Hardball time

I see that the negotiations between the City of Portland and the police union have reached the loud b.s. stage. Yesterday they were scratching each other's eyes out about whether the city misled the public when the voters decided, by more than 4 to 1, to replace the current joke of a police accountability system.

Today the union is playing the "we need more money, that's why you're not safe" card. The worst part of it is, that's the same line you get, in a slightly more passive-aggressive format, from the police chief. Forget management vs. labor. The teams are anyone with a badge against anyone without one.

I'll tell you this: Portland is dirtier and more dangerous now than it's been at any other time in my more than 42 years of living here. It was no picnic in the late '70s, but it really started to go sour when the gangs hit town in the '80s during the Bud Clark regime. It's gotten worse every year.

The other night I tried to phone in a noise complaint. I was on hold for 10 minutes, listening to recordings that pretty much suggested I go away.

Drive around town now and you come away with the conclusion that the cops must be lazy, inept, or both. Then one day they senselessly murder someone and get away with it.

The politicians are not much better than the cops, but right now I'm rooting for the city to kick the union's butt in the negotiations and the inevitable arbitration to follow. Take the police bureau down a few pegs. It would be well deserved and long overdue.


  1. Most incompetent force west of the Mississippi. Cut their budget in half and get rid of the deadwood. Don't even get me started on their absurdly generous (and undeserved) pension formula.


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