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.
Deputy Matt Ferguson
President Deputy Sheriff’s Association