PORTLAND, OR – Officers are reportedly separating from the Portland Police Bureau – in one form or another – in “unprecedented” numbers, according to police officials. The developing matter of officers leaving the force has some calling it a de facto “win” for the defund the police movement.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 24, 2020
Numerous officers are 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.
According to Assistant Chief Michael Frome, who heads the Human Resources Department for the PPB, personnel files show that nine officers have resigned since just November and an additional 14 have put in paperwork to leave by the end of January.
On top of those numbers, seven officers have filed retirement paperwork and an additional 25 officers are trying to transfer to different police departments.
It’s likely no coincidence that these various forms of attrition are transpiring after Portland saw over 100 days of rioting and protests – largely aimed at policing – took place.
Not to mention, the copious amount of funding cut from the PPB earlier in the year, to the tune of $15 million, resulted in massive layoffs to certain facets of the department.
Diverse bunch of police officers resigning mid-career to get away from Portland, taking city's large training investment with them. https://t.co/4vaeH8mIbS
— Portland Tribune (@ThePortlandTrib) December 21, 2020
Assistant Chief Frome commented on the budgetary cuts, saying:
“When the cuts came in and we basically lost our vacancies, that put us in a bigger fiscal hole than we were anticipating being in.”
“We didn’t have the money to hire, so we laid off basically half of our background investigators. We laid off our recruiter, because we just did not see a position in the near future where we were going to be able to use them to capacity.”
And from what Assistance Chief Frome says with regard to funding matters, the PPB has been told to poise itself for an additional cut of around $10 million in 2021.
When looking at how the summer played out, and the talking points parroted by rioters and protesters, Assistant Chief Frome isn’t surprised to see officers trying to stage an exit from the department:
“For a lot of these people that are choosing to go somewhere else, they spent a lot of months this last summer constantly being yelled at to ‘Quit your job, quit your job.”
“That cumulative toll on our officers, it builds up. So in some ways, yes, there is a win by those that would want the police to be defunded.”
When the PPB began making cuts within the department in response to the defunding enacted, the city also began seeing an increase in murders.
And while the riots and protests have somewhat calmed down in Portland – when compared to the period of the summer – there are still lingering anti-police sentiments littered throughout the city.
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Earlier in December, a makeshift guillotine was spotted atop the Portland Police Association building.
We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on that display erected. Here’s that previous report.
PORTLAND, OR – We have heard chants and threats by members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa about defunding or abolishing the police, especially in Portland, Oregon.
We’ve also heard chants like, “What do we want? Dead Pigs! When do we want it? Now!”
Or how about, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!”
Anti-police groups in Portland on Tuesday made their wishes — demands, rather — even more obvious by hoisting a guillotine to the top of the Portland Police Association building at 1868 N. Lombard St., north of downtown.
The building for months has been a focal point for demonstrators. Since June, the stand alone has been the target of vandals, who have broken windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged it otherwise.
On the night of Aug. 25, a riot was declared after protestors marched to the building while chanting “burn it down” and attempted to do just that. Police reported that at least two fires were set on and around the structure.
At least 25 people were arrested during the incident. The conservative news site Hotair reported:
“The group, roughly 300 people, began a march from Arbor Lodge Park at North Delaware Avenue and North Bryant Street about 9:30 p.m. They walked north directly to the Portland Police Association Building in the 1800 block of North Lombard Street.
“Among other things, the crowd chanted “burn it down.” Many in the crowd carried shields, wore helmets, gas masks, and body armor.
“Within minutes of the crowd arriving, people were seen going to the back of the building. Power to the building was cut and flames were seen shooting up the side of the building.
“The PPA office is located on the edge of a residential area with wood-frame houses. Dry summer weather exacerbated the fire danger. Due to the extreme life safety concerns, the incident commander determined that it was a riot.
“The urgency to extinguish the fire was extreme. Someone in the crowd appeared to pour some kind of accelerant on it as the fire exploded rapidly.”
This was the arson fire that prompted the riot declaration. It was set within minutes of the march reaching the @PPAVigil offices. The severity of the damage is unclear. This gathering remains a riot. Disperse immediately. pic.twitter.com/pIMC0b8WTS
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 25, 2020
With the riot declared, police pushed the crowd away from the building. But as soon as the police retreated, the mob returned and tried again:
“Almost immediately people began to return. Chain link fencing was pulled into roadway to block traffic. Another fire was lit in the middle of the street.
“At 11:30 p.m., some individuals lit two fires on the north side of the building, including the awning over the main entrance…
“As officers tried to disengage again, people with “press” printed on their outer clothing were seen throwing rocks at them. A rock struck the windshield of their transport vehicle, cracking the glass.”
— Justin Yau (@PDocumentarians) August 25, 2020
On the night of Oct. 20, Portland police reported that at least 75 protesters marched toward the PPA office with “support vehicles” in tow, before setting fire to a nearby billboard.
The billboard reportedly read, “WAKE UP AMERICA!” and “THANK YOU PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU,” before it was engulfed in flames, according to Sergio Olmos, a reporter with Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Portland protest day 127 pic.twitter.com/QVTTsPRF6M
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) October 20, 2020
Back to the recent activity at the building, quite a lot of information may be gleaned from a Twitter group called the “45th parallel absurdist brigade,” which claims to be a “press collective in PDX.”
The group posted about Tuesday’s incident:
“Marking ~200 days since the start of the #PortlandProtests against racist policing, last night persons unknown affixed a guillotine to the roof of the Portland Police Association building in N. Portland, and hung a banner marked with the reading ‘Abolish PPA – BLM – Night 200’”
Another message told of the history of the Portland Police Association, but without verifying or clarifying the statements:
“The PPA itself is the oldest extant police union, & established the legal precedent of Qualified Immunity, which prevents officers from being held liable for killings on duty. Their contract was the first to mandate that officers not be interrogated for 48 hours after a shooting.”
The PPA itself is the oldest extant police union, & established the legal precedent of Qualified Immunity, which prevents officers from being held liable for killings on duty. Their contract was the first to mandate that officers not be interrogated for 48 hours after a shooting. pic.twitter.com/9MZ6AMsZPD
— 45th parallel absurdist brigade (@45thabsurdist) December 15, 2020
One of the group’s messages went on to explain the history of Antifa’s “three arrows” symbol:
“The three arrows emblem on the banner is an antifascist symbol originating w/ street militants who fought the rise of the Nazi party in 1930s Germany. The first president of the PPA, Otto Meiners, was active in the German American Bund until it was banned at the outbreak of WW2.”
The three arrows emblem on the banner is an antifascist symbol originating w/ street militants who fought the rise of the Nazi party in 1930s Germany. The first president of the PPA, Otto Meiners, was active in the German American Bund until it was banned at the outbreak of WW2. pic.twitter.com/ZDxNaXuvlN
— 45th parallel absurdist brigade (@45thabsurdist) December 15, 2020
Again, there is no verification or clarification for these claims by the “45th parallel absurdist brigade.”
The PPA building is a stark, boarded-up survivor of mindless violence, standing alone against countless physical assaults in an angry city.