Civil Unrest, Police

Urban Police Exodus Benefits Small Towns

Beleaguered big-city officers around the country are being welcomed to rural forces, who are thrilled to have seasoned police and don’t share the contempt some urban leaders seem to have for the men and women in blue.

The Portland, Oregon, police department’s assistant chief, for example, left last year amid the summer’s waves of protest to become the police chief in Boise, Idaho.

Multiple officers followed him there, according to a review of exit interview forms obtained by the Oregonian. Those forms, obtained through a public records request, showed many of the officers who quit in the past year had grown frustrated with the City Council and the public’s attitude toward them.

Portland’s City Council voted last year to cut $27 million from the police bureau’s budget and is considering more reductions in funding, despite the force’s struggle to retain officers.

The police bureau lost 115 officers between July of last year and April of this year. In the first four months of 2021, Portland saw homicides spike by 800% over the same time frame last year.

Seattle, too, has seen a law enforcement exodus after cutting funding for its police amid a national conversation about police brutality and the role of officers. Read more…

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