The Portland, OR, Police Association is circulating a petition and advertising on billboards to urge City Hall to hire more Portland officers, reports the Oregonian.
The "Having Enough Police Matters'' campaign is intended to pressure City Hall to provide more funding to the Portland Police Bureau to hire more rank-and-file officers.
"Inadequate staffing in the Police Bureau is hurting our communities and putting all of us at risk,'' wrote Officer Daryl Turner, association president in a prepared release. "Nothing is more basic to the livability of a city than public safety. We need City Council to take immediate action to fix this critical staffing shortage. Our city and our officers deserve better.''
The campaign comes as the bureau's gang enforcement team is running to keep up with a spike in gang-related shooting and assaults.
Mayor Charlie Hales, who serves as police commissioner, said he's authorized the Police Bureau to hire 11 new background investigators to try to speed up the hiring process and fill vacancies. The new background investigators won't be in place until early next year.
"I know there is an urgent need for police officers,'' Hales said, in an emailed statement. "We are actively trying to fill the sworn positions that are vacant, and we need to continue filling new vacancies each year. These positions are budgeted. But retirements have been more frequent, and with police agencies nationwide hiring, recruiting has been more competitive.''