‘Failed policies and lack of leadership’: Retired Portland cop delivers smackdown to city officials

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PORTLAND, OR – A retired 26-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has fired back at the PPB and city officials in response to a retire/rehire letter entreating officers to return to the department.

As our readers well know, Portland was the focus of BLM/Antifa anti-police rioting and destruction in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in 2020, and well into 2021.

Those so-called “protests” caused millions of dollars in property damage.  Graffiti, destruction, burned buildings, and torched police cars all littered the once attractive city.

Police were attacked with rocks, bottles, Molotov cocktails, mortars and spikes, and explosives.  Federal buildings were also targeted, and federal law enforcement personnel came in to assist local law enforcement.

And yet, Portland, under Mayor Ted Wheeler, still left the police defunded, to the tune of a $16 million budget cut in 2020.

Meanwhile, rioters appeared to receive kid glove treatment, with the progressive Multnomah County District Attorney’s office dropping charges for a whopping 68% of rioters in 2020.

Understandably, police officers chose to remove themselves from such circumstances and leave the PPB.  According to the New York Times, in Portland, “69 officers resigned and 75 retired from April 2020 to April 2021, versus 27 and 14 the previous year.”

Now, it seems, Portland is attempting to win back those officers with a retire/rehire program.

Law Enforcement Today has received a copy of a letter from the PPB department chiefs. This letter was sent to PPB members who have retired.

In this letter, the signers attempt to make a case for retirees’ return to the department to “be a part of rebuilding Portland.”

The letter reads, in part:

“You left at a time of great despair for the Bureau and the City of Portland.  2020 became a perfect storm that thrust our Bureau and the City into a very dark period. 

Now as we conclude 2021, we acknowledge we still face challenges and issues that need to be resolved.  

“However, we strongly feel that we are now embarking on rebuilding with considerable support from elected officials, community members, and businesses. 

More people testified at City Council in favor of expanding the Police Bureau than at any other time in modern history.

“The community is asking – frankly, demanding – that police be a part of rebuilding Portland.”

‘Failed policies and lack of leadership’: Retired Portland cop delivers smackdown to city officials
Screenshot, PPB Letter to retirees

In addition to the letter, the Department provided some rather shockingly worded disqualifying criteria for rehires. The criteria read, in part, as follows:

“Any officers who were found to have violated City policy by cooperating with federal agents to attack Portland residents.”

‘Failed policies and lack of leadership’: Retired Portland cop delivers smackdown to city officials
Screenshot, PPB disqualifications

Retired officer and 26-year PPB veteran Stephanie Hudson received one of those missives, and she was having none of it.  

She told Law Enforcement Today of the changes to beautiful Portland:

“It is depressing to see what has become of this once beautiful city.  

“I think most people would tell you that there was a time when they felt safe walking around town at night.  Now people don’t even feel safe walking around town during the day, nor should they.  

“It is not safe here.”

Reflecting on the horrific violence from rioters, Officer Hudson explained further:

“Night after night, officers were deployed to protect the city and her citizens from rioters and then told to do nothing.  Tools which are essential to crowd control were taken away.  Officers were basically left with nothing but their fists.  

“Anytime a rioter was injured, because of their own actions no less, the officers were vilified.  Anytime an officer was injured, there was silence from city leaders.  

“The message of support and gratitude to the officers was completely nullified by the statement regarding officers and federal agents attacking the residents of Portland.  It is a perfect example of what they really think about us, and a warning that nothing has changed.”

In a response letter to the PPB Chiefs, Hudson boldly chose to call out the Bureau and city leaders on their “failed policies and lack of leadership” that led to this “darkness, destruction and death to Portland.”

She began:

“Dear PPB Chiefs, 

“I can only assume that the letter regarding the retire/rehire program was sent to me in error. An officer of 26 plus years does not resign months before they are eligible to retire to go to another police agency where they take a pay cut and lose seniority unless it is pretty awful where they were at. 

“Your letter states, ‘You left at a time of great despair for the Bureau and the City of Portland, 2020 became a perfect storm that thrust our Bureau and the City into a very dark period.’

This sounds as if you feel that those who left, abandoned the city in her time of need, but in reality, it is the officers who were abandoned. The darkness, destruction and death to Portland was a result of your failed polices and the lack of leadership.

The ‘perfect storm’ of which you speak was the demonization of police by the Mayor’s office and City Council members, and the failure of PPB leadership to stand up to them in support of their own officers.”

Hudson continued by calling into question the claim of “considerable support from elected officials,” saying:

“Your letter mentions “considerable support from elected officials”. This is laughable.

Portland has a Mayor who refuses to call out ANTIFA and condemn the riots, a DA who refuses to prosecute violent rioters and a Council Member who accuses police of committing the arsons and violence that were committed by the rioters. 

“All of these previously mentioned people blame ‘right wing extremist’ and the police for the violence and destruction in Portland. Do you recall Marquise Love?

Love repeatedly punched and then kicked a man, with whom he had no beef, in the head, leaving him unconscious in the street. It’s a miracle that he didn’t kill that man, yet he received a mere 20 month sentence of which he will probably only serve a year.

Out of the 1000 plus arrests made during the riots, probably only 10 percent were even prosecuted. Is that the “considerable support” of which you speak?” 

Re-Fund the Police

Hudson then turned her attention to the disturbing disqualification directive on police officers who were termed as having joined federal officers in an “attack” on citizens:

“The one obvious sign that nothing has changed is the statement that the City will disqualify rehire candidates for ‘cooperating with federal agents to attack Portland residents.’

That statement is beyond offensive. Those federal agents responded out of necessity to protect an occupied court house that was under attack, because the Mayor wouldn’t allow PPB officers to do it. 

“It was the federal agents, local law enforcement and actual citizens of Portland who were being attacked by ANTIFA. Citizens with political and religious beliefs that oppose ANTIFA and those who are in positions of power in Portland are left to fend for themselves.

Just ask Andy Ngo. Meanwhile, the Mayor was more concerned about punishing the Feds for blocking the bike lane next to the court house.”

Hudson continued by addressing the progressive policies that led to release of dangerous Antifa members, saying:

“By ‘cooperating with federal agents’, are you referring to those PPB officers who were given federal credentials?

Those federal credentials were necessary to arrest the most violent of offenders in hopes those offenders would remain in federal custody, as opposed to booking them into the Multnomah County Jail where they would be released the same night and immediately commit more crime thanks to DA Schmidt. 

“ANTIFA became so emboldened with the lawlessness that was embraced by our city leadership that they actually began hunting and murdering people.

Of course, one of the murder victims was deemed a “right wing extremist” and “Trump supporter” so no big deal right? Thank God for those Federal Marshals who sought to bring that victim’s murderer to justice.”

Hudson went on to say:

“Each of your signatures on that rehire letter is an endorsement of the statement that federal agents attacked the residents of Portland.

I don’t know how else it can be interpreted. If you don’t agree with that statement, it says more about you that you still willingly signed that letter.” 

Hudson then segued into incisive commentary on the effects of the letter, saying:

“I don’t presume to speak for other officers, but I can tell you that your letter was not well received. It has been described as ‘tone deaf’.

You might have had more luck had you acknowledged the roles you, the Mayor and City Council played in the “perfect storm” that thrust our city into a ‘dark period’.”

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LET Unity

Adding insightful observations on appropriate leadership qualities, she continued:

“Leadership is bigger than you as an individual, and sometimes it requires you to step out of your comfort zone to do what is morally right.

It is more than a bump in pay and a better pension. You don’t choose a leader because of the color of their skin. You choose them because they have proven themselves to be qualified. 

“You don’t force a woman, who was respected by her peers and worked her way through the ranks to become Chief, to resign because of the color of her skin. Do you have any idea what that did for morale in the rank and file?”

Continuing in this vein, Hudson concluded:

“PPB leadership need leaders, not followers.

Leaders who are willing to make sacrifices. Leaders who show their support for the men and women who work 24/7 to protect and serve its communities. Support that includes more than just the occasional pat on the back email for good work on some random call. 

“Your letter indicates that nothing has changed. It simply highlights why those who could leave, did leave. I suspect it will take a decade or more to repair the damage that has been done. At this point, I would be more concerned about finding good people willing to make policing a career. 

“Good Luck, Stephanie.”

At this writing, there has been no written reply to Officer Hudson’s insightful response letter.

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