As law enforcement professionals, we believe puthriving communities. We are committed to the well-being of the communities we serve and support the right to assembly and free speech enshrined in our constitution. As statewide associations, we are deeply concerned about the criminal acts at recent protest events in Portland that have put community livability and personal safety at risk. We unequivocally condemn the violence and loss of life that occurred this past weekend.
These are incredibly challenging times in Oregon and throughout our country. Law enforcement has clearly heard and recognizes the need to make improvements to ensure it is meeting the needs of all communities it serves. With that said, abandoning law enforcement or the need for policing, is not working. It has only shown that it undermines the rule of law and puts our community at greater risk.
Over the weekend, members of our associations were approached to assist with policing in the City of Portland. Unfortunately, due to the lack of support for public safety operations, the associated liability to agencies who would be assisting in Portland and the lack of accountability for those arrested committing criminal acts, we cannot dedicate our limited resources away from the communities we serve. We know there will already be an additional burden on local law enforcement agencies as Oregon State Police Troopers are reassigned to assist in Portland.
We would propose the following as steps to bring an end to the criminal acts and violence in Portland beginning with a strong statement by elected leadership at all levels that criminal acts are not legitimate protest and that those who commit crimes will be held accountable. There must be support for law enforcement actions, through preventative detention and prosecution, when criminal violators are arrested. Finally, there must be publicly-voiced support for law enforcement in its efforts to protect lawful protesters and hold criminal violators accountable in a very difficult environment.
We will continue to monitor the situation in Portland and provide guidance and support to the
exceptional men and women of the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oregon State Police who during these challenging times have been there to keep the peace.