Portland police officers are resigning from the force in unusually high numbers in the middle of their careers. Many are seeking jobs in other cities where they will be paid less money and also lose some of their time toward retirement. According to the Portland Tribune, it’s unusual for the number of resignations to exceed the number of retirements but that’s what’s happening right now.
Based on requests from police departments seeking particular officers’ personnel records, “we have around 25 people that may be in the process of trying to get hired in other places,” said Assistant Chief Michael Frome, who oversees the bureau’s Human Resources Department.
“This is unprecedented,” he said. “We really have not seen this many people leaving at this stage in their career.”…
One long-time cop told the Portland Tribune, “Good people are leaving. Really good cops. And a lot of them have very racially diverse backgrounds.”…
So why are people leaving? Frome said it’s a mix of reasons. One officer cited a desire to be near family. “Other ones say ‘I just don’t like working in Portland anymore, because the job just doesn’t make me happy,’” Frome said. “You get some (who) throw shade and say, ‘the City Council has created this horrible place for us.’ But you don’t see that from everybody.”
Maybe not every resigning officer is spelling it out in their exit interview but I don’t think there’s any doubt why officers are worn out after months of nightly protests featuring constant abuse and violence toward police. Assistant Chief Frome admitted as much: “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 of course officers who have a choice would rather take a lower salary and a job where they aren’t going to be attacked or harassed every night over one where they have to put up with that crap.
On top of the harassment, there’s also the hostility and hypocrisy of city leaders like Jo Ann Hardesty, who has been eager to defund the police but still called 911 and demanded police respond after she had a silly argument with a Lyft driver.
There’s also the vacillating response from Mayor Ted Wheeler. Earlier this month a mob pushed police out of a neighborhood and then set up barricades and spike strips and stockpiled Molotov cocktails in case they returned. Mayor Wheeler initially talked tough and gave police the go ahead to move out the destructive activists but within a few days Wheeler reversed course and apologized for his harsh language. That shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. After all, the same mob pushed Wheeler out of his own home with no real repercussions. If he won’t stand up for himself, why would he stand up for anyone else?
About the only thing the mob in the street can still be criticized for at this point is attacking a Democratic Party headquarters. Everything else is fair game and the local reporters will usually side with the activists without even verifying their claims. And even supposedly serious reporters will do their best not to show anyone’s face so that no one can be held accountable for arson or vandalism.
With the entire city failing to back them up, why would anyone want to be a cop in Portland?