Police union clashing with Mayor Wheeler over language in job po - KPTV - FOX 12

Police union clashing with Mayor Wheeler over language in job posting

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Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner said language in the job posting for the PPB Chief position referring to a "history of legally sanctioned systemic racism” was flat-out offensive. (KPTV) Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner said language in the job posting for the PPB Chief position referring to a "history of legally sanctioned systemic racism” was flat-out offensive. (KPTV)
In a statement released Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler called the remarks by the PPA "needlessly inflammatory and divisive." (KPTV) In a statement released Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler called the remarks by the PPA "needlessly inflammatory and divisive." (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There is growing tension between Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the city's police association over something most people might not expect, a job posting on the city website.

The mayor is conducting a national search for the next chief of the Portland Police Bureau, and on Monday morning, the job posting went live on the city's website.

While Wheeler says the post is completely accurate, the Portland Police Association, the union representing PPB officers, contends the post made it sound like the bureau is racist.

In part, the job posting says Portland has a "history of legally sanctioned systemic racism" and says the candidate for police chief must work to "improve relationships with and service provision to Portland’s communities of color."

PPA president Daryl Turner penned a fiery response Tuesday night, saying those words left many officers angry and confused.

Turner's lengthy letter added officers believe the job posting makes it look as if the police bureau and its members have supported a racist culture in the city, something the association denies. It also said the job description failed to mention all of the bureau's achievements and its hard work to protect all citizens.

Talking with FOX 12 Wednesday, Turner called the posting flat-out offensive and has another message for the mayor.

"I would challenge him to go down to any role call today at any precinct, and ask people what they feel about that, because this is not just the union getting up on its hind legs, this is actually the rank-and-file, and command staff, and people who work there as employees that are non-sworn, all feel embarrassed,” he said. “They're all angry, they're upset because it falls right at their doorstep.”

Wednesday morning, Wheeler put out his own sharp response, releasing a statement calling the letter from the police association "needlessly inflammatory and divisive."

He also defended the job posting, saying there's no denying the city and state's racist history, specifically pointing to early laws that banned black people from Oregon.

Wheeler also said he has tremendous respect for the work police officers do every day, saying he has, “never called into question the values and beliefs of our rank and file police officers."

The turmoil all comes as the association has already expressed its disapproval for Wheeler conducting the national police chief search, stating that its members prefer current chief Mike Marshman and wish to see him stay in the permanent position.

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