PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) – A new survey shows increasingly low morale among Portland police officers.
Almost all respondents say they don’t feel city hall supports them and they don’t feel valued.
Executive Director of the Portland Police Association Daryl Turner said, “Our members don’t feel supported by their elected officials, don’t feel supported by the political agenda. That is, the false narrative that is out there in the City of Portland and don’t feel valued.”
Earlier this month, the police bureau said since July of last year, 130 sworn employees had resigned or retired.
Turner said, “Catastrophically low staffing levels make officers’ jobs even harder at a time when Portland is seeing historic crime rates,” and he says, “politics get in the way of police being able to do their jobs.”
Turner said, “We’re not doing a great job of policing out there because we’re not allowed to, not because the officers out there don’t want to, not because the investigators don’t want to. It’s because we’re handcuffed, and that’s a frustration that they carried through the job, and that’s why morale is so low, and that’s why it’s hard to retain and recruit new officers.”
Not all Portlanders agree that more officers and more money are the answer.
Portland resident Jill Johnson said, “I don’t think that our money should be going to the police, I think there’s other Places it could be going.”
But turner said there needs to be police funding alongside other resources.
Turner said, “It takes all the ingredients in the recipe to make the recipe successful.”
The police chief agrees officers are working under challenging conditions. He says he keeps looking for ways to show he supports them.