As always, I am humbled and honored to represent the rank and file of the Portland Police Association as we pay tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the communities we serve. As we pay tribute to the families, loved ones, friends, and coworkers of the heroes who went into the profession of policing because of their compassion, respect, and care for those in need and the most vulnerable among us. They raised their hand and proudly took an oath of a most honorable and noble profession, wearing the badge to protect and serve.
When I started my career in law enforcement almost 29 years ago, I joined a fellowship of men and women from all walks of life. Like the diverse communities we serve, we come from every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and culture. We are sons and daughters of immigrants, farmers, teachers, nurses, ministers, and mechanics. We are from rural America, the suburbs, urban cities, and yes, the projects of Newark, New Jersey. With those differences we all have one common goal, to serve those who call for help with the same respect, equity, and professionalism regardless if they are the CEO of a company or living in a cardboard box under a bridge. Whether they are a soccer mom or someone going through a mental health crisis. And whether they are a citizen of the United States or an undocumented immigrant.
Even as this country faces a devastating and deadly pandemic, Law Enforcement nationwide has continued to serve honorably. We are on the front lines unable to shelter in place, work from home, practice social distancing, or to avoid those who are most at risk. We remain committed to prioritizing public safety before our own needs and priorities while putting ours and our family’s health and wellbeing at risk.
As we honor our fallen heroes today know that through the false narratives, anti-police rhetoric, and political agendas that their sacrifice shines like a beacon of light protecting and guiding all of us who do the job through these difficult and trying times. Their example of dedication, integrity, humility, and sacrifice is the standard by which we all are measured.
And although we grieve the loss of those whom we honor today on monuments all across America. We celebrate the life they led, the profession they honored, and the legacy they left for us to follow.
Daryl Turner, President
Portland Police Association