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.Published in