PORTLAND, OR– Last year, Law Enforcement Today reported that Portland police officers were “fleeing in unprecedented” numbers, as a direct result of the “defund the police” movement.
At the time, LET reported that numerous officers were said to be trying to make moves to leave the Portland Police Bureau, whether by transferring to other police departments, outright resigning mid-career, or cashing in on what retirement benefits are readily available.
Now, on Sunday, April 4th, the Oregonian, the city’s main newspaper, published an article offering an explanation as to why many officers have decided to leave.
The Oregonian reported that a total of 115 officers have left the department since July 1, 2020.
Portland police look for exit, say they’re ‘burned out’: report🔺Can you blame them? I don’t think what goes on in Portland is what they signed up for. https://t.co/pZjrZqDNjD
— LadyPatriot🇺🇸 (@Pete2Shawn) April 5, 2021
They reported that this number represents:
“one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory.”
According to the Oregonian, they reviewed 31 exit interview statements from these fleeing officers, and they reportedly showed a certain level of disillusion with the job.
A retiring detective reportedly wrote in one that the community showed officers “zero support”, Fox News reported.
The detective reportedly said:
“The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchist fantasy. What’s worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly.”
Portland was one of the major cities in the country that saw some of the worst violence and destruction following the death of George Floyd. While more officers were needed to try to combat the violence plaguing the streets, Portland’s City Council voted to defund the police, and essentially tie their hands.
Law Enforcement Today reported that the Portland City Council’s folly has led to a 2000 percent increase in homicides.
This is hardly surprising, as cities across the country which implemented similar defunding measures or otherwise tied the hands of their police departments have experienced similar results. Crime is exploding everywhere.
Portland police look for exit, say they’re ‘burned out’: report https://t.co/AYiXxWPlrg #FoxNews Duh….what the hell did the city leaders expect? When frontline workers don't have the backing of elected leaders…they leave! Ain't that hard to figure out!
— tpk21 (@timothypkenner) April 5, 2021
The city experienced 55 killings in 2020 and the paper pointed out that the victims ranged from eight months to 71 years old, Fox News reported.
Ted Wheeler, the city’s mayor, told the Oregonian in an email that the city has a “laser focus on building a better public safety system.”
Wheeler went on to say:
“And, as we pursue change to meet Portlanders’ needs and expectations, we must focus on support and care for our employees.”
Fox News reported that last summer, a specialized police unit focused on curbing gun violence, which had long faced criticism for disproportionately targeting people of color, was disbanded. Wheeler announced the unit’s disbanding last June and reassigned its 34 officers to patrol. He described it as an opportunity to reimagine policing and redirected $7 million in police funds toward communities of color.
The first black woman to ever be elected to the City Council, Jo Ann Hardesty, was the individual who pushed hardest to defund the police department.
Hardesty tried to paint officers as racist when she presented a 2018 audit that showed nearly 60% of the individuals stopped by the gun violence team were black. However, according to statistics, in 2020, a total of 55 homicides took place, and nearly half of them were black people who lived in Portland’s historically black neighborhoods, thus leading one to believe that the gun violence team was in fact stopping the criminals, not just the “black people”.
Wheeler announced earlier this month that he would seek $2 million in one-time funding for police, other agencies and outreach programs to try to stem rampant gun violence in the city, Fox News reported.
The Associated Press said Wheeler’s move represented an “about-face.”
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Here is more on how the “defund the police” movement has negatively impacted the city of Portland.
PORTLAND, OR – With violent crime rising within the city of Portland, officers within the Portland Police Bureau are struggling to keep up with quick responses to various calls and closings of active investigations.
Portland Police are overwhelmed with the violence in the city and are struggling to keep up with all the calls.https://t.co/wkHzHn9Jv6
— KATU News (@KATUNews) April 1, 2021
Evidence of this surge in crime that is hampering police resources can be showcases from the period that transpired overnight from March 30th into the morning of 31st – where Portland police or called to investigate a deadly stabbing and two shooting incidents.
Lieutenant Greg Pashley, a public information officer with the PPB, described the details surrounding the southwest Portland stabbing incident:
“So, the first one happened about midnight down on Southwest First and Southwest Ankeny. And this was a call where officers responded to an assault with a weapon. When they arrived they found someone who had apparently been stabbed.”
.@PortlandPolice had a very busy night. They got called to a deadly stabbing in SW Portland and two shootings. One shooting, in North Portland, was deadly. Police think the victim was a customer at a convenience store. The other shooting was in northeast Portland. #LiveOnK2
— Genevieve Reaume (@GenevieveReaume) March 31, 2021
The victim in that incident reportedly died from their sustained injuries, with police not yet having identified a suspect in the case.
Prior to the fatal stabbing, officers got called out to northeast Portland for a reported shooting incident, which Lieutenant Pashley described the circumstances of that case:
“Officers arrived and found a person had apparently been shot. That person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”
As for the suspect, police reportedly pursued the individual throughout the city until the suspect crashed a pickup truck through a fence in Mill Park. Lieutenant Pashley says officers attempted to talk the suspect down for several hours:
“That was the beginning of about four or five hours of conversation, negotiation. They called our Special Emergency Reaction Team and Crisis Negotiation Team who came and took over the scene.”
The person the man shot in NE Portland (before the chase and standoff), is expected to be ok. #LiveOnK2
— Genevieve Reaume (@GenevieveReaume) March 31, 2021
Police were said to have utilized CS gas in an effort to draw the suspect out of the vehicle; however, the suspect was said to have turned his own weapon on himself and committed suicide.
Not long after that incident, police were called to yet another shooting, which this one occurred in north Portland on Lombard at a 7-Eleven. According to Lieutenant Pashley, this shooting incident also proved to be fatal for the victim:
“There was some kind of incident in a convenient store or a convenient store parking lot. hat person was transported to the hospital in the ambulance. It’s an adult male and that man did not survive that gun shot wound. So, that is yet another homicide that’s under investigation.”
From what the PPB lieutenant says , that brings the total number of homicides within Portland for 2021 to 25. Yet, the police bureau has been dealing with this increase in violence since last year:
“We are at 69 homicides since July 1 of 2020, so these homicide detectives are essentially buried under their cases.”
According to Lieutenant Pashley, Portland Police have brought in more detectives and police officers to help work on some of these shooting investigations, though he says “quite frankly they can’t keep up”:
“What happens is when dozens of officers get tied up on a scene, like the one behind us, it does limit our ability to respond to other calls for service throughout the city.”
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