PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — The union representing rank-and-file Portland police is calling on Mayor Ted Wheeler to keep Chief Mike Marshman and not conduct a national search for the next chief as he promised during his campaign.
The Portland Police Association released the results of a membership survey Thursday afternoon that found the vast majority support keeping Marshman and oppose the national search that is underway.
“When it’s clear that Chief Marshman is more than qualified for the position and has the overwhelming support of his rank-and-file employees, a national search for a police chief is a misguided endeavor,” said union president Daryl Turner.
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The release also Wheeler did not consult with the union before the city launched the national search that is currently underway.
Wheeler’s office said the mayor would respond after the end of Thursday’s City Council meeting.
According to the union, 84 percent of its 849 members responded to the survey. It found:
• 94 percent of the union members support Marshman continuing as chief.
• 91 percent believe that since being appointed chief by former Mayor Charlie Hales, Marshman has promoted a positive culture in the Portland Police Bureau.
• 90 percent believe that the morale in the Police Police Bureau has improved since Marshman replaced Larry O’Dea, who was appointed by former Mayor Charlie Hales.
• 88 percent do not believe that a national search for a new police chief is the best option for moving bureau forward.
• 87 percent believe that replacing Marshman will negatively affect morale in the bureau.
• 83 percent believe that replacing Marshman with a chief from outside the bureau will negatively affect it.
• 82 percent do not believe that the Wheeler will consider their input when conducting his national search.
• 67 percent believe that replacing Chief Marshman will negatively affect retention and recruiting efforts that have improved over the past several months.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Office of Mayor Ted Wheeler released this statement:
“By conducting a national search for Police Chief, the Mayor is fulfilling a commitment he made to the public during his campaign, one he has reaffirmed many times since. That commitment means something to the Mayor, and he’s going to see it through. The search will provide an opportunity to engage both local and national talent on a core set of issues vital to the future success of the Portland Police Bureau. The Mayor has expressed publicly, and to Chief Marshman personally, that he wants the Chief to participate as a candidate.”