If you’ve been anywhere besides a cave in the last few weeks, you will know that the city of Portland, Oregon has become one of the most chaotic and dangerous in the nation due to the near-constant rioting and protests. In fact, the city has experienced some 90 straight days of protests with riots being declared about every other night or so.
Each week the amount of destruction and violence only seems to increase, with this past weekend ending the shooting of a protester by counter-protesters.
Now one would think this increase in violence would force just about any state or local leader to do whatever possible to put an end to the chaos. But that’s not exactly true, as President Trump offered his assistance last week, and it was vehemently refused by Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Still, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown hasn’t given up on ways to end the violence and get a handle on the situation in Portland. While she is no longer able to bring in Feds, per Wheeler’s decision, she has asked for some other help.
On Sunday, Brown put out a “Unified Law Enforcement Plan,” which would seek to combine law enforcement agencies surrounding the Portland area into one united front against the crime that never seems to stop. Mainly, the idea was to have officers from the surrounding suburbs sent to Portland to help deal with the riots and such.
However, it seems no wants to help out, as three sheriffs have already refused to help Portland.
According to WWEEK, “The sheriffs of Clackamas and Washington counties rejected a key component of Brown’s plan: They refused to send officers into Portland, saying they would not police protests in a county that won’t prosecute people who break the law.”
And shortly after these two counties made their refusal known, the police chief of Gresham followed suit, as did the associations who represent the state’s sheriff and police chiefs.
But, as the local outlet mentioned, the problem these sheriffs and law enforcement have with the plan is not a willingness to make Portland safe or to even increase boots on the ground there. Instead, they all cite that adding more “resources” will do nothing if current policies don’t change and work to hold criminals accountable for their actions.
One police chief said, “Had Gov. Brown discussed her plan with my office, I would have told her it’s about changing policy, not adding resources. Increasing law enforcement resources in Portland will not solve the nightly violence and, now, murder. The only way to make Portland safe again is to support a policy that holds offenders accountable for their destructions and violence.”
The Oregon Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police made a similar joint statement, saying, “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.”
Essentially, no officer, sheriff, or police chief thinks it’s worth their time, effort, or even safety to help a community who doesn’t respect them enough to make arrests stick or to support the laws they have sworn to enforce.
And I can’t say that I blame them. Police in Portland are treated awful, like the scum of the earth. Nightly, these men and women put their very lives on the line, experiencing bricks and frozen water bottles thrown at them, physical abuse, and near-constant harassment from the ever-present “protesters.”
And what do they get for it?
When they arrest individuals for such behavior, for starting fires, for breaking into office buildings, for aiming fireworks at the mayor’s home and office even, these people are immediately set free. City officials and prosecutors don’t hold them accountable for their dangerous and illegal crimes. And so, the next night, the same people are out to do it all over again.
The city is practically spitting in their face and rubbing dirt all over their hard work and sacrifices. No one else wants to be put in those shoes, knowing that no matter what they do, they will never be enough, never get the respect they deserve.
If city officials in Portland really want the violence and mayhem to stop, they are going to have to make some severe changes, and it should start with how they treat their law enforcement.