PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “Do you feel safe in Portland?”
That’s the message on one of 3 billboards posted throughout the city through a campaign by the Portland Police Association, the union representing the police bureau.
The PPA, a longtime critic of city policies concerning the police bureau, staffing and resources, said, “Devaluing community safety as a critical part of our city’s infrastructure is having devastating effects and crime victims are paying the price.”
They launched a website, Protect Portland, that includes a petition urging city leaders to “prioritize public safety over politics.”
The union has long advocated for a “fully funded and staffed” PPB. They noted “hiring hasn’t matched attrition,” and they said the communities deserve enough officers to safely meet the priorities.
“Altogether we’ll have 7 billboards in different parts of the city, speaking to the residents of Portland, to the people who matter most to us, letting them know what they can do to support us,” PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner told KOIN 6 News on Wednesday.
He said the union is only hearing from “a few who get in front of the microphone,” but not the “lion’s share of Portlanders” who want more officers on the beat in their neighborhood.
“Part of being in public safety is to stop crime, and therefore you reduce the need to investigate crime because you don’t have that many crimes happening,” he said. “We’re not doing that right now. We’re not able to do that and we’re not allowed to do that.”