Memorial for fallen Portland police officers in Waterfront Park vandalized

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 9:56 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Police Association says their memorial to fallen police officers in Tom McCall Waterfront Park was vandalized.

The association’s president, Sgt. Aaron Schmautz, says the damage was discovered on Wednesday. The vandalism happened sometime on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 31. Individual plaques of fallen officers were damaged with the pictures ripped off and the names scratched out.

“This is a senseless, destructive and intentional act,” said Chief Lovell. “This memorial honors heroes—people who had the courage to give their lives while serving the City of Portland. No amount of destruction can erase their legacy. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the people named on the memorial. There are spouses, children, grandchildren and more who suffered greatly by the loss of their loved one. To see a cowardly act such as this done in an attempt to dishonor that memory is disgraceful.”

Schmautz says a fundraising account has been set up to donate to the Portland Police Historical Society, the nonprofit that is responsible for managing the memorial and museum. If you would like to donate, click here.

At this time, no one has been arrested for the vandalism.

“It angers me,” says Alison Kendig, a widow of a PPB officer.

The memorial, which is located near the Hawthorne Bridge, has been in place since 1994 and honors those Portland officers who died in the line of duty. There are currently 29 Portland police members honored on the wall that range from the first killed in 1867 to the last in 2002.

“You would think it would be a hands off type of place where people go to gather,” says Kendig. “That was one thing when he did pass away that was so stunning and shocking and beautiful.”

Kendig says for the families of those fallen officers, the vandals took much more than names written on a wall.

“I was pregnant with our third daughter when he passed and it’s also a place for her to go to and see his name.”

Portland City Council released a statement about the vandalism, saying:

“The Portland City Council condemns the despicable vandalization of the Portland Police Memorial, a site that honors Portland Police Officers who died in the line of duty. The memorial has stood on Portland’s Waterfront Park for nearly 30 years in recognition of their service to Portlanders. This ugly criminal act seeks only to fuel divisive and destructive rhetoric that is not representative of who we are as a city. We at City Council will work together with the Portland Police Historical Society to ensure the memorial is restored. We recognize the hardworking public safety personnel who work to keep our community safe every day and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”