In my 24 + years as a cop, one thing that continuously frustrates me is when there are those who take credit for the work being done by the boots on the ground. Though the leadership of the Bureau and City Hall changes, the rank-and-file of the Portland Police Bureau bring consistent and steadfast devotion to their oath to protect and serve our community.
We hear the rhetoric about how the culture of the organization is changing under new leadership; new policies implemented, updated crime statistics, fewer instances of use of force, better response times, greater resources rendered, etc. But, good leadership is not just about results and statistics. Good leaders deliberately create challenging results by enlisting the help of others, specifically those who are on the front lines.
The PPA represents well over 8,000 years of collective police experience in the city of Portland. However, others are quick to take credit for the work being done on the street. When there is controversy, when things go bad and it’s time to stand behind those who do the heavy lifting, there is silence and indifference instead of support from our leaders.
The reality is that the boots on the ground continue to build relationships with the community, business owners, crime victims, those in mental health crisis, and those in need of other vital resources. You are the ones responsible for the successful implementation of policies, expeditious response times, the availing of resources, and reductions in crime. You do what needs to be done to keep our diverse and ever evolving community safe. You have acclimated to changes in technology, strategies, and philosophies. And for all that, you don’t require a pat on the back, ego building, or praise.
You have strengthened the foundation of this organization, community relationships, and community trust. You do it because it’s what you believe in, what you swore an oath to do, and because it’s the right thing to do.
I am proud and honored to serve and advocate for the finest cops in the nation.
Daryl Turner, President
Portland Police Association