Portland, OR - The City of Portland appears to be unhappy with Chief Mike Marshman. Giving Chief Marshman less than a year on the job, the city is seeking a new candidate (preferably minority) who can turn around the city's "racism;" at least, that's what the job listing says.
Chief Mike Marshman was appointed last June with a three-year contract. Inexplicably, the city opened up applications for his position on May 15th. Perhaps the city council is unhappy with police officers arresting violent rioting anarchists. Or, considering their job posting, perhaps they just want a minority in the job.
Featured prominently in their job listing, the city says:
The State of Oregon and its largest city, Portland, share a history of legally sanctioned systemic racism with legally enforced exclusionary practices. Given this history, the successful candidate must demonstrate the capacity and commitment to expand on existing strategies to improve relationships with and service provision to Portland's communities of color, ensuring that equity is a bedrock of policing in Portland.
You might be wondering who wrote this crap. According to Oregon Live, the Mayor had planned to use an outside agency to help them with their nationwide search for a new chief. Then, in April, the Mayor suddenly decided to use the City's human resources bureau to conduct the search. They invited local activists to help craft the job description. Thanks to this community inclusion, the job description contains requirements like:
Significant understanding of the need to address disparities in the criminal justice system in order to provide equitable services to all members of the community. Willingness to learn about the history of racism in Portland and how it impacts police relationships with communities of color.
If you're thinking of applying, the final applicant will receive a salary of $143,312.00 - $205,379.00 annually. Although, if you want the job, it helps to be a minority. All applicants will be required to report information identifying their status as a minority, woman, and/or identification as an individual with a disability
If the most qualified applicants are white males, then the city will also include the highest qualified minority candidates, the highest qualified women candidates, and the highest qualified candidates who identify as a person with a disability.
The Portland Police Association, representing the rank-and-file officers, announced that they support Chief Marshman and oppose a national search for an outside candidate. Chief Marshman has announced that he is applying for his current position through the application process.
"I don't want to abandon ship when things are starting to move forward. I feel obligated to do so,'' Marshman told Oregon Live. "I think morale is on the uptick. We're looking to hire another 15 to 18 officers next month. I feel obligated to continue to work to connect with people who work here and with the community. Those two things are what keeps me going on.''
Despite the chief's willingness to apply for the position, it seems that the city is intent on removing him. The city is spending almost $20,000 searching for somebody to replace him.They are doing so two years before his contract is over and with the knowledge that they will have to pay Chief Mike Marshman over $86,000 severance pay for ending his contract early.
It appears that Chief Marshman's only chance at the job is if no well-qualified (preferably minority) candidates want to deal with the obnoxious city council and mayor.
If the people in charge of hiring the police think that police are systemically racist, do you think there's any chance left for Portland? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.