Unsurprisingly, in cities where the police officers have been defunded, morale is very low. For example, in a recent survey in the Portland Police Bureau, almost all the officers feel that their local government officials are pitted against them.
Police Association Weighing In
Recently, Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner spoke with KPTV about the situation in Portland and how the officers feel let down by the city council and other elected officials.
“Our members don’t feel supported by their elected officials, don’t feel supported by the political agenda that is a false narrative that is out there in the City of Portland, and don’t feel valued."PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner
According to Turner, the survey shows that morale is not only very low, but it is also continuing to sink. However, the officer's responses are not surprising.
One officer wrote, "No one is standing up for what is actually right. Instead, public safety has been abandoned by the city council for political performance."
Another officer said, "Hard to be a cop when elected officials think it’s our job to investigate, not prevent crime. Tell it to the victims."
So far, around 130 PPB employees have retired or resigned from July of 2020 until now. Turner told KPTV, " Catastrophically low staffing levels make officers' jobs even harder at a time when Portland is seeing historic crime rates."
“We’re not doing a great job of policing out there because we’re not allowed to, not because the officers out there don’t want to, not because the investigators don’t want to. It’s because we’re handcuffed, and that’s a frustration that they carried through the job, and that’s why morale is so low, and that’s why it’s hard to retain and recruit new officers.”PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner
According to PPB Chief Chuck Lovell, he is going to try to find a way to boost the morale of his officers. "They do have my support. I have to keep looking for ways to show them that."