• TURNER: His facial hair is oddly similar to Scott Westerman's.
Daryl Turner is the first elected president of the Portland Police Association since former President Scott Westerman stepped down in the wake of some bizarre road rage incidents. Before being sworn in today, Turner was a downtown patrol officer, and has served on the force for 19 years including a stint with the Drugs and Vice squad.

A big part of the president's job is to represent the interests of police officers when they're being investigated or criticized in the wake of an officer-involved shooting or other calamity. When politicians think it'll be a popular move to talk smack about how police officers do their job, association presidents bristle.

That's how Turner reacted to City Commissioner Randy Leonard's proposal to increase external oversight of the police bureau after the Aaron Campbell shooting. Writing for the Rap Sheet, the association newsletter, he speculated that Leonard wanted "his own little Gestapo" to give oversight "more teeth."

Daryl Turner writing in the February 2010 Rap Sheet
  • Daryl Turner writing in the February 2010 "Rap Sheet"
Turner was riding around with Chief Mike Reese today, and they stopped by the Old Town precinct to answer questions from the press. I reminded Turner of his image of Leonard, Mayor Adams, and Storm Large all sitting around laughing about police oversight (see left). Is he still concerned about this, especially now that Adams is police commissioner?

"We're going to open up the lines of communication," he responded. "They [the city council members] are passionate about what they do, and we're passionate about what we do. We will have considerate conversations." In other words, he's decided to turn down the rhetoric.

He did use that awkward opportunity to segue into a worthwhile mention of how police officers are being increasingly required to step in and deal with mental health issues. "We realize that the mental health system [in Portland] has been pretty much gutted," said Turner. "We're having to do more of that work."

This morning, Commissioner Leonard reflected on the James Chasse death, saying that while training and protocol are important, an officer must be able to use his own judgment in the face of a threat. Otherwise, he said, "more of these cases will occur."

Turner said he agrees. "We do use our judgment," he said. "Policies change, and we adapt. We need to be able to explain that to the community."