PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A new survey from the Portland Police Association shows increasingly low morale among rank-and-file officers.

Almost all of the officers who responded to the survey say they don’t feel any support from City Hall and don’t feel valued as city employees.

Some of the comments from officers read:

“Public safety has been abandoned by the city council for political performance.”

“No one is standing up for what is actually right.”

"Hard to be a cop when elected officials think it’s our job to investigate not prevent crime. Tell it to the victims.”

Portland Police Association survey shows increasingly low morale among officers

Image: KPTV

"Our members don’t feel supported by their elected officials, don’t feel supported by the political agenda that is a false narrative that is out there in the City of Portland, and don’t feel valued," PPA Executive Director Daryl Turner said.

Earlier this month, the police bureau said since July of last year, 130 sworn employees had resigned or retired.

Turner said the “catastrophically” low staffing levels make officers’ jobs even harder at a time when Portland is seeing historic crime rates, and he said politics get in the way of police being able to do their jobs.

"We’re not doing a great job of policing out there because we’re not allowed to, not because the officers don’t want to, not because the investigators don’t want to, it’s because we’re handcuffed and that’s the frustration that they carry through the job and that’s why morale is so low and that’s why it’s hard to retain and recruit new officers," Turner said.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler released the following statement on the survey: "I value the dedication of the Portland police officers and appreciate the commitment that they bring to their work each and every day. This is a time of change and transformation. We need change that benefits all Portlanders, and we also need change that supports our dedicated police officers who are responsible for keeping the peace in our city. 

My stated objectives for the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) are two-fold: First, ensure that PPB has adequate personnel, resources, tools and training required to effectively respond to criminal activity in our community. Second, ensure that PPB is transparent and accountable to the public that it serves. I look forward to working with the men and women who serve in our Police Bureau to accomplish both of these objectives. This has been a challenging 18 months for PPB, and I appreciate the service of all of our dedicated officers." 

Not all Portlanders agree that more officers and more police funding are the answer.

"I don’t think that our money should be going to the police. I think that there’s other places it can be going," Jill Johnson, who lives in Portland, said.

But Turner believes there needs to be more police funding alongside other resources: "It takes all of the ingredients in the recipe to make a recipe successful."

We reached out to the Police Chief on this who said “Portland Police Association members, and all Portland police employees, are working under very challenging conditions. They do have my support. I have to keep looking for ways to show them that.”

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