Police fleeing Portland in "unprecedented" numbers

It’s been a while since I checked in on how things are going in Portland, Oregon after all of the unrest and violence we’ve seen there over the course of the year. Perhaps the spirit of Christmas has softened the hearts of some of the combatants and brought a bit of peace to a city desperately in need of it. After all, it’s the season of giving and coming together, right? Well… so much for that. John picked up on some of these developments last week, but things are apparently still going to hell in a handbasket and the Portland Police Department is losing cops faster than they could possibly replenish their ranks. (Daily Wire)

According to police officials in Portland, Oregon, officers are fleeing the city’s force and often taking a hit to pay and benefits to do so.

The flight of law enforcement from the city is “unprecedented,” Assistant Chief Michael Frome told the Portland Tribune this week. “We really have not seen this many people leaving at this stage in their career.” …

The departures come after a summer of unrest pummeled the city. Nightly protests and riots took place for over 100 days straight in Portland following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The numbers should be alarming to anyone hoping to survive in Portland. In just the past month, nine officers have resigned. Another 14 have filed their notice of intent to leave in January. More than a half dozen others have put in for early retirement, despite having to take a reduction in benefits to do so.

On top of all those losses, more than two dozen other officers have requested transfers to other departments outside of Portland. If there aren’t enough openings to accommodate all of those transfer requests, it’s not going to be surprising if some of them simply quit and either look to relocate elsewhere or change careers.

Of course, even if there were a sufficient number of recruits available to go to the police academy and replace these losses, the city couldn’t afford to hire them anyway. Members of the City Council spent the summer siding with activists calling to defund the police rather than backing up their own law enforcement officers. They’ve slashed the budget for the Portland PD, leading to some cops being laid off before this more recent round of departures.

It’s not as if the remaining officers didn’t already have their hands full. They only barely managed to shut down the latest “autonomous zone” set up by rioters a couple of weeks ago. And even then, they didn’t manage it until the Mayor of Portland apologizedto the autonomous zone rioters.

If we’re being honest, why would you want to stick around in Portland and keep putting your life on the line if you’re a police officer? Neither the Mayor nor the City Council has your back and they actively insult and berate you in the press. Attacks on police out in the streets are a regular occurrence and the city government still seems to have more sympathy for the attackers than the cops. And just in case you hadn’t noticed, with fewer police available to answer calls, crime rates have mysteriously been going up. (Who could possibly have predicted that?)

I would express some sympathy for the citizens of Portland who remain in danger without adequate law enforcement were it not for one thing. These idiots actually reelected Ted Wheeler again last month. And there weren’t any sweeping changes on the City Council either. This is the government you people chose. You watched your city go up in flames and you decided to keep the same people in charge. You’ve made your bed. Now you can sleep in it, assuming nobody comes along this week to either steal or burn it.

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