Even the cops are hiding in Portland

The Portland police union is on the run these days. They've moved their headquarters to an undisclosed location after the protesters kept showing up and trashing their old place in north Portland.

It's quite a statement about the state of lawlessness in the city these when the cops themselves have to hide their union office from the gangs of violent demonstrators. If they can't feel safe, how can anybody else?

Of course, a sense of fear is what the union wants the public to have while their contract is under negotiation. (The old one expires three weeks from today.) They think that a scared populace will come around to supporting more money, and a cushier job, for them. On that, they are mistaken, but it appears they'll persist with the passive-aggressive routine until the bitter end of Portland as a viable city.

Meanwhile, the union has taken a major hit in Salem as the legislature has put its blessing on the revamped police discipline system that the Portland voters passed last fall. Under the new state law, the union can't drag the new system into a closed-door arbitration where they get it tossed out. It's a done deal.

They're going to be held accountable to civilians. Finally. And they hate it.

They say a lot of Portland cops are going to quit. If it's the white supremacy guys and Nazi worshippers who commute in from Clark County, Washington, I'm not sure that's entirely a bad thing. Let's start over with the officers who respect the public will, can operate in the open, and aren't racist.

A big problem with that sentiment, of course, is the lack of competence at the helm of the police bureau. A major reform of a law enforcement agency requires a high level of management skill that you aren't going to get from guys like Ted Wheeler and Chuck Lovell.

And so we're lurching toward reform, but the path is fraught with danger. Watch where you're going.