one core issue: the intense anti-police sentiment in our city that City Council seems to share.”

Portland has had its share of anti-police demonstrations.

It takes about 18 months to complete the hiring, and training process before an officer is qualified to work on their own. The population of the Portland Metro area is about 2.5 million, within the city limits there about 667,000 residents. There are about 900 officers in the Portland Police Bureau. These 900 officers include detectives as well who are on duty 24/7.

Not only is the PPB selective about whom they will hire, good candidates are also selective about the agency they seek to join. These candidates watch the news, and they are well aware of city governments that not only disdain police officers, but they know which individual city council member(s) hate police officers. It’s not hard to spot the haters; they are addicted to every microphone and television camera within 100 yards of their location.

Portland will not be the only city that will have a problem hiring police officers.

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There are 31 comments.

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  1. John Berg Member

    I live here and the city is wonderful in many ways but there are deep problems. The leftist beliefs are causing a drop in livability. They keep raising property taxes through bond measures (they’re asking for a billion more for our failing schools). They also add high fees and strict restrictions on any new buildings and can’t figure out why housing costs are so high (they blame profit motives and landlords). Who would want to be a police officer in Portland where the city leaders wink at the violence of Antifa and will call you a racist? Our mayor, Ted Wheeler, is consulting with the mayor of LA on how to solve the drug camps around the city (they call them the homeless). That’s how stupid our leaders are. They think LA offers solutions to drug camps. 

    • #1
    • January 24, 2020, at 7:43 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Same thing is happening in Seattle. The city is run by 1960s radicals who think of police as “pigs”, and act accordingly.

    • #2
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Same thing is happening in Seattle. The city is run by 1960s radicals who think of police as “pigs”, and act accordingly.

    Seattle, and San Francisco as well. Tucker Carlson’s series on the homeless issue featured two SFPD officer’s that offered their take on the homeless, and street crime issue in San Francisco. Most officer’s will avoid an interview, the fact that two officer’s consented to an interview that was going to go nationwide is an indication of just how bad the situation is in San Francisco. There is a lesson there for not just SFO.

     

    • #3
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:15 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Cod help ’em.

    • #4
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    John Berg (View Comment):

    I live here and the city is wonderful in many ways but there are deep problems. The leftist beliefs are causing a drop in livability. They keep raising property taxes through bond measures (they’re asking for a billion more for our failing schools). They also add high fees and strict restrictions on any new buildings and can’t figure out why housing costs are so high (they blame profit motives and landlords). Who would want to be a police officer in Portland where the city leaders wink at the violence of Antifa and will call you a racist? Our mayor, Ted Wheeler, is consulting with the mayor of LA on how to solve the drug camps around the city (they call them the homeless). That’s how stupid our leaders are. They think LA offers solutions to drug camps.

    The Multnomah County Commisioner’s are as clueless as the Portland City Council. There is a reason that Intel located their plants in Washington County, west of Portland, and Multnomah County.

    Intel’s operations in Oregon are Intel’s largest concentration of facilities and talent in the world. Today, with 20,000 employees west of Portland in Washington County, Intel Oregon develops and manufactures microprocessors that power data centers and hundreds of millions of smart and connected devices worldwide.

     

    • #5
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. WI Con Member
    WI Con Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It has been my perception for decades that LEO jobs were always coveted and had more applicants than positions.

    I never saw this coming where they’d be treated so disrespectfully that staffing would be an issue (always thought it would be pensions and benefits).

    Waiting to hear of ‘enlightened/progressive cities “partnering” with Antifa and other neighborhood groups to assist with public safety functions.

    • #6
    • January 24, 2020, at 8:50 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  7. Bill Nelson Member

    Its the cops fault.

    • #7
    • January 24, 2020, at 10:01 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    You reap what you sow. At a time when there aren’t enough people to fill open jobs, I’d certainly change careers, especially if an officer wanted to stay in the Portland area.

    • #8
    • January 24, 2020, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    We get the government we vote for or fail to vote against. The “too busy working” bit, advanced by Rush Limbaugh for decades, wore thin a while back. 

    • #9
    • January 24, 2020, at 12:03 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Randy Webster Member

    John Berg (View Comment):
    (they’re asking for a billion more for our failing schools)

    I guess so they can not teach racist math.

    • #10
    • January 24, 2020, at 12:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The people deserve it, They deserve to get what they keep voting for.

    • #11
    • January 24, 2020, at 1:23 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Randy Webster Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The people deserve it, They deserve to get what they keep voting for.

    HL Mencken agrees.

    • #12
    • January 24, 2020, at 1:36 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Hoyacon Member

    At some point, this situation would seem to lead to a reduction in standards for the hiring of officers. It’s scary to contemplate, but, if you need warm bodies and can’t find qualified ones, eventually you settle for the unqualified.

    • #13
    • January 24, 2020, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Arahant Member

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The people deserve it, They deserve to get what they keep voting for.

    HL Mencken agrees.

    Good and hard.

    • #14
    • January 24, 2020, at 1:39 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  15. J Climacus Member

    Doug Watt:

    It takes about 18 months to complete the hiring, and training process before an officer is qualified to work on their own. The population of the Portland Metro area is about 2.5 million, within the city limits there about 667,000 residents. There are about 900 officers in the Portland Police Bureau. These 900 officers include detectives as well who are on duty 24/7.

    This is why the 2nd Amendment is so important. Those 900 officers will quickly lose control of a city of 667,000 if the social fabric starts to breakdown – say in an economic calamity if (actually when) our debt-fueled system finally implodes.

     

    • #15
    • January 24, 2020, at 1:53 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  16. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    if you need warm bodies and can’t find qualified ones, eventually you settle for the unqualified.

    The Rampart scandal in LA was created by just this issue.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rampart_scandal

    Naturally, Wiki does not explain the roots of the scandal. Hiring dodgy applicants who “knew the gang culture” resulted in gangbanger cops.

    What has happened for years in LA is that LAPD officers get trained, then move to suburbs where they are appreciated and the hazards are less. Jack Dunphy has written about this for years In recent years, as California has declined, even suburbs are getting sketchy.

    • #16
    • January 24, 2020, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Sad.

    • #17
    • January 24, 2020, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Titus Techera Contributor

    Doug, thanks for writing about this. I have my suspicions from visits to West Coast cities, but I like to find out about places I’ve not seen. & of course it’s always useful to put numbers to phenomena. I wonder whether there will be a new kind of Prog push to change city gov’t to neutralize police. I don’t see political change through voter revolts coming anywhere in liberal metropolises…

    • #18
    • January 24, 2020, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Things will not improve until the gangs start roving the neighborhoods where the politicians live.

    • #19
    • January 24, 2020, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    Bill Nelson (View Comment):

    Its the cops fault.

    That’s what the woke think, until they’re mugged.

     

    • #20
    • January 24, 2020, at 4:28 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    There is a difference between ruling a city, and managing a city. Maintaining a city is doing the nitty-gritty work, there is nothing glamorous about filling potholes. Laying light rail tracks at 2.5 million dollars a mile when you have tents, feces, and needles in the parks, and on the sidewalks is not going to entice people to come downtown. Worrying about the type of bags residents use to bring their groceries home is as effective as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    • #21
    • January 24, 2020, at 4:56 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  22. Hoyacon Member

    Admittedly not directly related to the Portland situation, but I just came across this in local news. Why subject oneself to the possibility of this in any location if your community shows little respect? RIP.

    A 24-year-old police officer in Virginia died after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop, and the driver is facing charges that include felony homicide, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Friday during an emotional news conference.

    Katie Thyne was one of two police officers who were standing by the driver’s side door of a vehicle when it accelerated forward and drove a block before slamming into a tree on Thursday evening, Drew said.

    Drew said the driver’s-side door was open, and the officers had just asked the driver to step out of the car.

    “One officer was able to step out of the way, and she was not,” Drew said.

    Drew said Thyne was pinned between the door and the tree. She was flown to a hospital in Norfolk, where she died of her injuries.

    • #22
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:14 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Things will not improve until the gangs start roving the neighborhoods where the politicians live.

    The crime is shifting in Chicago to the North side. Sutton’s Law.

    • #23
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  24. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    A 24-year-old police officer in Virginia died after being dragged by a vehicle during a traffic stop, and the driver is facing charges that include felony homicide, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew said Friday during an emotional news conference.

    You know where that doesn’t happen? Arizona.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ambushed-arizona-trooper-saved-passing-motorist-who-shot-attacker-dead-n706381

    An armed passing motorist was credited with saving the life of an Arizona state trooper by shooting and killing a gunman who ambushed the trooper in the middle of a lonely interstate highway before dawn Thursday.

    “I would just say at this point, thank you, because I don’t know that my trooper would be alive today without his assistance,” Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said after he met with the seriously injured trooper at the hospital.

    Carjacking is rare, too. Of course, the left wing Tucson Mayor got carjacked in front of his house but that doesn’t really count.

    • #24
    • January 24, 2020, at 5:40 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  25. E. Kent Golding Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    The people deserve it, They deserve to get what they keep voting for.

    What about the 40%. who vote against it? Maybe Abraham could find 10 good men in Portland ( probably all LEOs).

    • #25
    • January 25, 2020, at 5:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Stad Thatcher

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Things will not improve until the gangs start roving the neighborhoods where the politicians live.

    Assuming the politicians even live there.

    • #26
    • January 25, 2020, at 6:41 AM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Al French, PIT Geezer Moderator

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    At some point, this situation would seem to lead to a reduction in standards for the hiring of officers. It’s scary to contemplate, but, if you need warm bodies and can’t find qualified ones, eventually you settle for the unqualified.

    It has already begun. Portland has lowered its educational requirements from two years of college to high school diploma or GED.

    • #27
    • January 25, 2020, at 4:56 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Randy Webster Member

    Al French (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    At some point, this situation would seem to lead to a reduction in standards for the hiring of officers. It’s scary to contemplate, but, if you need warm bodies and can’t find qualified ones, eventually you settle for the unqualified.

    It has already begun. Portland has lowered its educational requirements from two years of college to high school diploma or GED.

    This will end well.

    • #28
    • January 25, 2020, at 5:32 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    Al French (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    At some point, this situation would seem to lead to a reduction in standards for the hiring of officers. It’s scary to contemplate, but, if you need warm bodies and can’t find qualified ones, eventually you settle for the unqualified.

    It has already begun. Portland has lowered its educational requirements from two years of college to high school diploma or GED.

    Yes it has, Portland at one time required a four year degree. A good portion of your student loans would be forgiven for each year you remained a police officer. The problem that I see, and it is just my personal opinion is that training someone who is 21 years of age that has just a high school diploma, or a GED will be difficult. My personal belief is that they will not have as much life experience in different jobs, and dealing with people as an adult. One does not necessarily need a criminal justice degree, and two full years of college is probably enough. Military service is a plus due to the fact that there is a chain of command in police work, and you will be tasked with working details that you might not like. An Honorable Discharge means you completed basic training, and will have a good chance of completing the Academy.

    • #29
    • January 25, 2020, at 7:44 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  30. Arahant Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    The problem that I see, and it is just my personal opinion is that training someone who is 21 years of age that has just a high school diploma, or a GED will be difficult. My personal belief is that they will not have as much life experience in different jobs, and dealing with people as an adult.

    Gee, remember back when 21 was adult?

    • #30
    • January 25, 2020, at 9:09 PM PST
    • 1 like