Target: Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner
Goal: Create peace in the dispute between the Portland Police and the officers’ union
The Portland Police Association is currently involved in a dispute with the local officers’ union over newly instituted force policies, most of which involve a de-emphasis on violence or force. The PPA wishes to enforce these changes, but the union argues that such changes cannot be implemented without their approval. Such a division in the law enforcement program could lead to unfortunate consequences. Therefore, a compromise must soon be reached between the feuding parties in order to maintain order in the city.
The officers’ union claims that the current policy regarding use of force needs to be maintained, given that officers still need to be able to manage their operations in an orderly fashion. The PPA’s counter-argument is that the newly prescribed changes that stress a de-escalation of physical encounters are federally mandated. The city made these reform plans after U.S. Department of Justice officials discovered a pattern within the bureau of using excessive force against those with mental illness.
The city’s argument is that such changes are necessarily to keep the use of force among officers away from the constitutionally defined upper limitations of force use in law enforcement. The union’s argument is that making an agreement without consulting them throws into serious question the state of their future working conditions, workloads, and disciplinary procedures.
In November, the union filed a grievance with the city, following Portland’s agreement with federal officials to enforce the new plan. Tensions have been high between the two parties ever since. But an agreement needs to be reached between the two soon. The city cannot afford to let this issue escalate to the point where an actual strike occurs, which would be chaotic for the public safety of the city. Furthermore, creating an environment where policemen themselves did not know procedure would cause upheaval as well. The city and the union need to sit down and iron out this issue before it becomes a serious threat to public safety.
Dear President Turner,
Your organization is currently embroiled in a dispute with the local police officers’ union regarding the newly instituted changes regarding use of force. You cannot let this dispute escalate any further–even as it is, it represents a threat to local public safety.
You simply cannot have law enforcement officers who do not know exactly what their job parameters are. You therefore need to sit down with the officers’ union and come up with a new plan that satisfies everybody’s needs. A compromise must be reached.
You cannot afford to be short on qualified police officers who know their duties exactly in a large city like Portland. Frankly, you cannot even afford to be understaffed, given the grave importance of the field of law enforcement. This is why you need to settle this dispute quickly and not let it escalate into something more.
Come to an agreement with the union, and quickly. The city needs it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo courtesy of Freefoto