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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 30, 2007 6:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was PortlandTube. The next post in this blog is Fill 'er up. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cop union to Potter: Play along or else

The O's reporting on this letter from Portland police union boss Robert King to Mayor Tom Potter. In it, the union accuses the mayor, a former police chief, of joining a media effort to undermine public trust in the force:

lnstead of providing leadership to broaden people's understanding of what we do, you followed the lead of the media and their single-minded focus on controversy. Instead of helping build the trust you say is so important, you are helping to erode it.
Interestingly, the first letters of the paragraphs of King's letter, when taken together, spell out the words, "We still have the photos."

I hope Grampy runs for re-election. It will be the most fun any of us has had since ex-Chief Foxworth's "chocolate thunder" e-mails came out.

Comments (23)

Couldn't find the article you mention about King, but I did find one about Potter wanting to change Portland's charter to a "strong mayor" form of government.

Have you given any thought to this? Is there really any evidence that one form of government works better than any other? We have hundreds of cities in the U.S. with several different forms (city manager, volunteer council, paid council, wards, etc.). Someone must know what works best. Or are we just going to do what the mayor wants?

I'm not sure I want to change this comment space into a discussion of charter change. But Portland's the only large city left in the country with the commission form of government.

Unless the charter change includes electing council members by district, I couldn't care less about it.

No districts in this proposal, no.

But back on point: Yeah, big surprise that King isn't "coming to the table" on racial profiling to do anything other than obstruct the discussion.

I question the part about the "single incident," too. I can count at least two very questionable police killings since Potter took over: Chasse and Young. Not to mention the guy they took out on Sandy.

I'm not sure I understand the sentiment in this post. Jack, do you feel racial profiling is a problem or not?

King clearly doesn't care as much about it as he does about the overall performance of his force. His letter speaks to overall crime levels - this is the metric he is most concerned with, over and above racial profiling. If a few minorities get their feelings hurt in the pursuit of overall crime dropping, too bad (in King's mind).

Potter may care overall crime levels, but his constituency also cares about racial profiling and its effects. Thus, his efforts on the matter.

I'm white, so I can't speak to racial profiling's true effects. But I know people who feel it is a problem. I'm glad that crime is falling, but is it at the cost of making people feel like criminals just for being members of a minority? And if so, is that a cost worth paying?

That's a discussion worth having.

Don't fret, Mr. King. I'm sure the Mayor - like all of us - is very proud of about 940 of your 950 police officers, detectives, sergeants, and criminalists.

What a crock of ****. Instead of just bitching about the mayor, bitching about the media, and bitching about others in general, it sure would be neat for the police union to offer up something positive from their side of the table.

...it sure would be neat for the police union to offer up something positive from their side of the table.

I think in King's warped little perspective, "the cops are alright" is the positive something he's offering up.

it sure would be neat for the police union to offer up something positive from their side of the table.

"We can do no wrong, and anyone who says otherwise is out to get us." Any lack of trust on the part of the public likely starts with that attitude.

As for racial profiling, to my knowledge Potter has never accused anybody of that. But his failure to assert that there is no racial profiling is now grounds for criticism.

Is there any room for listening or an open mind behind the thin blue line? Or just itchy trigger fingers, steroids, and coverup?

A note on OregonLive URLs: it boggles my mind how terrible that site is, including the fact that they get their own URLs wrong (in Firefox and possibly other browsers, this means the browser doesn't "scroll" to the correct story when you follow a link). In order to make the page scroll to the right story, edit the URL like this:

Original link (as found on Web site or RSS feed):
http://www.oregonlive.com/.../2007_01.html#231460

Correct link:
http://www.oregonlive.com/.../2007_01.html##231460

Thank you. How did you ever figure that one out?

The actual story from the paper is posted now.

*As for racial profiling, to my knowledge Potter has never accused anybody of that. *

Remember a couple of months ago there was the case of an excellent community activist who is an African immigrant who spoke to the city council about all the times he had been pulled over on pretext stops and then let go...finally he actually got some sort of ticket.

Potter, if memory serves, spoke out during a council session and --I'm trying to remember--actually apologized to the activist. Or was the activist a member of city staff? I can't remember. Then Potter turned around a few days later, met with the police union, and then took back the apology and apologized instead to the police.

But there was definitely a sense that Potter was zeroing in on some specific officer/s in that case before he completely backed off.

I'm guessing Grampy's E-mails won't be nearly as steamy as Chief Foxworth's...But if we he was actually juggling multiple relationships at one time I would have new found respect for him.

His appearance and demeanor suggest Eagle Scout/Career Cop, not amorous raconteur.

Given how quickly AFSCME flipped his opinion on Foxworth's suspension, they must have a big bucket of dirt on him.

I hope there are photos this time!

Reading between the lines, I take this report as a signal that Mayor King will indeed run for re-election and Chief Potter will take retirement.

There are photos... and won't Potter (and his wife) be shocked to see them.

Jerry Springer would be so proud.

Of course, with Clinton it was "only sex" and a "personal thing" - no possible effect on how he governed...

...oh, no, no, no.

I'm just sayin'.

Of course, with Clinton it was "only sex" and a "personal thing" - no possible effect on how he governed...

Governed his way to highest economic growth since WWII and a huge budget surplus, I'm sure you meant to say.

But how has Potter governed so far?

Let see: $85 per survey for only 12,000 opinions for his boondoggle visioning scam; a "yes-man" charter review committee that can't identify one city were their recommendation works better than the current form of government; police attacks on the mentally ill and homeless prompted by his safe downtown initiative; curfews in the Park Blocks; a ban on sitting on the sidewalk; growing numbers of vacant downtown business locations; a PDC Board that provides million dollar give-aways to Potter's few developer friends, commissioners who check e-mail while Potter is issuing platitudes.

The list goes on and on, but not a single tangible result of his own (that's not from a committee's ideas) like Commissioners Leonard (biodiesel), Sten (housing developments) and Adams (reduce business taxes).

In his state of the city speech, all Potter could say is that everying could be worse. He'll no doubt prove it can be if he gets a second term.

"In his state of the city speech, all Potter could say is that everying could be worse. He'll no doubt prove it can be if he gets a second term"

Screw the second term... I want a second tram!

Amen Shadow. Amen. We need a leader with vision, not a leader who visions.

You know, I understand the idea of a union president sticking up for the membership, but King is just a bully. I don't believe there's anything that a cop could do wrong, except for something like robbing a bank, that he wouldn't try to spin as a good thing.


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