The Portland Police Association plans a march on City Hall tomorrow morning following the announcement of its "no confidence" ballot last Friday—over Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman's suspension of Officer Christopher Humphreys.
"RALLY TO SUPPORT POLICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY SCHEDULED
PORTLAND, OR — November 23, 2009—The Portland Police Association will hold a march and rally on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 to demonstrate support for police and public safety in the greater Portland area, and to oppose unfair decisions by elected officials motivated by politics, not concern for public safety.
Portland Police Association members, along with officers from neighboring police bureaus, community members and members of other local labor unions will gather at 9:45 AM at Lownsdale Square and will march, ending in front of City Hall for a brief presentation at 10 AM."
The timing of the rally is designed to be "before Thanksgiving," says Portland Police Association President Scott Westerman. "And to maintain pressure on the city."
The no-confidence ballots—for Chief Sizer, and Police Commissioner Saltzman—were distributed over the weekend. The deadline for voting is November 27, and the PPA will publish the results on November 30. The outcome of the result? "It depends on the percentages," says Westerman. "Let's say 50 percent say they don't have confidence, then clearly it's backfired on us. Let's say 97 percent come back and say they have no confidence in Dan Saltzman—regardless of how confident Sam Adams is in Dan Saltzman's decisions, that's got to speak to Sam Adams—that he's got to take control of the bureau, either that, or give it to a City Commissioner who is not so impulsive, or makes rash decisions based on one piece of evidence."
"This is a march for officers to have a voice," says Westerman, adding that he thinks Adams is "a lot more politically astute" than Saltzman, but declining to name another City Commissioner who he thinks would make a good police commissioner.
"This is the first time we have done this in a long time," says Westerman. "It is not just about Humphreys, it is about public safety—you have cops who've been told they did exactly what was asked of them, but who have been suspended, or disciplined, regardless."
Humphreys filed a stress disability claim last week, but Westerman says he has confidence in him, regardless.
"He says he doesn't care if he's in the hospital with pneumonia," says Westerman. "He'll make it to an internal affairs review."
Meanwhile, a survey on Jack Bogdanski's blog says 80% of Bogdanski's readers have lost confidence in the police union.