Portland Police Association president Daryl Turner today released the results of an email survey of the Portland Police Bureau rank and file. The results reveal officers' skepticism toward Mayor Ted Wheeler's announced plans to replace Chief Mike Marshman following a national hiring search.
"When it's clear that Chief Marshman is more than qualified for the position and has the overwhelming support of his rank-and-file employees, a national search for a police chief is a misguided endeavor," Turner wrote in a statement accompanying the survey.
Marshman resumed his full duties as chief on April 12 after an investigation into whether he was involved in the falsification of training records. As The Oregonian reported, Marshman was cleared after subordinates changed their accounts of the incident.
The PPA survey, available here, found strong majorities of respondents felt morale had improved under Marshman as compared to his predecessor, Larry O'Dea.
The survey also found that nearly 88 percent of officers who responded to the survey disagreed that a national search was "the best option for moving the Police Bureau forward." Approximately 82 percent did not believe Mayor Wheeler would "incorporate the rank-and-file members' input when conducting his national search." Roughly the same percentage preferred an internal hire.
Wheeler was in a council meeting this afternoon and not immediately available for comment, according to his spokesman, Michael Cox.
Update 4:30 pm: Cox sent the following statement in response to the PPA survey.
“By conducting a national search for Police Chief, the Mayor is fulfilling a commitment he made to the public during his campaign, one he has reaffirmed many times since. That commitment means something to the Mayor, and he’s going to see it through. The search will provide an opportunity to engage both local and national talent on a core set of issues vital to the future success of the Portland Police Bureau. The Mayor has expressed publicly, and to Chief Marshman personally, that he wants the Chief to participate as a candidate.”