PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Police Association says in the next 5 years, Portland Police Bureau will need to hire 840 additional officers. That’s more than the entire number of sworn-members the bureau currently has on staff.
The Portland Police Association, which serves as Portland’s police union, released what it calls its “5-Year Vision for the Portland Police Bureau” on Thursday. The association said it came up with the plan after hearing from community members and elected officials who are frustrated with the lack of a clean plan for public safety in the city.
The PPA plan emphasizes how in the last 20 years, Portland’s population has increased by more than 100,000 people, but the bureau has significantly fewer officers.
On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Portland Police Bureau told KOIN 6 News it currently had 790 sworn members on staff. They said 535 of those members are officers.
The bureau is authorized for 919 sworn positions and currently has 129 vacancies.
The Portland Police Association fears budgeting in the future will cut the number of sworn positions even further and argues that with the city’s growing population, PPB needs additional staffing to adequately meet public safety needs.
In 2020, the average ratio of police officers per 1,000 people was 2.4, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. The Portland Police Association said PPb should have 1,634 officers to reach the rate of 2.5 officers per 1,000 people.
In order to reach its goal of hiring 840 additional officers in the next five years, the Portland Police Association recommends the bureau add 50 retire-rehire police officer positions in each of the next 2 fiscal years. The retire-rehire program, if enacted, would allow the Portland Police Bureau to bring back retired officers and employ them again.
The police association also recommends adding additional testing opportunities, background investigators, and recruiters, adding PPB-hosted combined basic and advanced academies to train new hires “on the unique style of Portland policing,” ensuring aggressive local and national recruiting, and solidifying retention with leading wages and benefits.
KOIN 6 News recently reported on why Portland Police Bureau officers said they were leaving their jobs at the Portland Police Bureau. In exit interviews, some said they felt unsupported by the mayor and city council and others were critical of leadership within the police bureau.
KOIN 6 News asked the Portland Police Bureau for an interview to discuss the Portland Police Association’s five-year plan on Friday. The Bureau said it did not have anyone available for an interview.