Spoke with a couple officers today, thinking of joining the Portland Police Dept...


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joey93turbo
December 14, 2005, 12:58 AM
Tonight my truck's alternator went out during rush hour traffic on a busy local road. Right behind me was a cruiser and the two officers pulled over to help out. We had a great conversation during the 30 minute wait for the tow truck. I told them of my CHL and they began questioning me about what I do, why I carried, etc. I explained that I'm a college student studying for a Bachelors of Political Science, the reasons that I carry, where I shoot, and tons of other things. They were extremely friendly and suggested that after I recieve my 2 year associates degree I consider joining the Portland Police Department. I've thought about it a bit but never seriously, so we got to talking and the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

The thing I'm worried about has to do with myself I guess. I wonder if I'd have the smarts to make the tough day to day decisions police officers are forced to make as part of their job. I know plenty of idiot officers, but I also know alot of very intelligent ones. Maybe some of you current law enforcement officers can tell me about any pre-employment jitters or anything and calm my nerves a bit. I'd be especially interested in the mounted patrol unit in Downtown Portland or possibly the School Police program.

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Jim March
December 14, 2005, 01:16 AM
Assuming this is the Portland in Oregon and not Maine or whatever:

For the size of the department, more bizarre stories come out of Portland PD than you'd believe. Something is deeply screwed up at the top with that department. If you want to be a cop, cool, but THAT department...no, run away screaming.

The Multnomah County Sheriff has a bit of a weird rep too but nothing at ALL like Portland PD.

Think I'm kidding? Here's my experience and I've heard a ton more:

http://www.equalccw.com/johnlaws

This guy was NOT punished for the well-documented BS on that page. On the contrary, his bosses at the level of Captain and above not only protected him, but went after the victim (Howard Bradley) full-tilt-boogie-to-the-max, with felony charges called off only at the last minute when Howard went to turn himself in with a news camera in tow.

Another story: I won't mention her name, but a lady well known in RKBA circles was jailed by Portland PD for three days when they got her mixed up with somebody else of a different nationality and refused to take her fingerprints.

Portland has the most restrictive gun laws in Oregon, one of only two towns that ban open carry, probably in violation of state preemption in gun law (esp. if it was applied to somebody with a CCW permit). Lonnie Wilson has been studying this in more detail.

Not. That. Department. OK? There's no doubt good cops in there but when you can't trust the brass...no way!

joey93turbo
December 14, 2005, 03:27 AM
On an officer to citizen level, do you think that would prevent me from doing good in my community? I see the corruption and such, I'm just not sure I'd let that be a deterrent for me. Another thing I might need to mention is I'm not planning on doing this for a career, just while I'm finishing up my last two years of college. According to these officers they're largely unsupervised, and it's usually their call on what to do about various situations. They report to there sargent during roll call then hit the streets until the end of their shift. Seems like an excellent job for a college student and all around good citizen with a strong want to help others.

IRONFIST
December 14, 2005, 04:35 AM
Give it a shot. We need more level-headed gunfolk in Police uniforms here in Oregon.

fjolnirsson
December 14, 2005, 10:34 AM
Man, what Jim said about Portland PD. I'd heard weird, freaky, bad stuff about them even before moving here. I had a best friend who felt the same as you, thought he could resist the corruption in the department that offered him a job. 6 months later, my 63 year old crippled father was beaten, pepper sprayed, and cuffed, then beaten some more by members of that same PD. It was caught on video, and the Chief issued a statement of apology. My buddy held the thin blue line, maintained the officers were longtime narcotic agents and knew what they were doing. It boiled down to a case of officer screwup. My buddy doesn't talk to me anymore.
Oregon could use more good cops, hel, everywhere could. But I'd steer clear of Portland, if I were you(which I'm not). JMO.

fjolnirsson
December 14, 2005, 10:37 AM
On an officer to citizen level, do you think that would prevent me from doing good in my community? I see the corruption and such, I'm just not sure I'd let that be a deterrent for me.

Remember, when you're going through field training, you ride with a senior officer, who for all purposes, is God to you. You do what he says, or you get a black mark and dropped from the force. What will you do when he tells you to take money to look the other way? I'm not saying it will happen, but it does. Go to the chief, and report him, you say? Ok, newbie goes to the chief and reports dirty behavior from a 20 year decorated officer. What do you think will happen?
Just food for thought.
good luck. Keep us posted.

c_yeager
December 14, 2005, 10:48 AM
We hear wacky stories about Portland all the way up here in Seattle, and this is a pretty odd town in its own right.

Dont let that stop you, if your interested in police work then the prospect of having some weird things go down around you should be an attractive one.

TheEgg
December 14, 2005, 11:27 AM
I'm not planning on doing this for a career, just while I'm finishing up my last two years of college.

Then don't do it. Police work is not a sometime job.

Gray Peterson
December 14, 2005, 11:36 AM
Portland has the most restrictive gun laws in Oregon, one of only two towns that ban open carry, probably in violation of state preemption in gun law (esp. if it was applied to somebody with a CCW permit). Lonnie Wilson has been studying this in more detail.

Yes I have. Lemme give you a little bit of a rundown with happening in Portland.

1) No city has been more resistant to preemption than Portland. Portland took advantage of a provision of law that allows them to ban carry, but they went beyond that, specifically making carry without a CHL illegal in your own CAR. The state law only allows them to regulate firearms in public places, which are defined in state law, and the inside of your car is not a public place.

2) Despite having a CHL exemption provision, the Portland PD has engage in terror tactics against open carriers who carry on the strength of their CHL. Though anecdotal, these tactics include felony stops, threatening to sieze and revoke CHL's (Only Multnomah County Sheriff does that, however there's no guess as to how the current sheriff would treat that), and writing up disorderly conduct tickets.

3) There's a lso a quasi law enforcement agency running around in Portland called the "Portland Business Alliance". I've been told that some of the security officers with the PBA, who patrol Pioneer Square, frequently engage in unconstitutional tactics, writing no-trespass orders that have no legal effect, and so on. The PBA is one of the most abusive private-public agencies in existance. Mostly they target people they know are not willing to fight in court. I do not currently live in Portland, but you can bet that if I can get a letter from Portland PD's Training and Standards Board stating that open carry is legal and not subject to seizure, arrest, or threatening due to said CHL, I plan to go after PBA. The problem here is that the Parks Department has an agreement with the PBA for them to patrol the parks in downtown Portland. These people are jackboot thugs in training.

Can you tell that I'm just a little bitter? I've had friends of mine get ticketed by PBA employed people with Parks Department authority. You can bet that these guys do not consider themselves bound by the CHL law or by the preemption law.

dpesec
December 14, 2005, 07:53 PM
Man, what Jim said about Portland PD. I'd heard weird, freaky, bad stuff about them even before moving here. I had a best friend who felt the same as you, thought he could resist the corruption in the department that offered him a job. 6 months later, my 63 year old crippled father was beaten, pepper sprayed, and cuffed, then beaten some more by members of that same PD. It was caught on video, and the Chief issued a statement of apology. My buddy held the thin blue line, maintained the officers were longtime narcotic agents and knew what they were doing. It boiled down to a case of officer screwup. My buddy doesn't talk to me anymore.
Oregon could use more good cops, hel, everywhere could. But I'd steer clear of Portland, if I were you(which I'm not). JMO.
Look, I don't know the ins and outs, but I suspect he was "spouting the company line". Why? Because if he didn't his backup might just take a few extra minutes to get there.
When you start to question the status quo bad things happen. Remember Serpico in New York?
I suspect, no I know, there are honest hard working LEO there. But at times the environment makes it extremely hard. This is why we need to write letters of support and thanks when LEOs do a good deed. Too often only the bad ones make the press.

fjolnirsson
December 14, 2005, 09:27 PM
Look, I don't know the ins and outs, but I suspect he was "spouting the company line". Why? Because if he didn't his backup might just take a few extra minutes to get there.

Exactly my point. It's very difficult to fight the system from inside, as a new cop.
And yes, there are a lot of good peace officers. In fact, I still believe the good ones outnumber the bad. Problem is, IME, the bad ones get promoted more often.

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