An Open Letter from Matt Ferguson, President – Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Dear elected officials,

I write to you as the elected president of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the exclusive labor representative of law enforcement deputies and sergeants working at the sheriff’s office. I serve the citizens and visitors of Multnomah County and support the men and women who police the cities inside this county. I have the honor of representing the men and women of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Recently I have had people point out that I look “tired.” The fact is. I am tired. I am exhausted. I believe I speak for all the men and women who wear a uniform when I say that serving as a police officer has become one of the most undervalued and dehumanizing careers in our community, if not the nation.

The city of Portland just advertised for a new Police Chief. In the job posting the City all but claims there is factual evidence that all police are engaged in systemic racism. Officers have been forced to stand by and watch, while protesters destroy the city and endanger the people we are sworn to protect. Those same officers are pelted with bricks and human excrement, all the while being directed not to take action, or being lambasted when we do.

The Sheriff’s office just sustained a budget cut to law enforcement services. This cut comes on the heels of one of the most horrific acts of violence committed on public transportation.

I feel for the citizens of Multnomah County, who plea for a safer, livable community. The citizens and the officers who serve them deserve better. I want the citizens to know that despite being exhausted, the deputies and officers will be there for them in their time of need.

Increasingly, officers are confronted with hostile crowds who interfere with our efforts to police the community. Currently we struggle with how to retain good officers. How we can recruit new officers when faced with this kind of adversity for merely doing one’s job?

Please watch the attached link to a recent incident where a MCSO deputy and Gresham sergeant try to conduct a traffic stop. Ask yourself, could you perform the duties of your job given the same circumstances? I’m sure you can understand how difficult it is to remain professional and provide the level of service expected, under these adverse conditions. Having public support from our elected officials would mean a lot to the officers facing the exceedingly hostile working conditions we face each day.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50zvrXxtDAc&feature=youtu.be

Sincerely,

Deputy Matt Ferguson
President Deputy Sheriff’s Association

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What is a Policeman? By Paul Harvey (1918-2009)

What is a Policeman?

By Paul Harvey (1918-2009)

A policeman is a composite of what all men are, I guess; a mingling of saint and sinner, dust, and deity. Culled statistics wave the fan over stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are news. What that really means is that they are exceptional. They are unusual. They are not commonplace. Buried under the froth is the fact, and the fact is that less than one half of one percent of policemen misfit that uniform. And that is a better average than you’d find among clergymen.

What is a policeman? He, of all men, is at once the most needed, and the most wanted; a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “pig” or worse behind his back. He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won. But, if a policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum; if he’s pleasant, he’s a flirt; if he’s not, he’s a grouch.

He must make instant decisions which would require months for a lawyer. But, if he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy.

He must be first to an accident, infallible with a diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints, and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or, expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt.

He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being brutal.

If you hit him, he’s a coward; if he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything and not tell. He must know where all of the sin is and not partake.

The policeman, from a single human hair, must be able to describe the crime, the weapon, the criminal, and tell you where the criminal is hiding. But, if he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce.

If he gets promoted, he has political pull if he doesn’t he’s a dullard.

The policeman must chase bum leads to a dead end; stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen but refuses to remember. He runs files and writes reports until his eyes ache, to build a case against some felon who will get dealt out by a shameless shamus or an honorable who isn’t honorable.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy, and a gentle man. And of course, he’ll have to be a genius, because he’ll have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.

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Meet Officer Nick Bohrer of the Troutdale Police Department and his good buddy Brady.

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Seven years ago, Officer Bohrer was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He’s cancer-free now, but his experience convinced him that it was important to give back to the cancer community.

Officer Bohrer learned about the Children’s Cancer Association about a year ago and recently applied to become a Chemo-Pal.He was matched up with seven year old Brady, who is undergoing chemotherapy to treat a brain tumor.

Sometimes Officer Bohrer goes to Brady’s treatments with him. They’ve hung out during the process to help make Brady’s experience more positive. It’s a very eye opening and rewarding thing to give back in this way.

Please consider helping Brady and his family by contributing to their GoFundMe Medical Fund: http://www.gofundme.com/bradycoymedical

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