Mayor Wheeler: Police chief job posting not ‘incendiary’ - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor Wheeler: Police chief job posting not ‘incendiary’

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler sounded off Thursday about his controversial job posting for police chief.

Wheeler released the job posting Monday with the hopes of attracting candidates from all over the country, but it was the language in the job description that has police union officials and people around the city concerned.

The Portland Police Association, the union that represents officers in the Portland Police Bureau, pushed back after the posting was released, saying it made Portland officers sound racist.

One of the areas of the posting raising the ire of the PPA mentions a “history of legally sanctioned systemic racism with legally enforced exclusionary practices" in Portland and the rest of Oregon.

While the mayor released a statement Wednesday saying he "never called into question the values and beliefs of our rank and file police officers," Thursday morning he expressed confusion over the major backlash.

“I actually didn't find the language, nor did anybody else who read the job description find the language particularly incendiary,” Wheeler said. “It just states a bunch of facts, and it says we want somebody who supports diversity and who will work with the different part of our community and the different people in our community.”

Wheeler added that he would expect any candidate going for a position with this level of profile be able to meet those needs.

“I would frankly take that as a given for anybody of the caliber who wants to apply to be a police chief in a major American city," he said.

Current PPB Chief Mike Marshman was placed on administrative leave earlier this year during an internal investigation, but Wheeler said he encouraged Marshman to apply for the job.

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