Portland, Oregon, has long been the site of widespread street violence and civil disobedience, which many conservatives have blamed on its history of far-left politics.
Now, the negative impact on morale within the city’s police force appears to have taken its toll.
“Never seen morale so low”
According to recent reports, the Portland Police Department is seeing a startling exodus of its personnel with at least 115 officers departing since July 1.
Furthermore, many of those who left have not been replaced. There are a reported 93 vacancies among the ranks of police officers and another 43 civilian jobs that remain unfilled.
In a statement to The Oregonian, a retired training officer proclaimed: “What the city council has done to beat down the officers’ willingness to do police work is unfathomable.”
The individual went on to say that he had “never seen morale so low” among the city’s office, describing officers “leaving mid-career and sometimes sooner to go to other agencies” and others “retiring when they would have stayed longer if the situation were different.”
For his part, Assistant Portland Police Chief Mike Frome said that the department’s hands are effectively tied when it comes to addressing problems that many officers have encountered.
“An epidemic in those liberal cities”
“We don’t have any power over City Council,” he said. “We don’t have any power over the mayor or the governor or any members of City Council. We can only focus on what we can do here.”
Dissatisfaction among law enforcement officers in the city has been accompanied by a sharp rise in violent crimes, as noted by the Washington Examiner. Portland had already registered 20 homicides this year as of the beginning of March, a staggering increase from the single killing seen during the same time frame last year.
Fox News Channel analyst Lawrence Jones weighed in on the situation during a recent Fox & Friends appearance, sharing similarly startling crime statistics “all across the country” in cities led by progressive politicians.
“You’ve got Seattle, you’ve got Philly, you’ve got Chicago — six people dead over the weekend, I think over 20 that were shot,” he said. “It’s an epidemic in those liberal cities.”
As Jones concluded, the answer lies in “offering an alternative to the people” in the form of more conservative leadership.