Editorial: Police accountability initiatives need city’s attention
By most any measure, Portland needs more police officers. Whether it’s the increase in 911 response times, the near-daily shootings or the steady stream of retirements that have left the city with the fewest sworn officers in more than a quarter-century, Portland Police needs reinforcements.
In theory, that shouldn’t be a controversial statement. While the city is developing alternatives to police and working with community organizations to address underlying contributors to crime, none of it is bending the curve of violence that’s taken a record number of lives this year. Yet decades of earned mistrust, a history of excessive force and a lack of accountability for officer misconduct have all but ensured that any decision surrounding police is a controversial one.