As I have for the past few weeks, so will I continue to address the dangerously low minimum staffing levels that the rank and file of the Portland Police Bureau work with every day. As many of you know the PPA has filed a grievance in regards to the staffing that continues to decline before our very eyes.
Inadequate Staffing Levels:
- Endanger Portland Police Officers everyday as they protect and serve the very diverse and evolving communities of Portland.
- Endanger the residents of Portland as well as those who come into the City to work and play.
- Reflect the rise in gang violence, and the inability for officers to be as proactive and effective as they have in the past.
- Can no longer be ignored by our leaders because Portlanders and the men and women that protect their communities deserve better.
In my last Weekly Update I offered some, not so new, possible solutions to at least begin to address the short and long term resolutions to the PPB staffing issue.
There is one burning, unanswered question that still lingers in the minds of many. How did Matrix Consulting come up with the number of 27.5 recommended positions? Did they consider that we’ve lost 150 positions since 2001, or did they take into account the potential number of retirees we would have in 2015, or in future years for that matter? Did Matrix Consulting take into consideration that from 2009 to 2013 that calls for service, online citizen reports and the population in the City of Portland have increased while staffing levels and self-initiated activity by officers have decreased significantly. Did they take into consideration other comparable cities or a 2010 FBI recommendation that any U.S. city with a population over 250,000 should have at least 2.7 officers per 1000 residents?
Matrix Consulting claimed to have used a formula consisting of community expectations, policing practices, amount of community engagement desired and the number of calls for service. I do believe they missed the mark because without adequate staffing the rank and file of the Portland Police Bureau will not be able to accomplish any of those goals.
City Hall officials may be able to stand by the staffing survey while the dedicated men and women of the Portland Police Bureau continue to somehow keep the communities and citizens they serve living in one of the safest cities in the nation.
Daryl Turner, President
Portland Police Association