PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Amid historically low staffing at the Portland Police Bureau, PPB Chief Chuck Lovell discussed efforts to deal with the shortage.
Chief Lovell told KOIN 6 News he feels like things are turning around in Portland, and is hopeful some of the 90 officers who are eligible for retirement in July will stay.
KOIN 6 News reported in 2021 that many of the retiring officers blamed a lack of support from city leaders, low morale and the ongoing riots as reasons for leaving. The bureau said then they had fewer officers than they had in modern memory.
According to PPB, they have 774 sworn members, 508 of which are officers, and 44 of them are officers in training. This is below their authorized staffing of 882 sworn members and below the 1,100 sworn members Chief Lovell says Portland should have for its size.
Lovell explained that the retire/rehire program is “going better this time.” The chief added “I think this will be a lot better this go around than the previous one where we asked people to come back.”
He went on to say 15 people have expressed interest in staying through that program. Lovell noted he is also hopeful he’ll be able to offer $25,000 signing bonuses. Mayor Ted Wheeler announced his intention for the bureau to be able to offer those signing bonuses.
KOIN 6 News asked the mayor’s office what’s going on with the bonuses, they say “the ordinance that would authorize the bonuses is being updated…once complete, it will be sent back to council which will likely happen in the next couple of weeks.”