The Portland Police Association (PPA) is leaving its longtime office in North Portland near the Kenton neighborhood due to repeated acts of vandalism and arson over the last year.
Executive Director Daryl Turner announced the update via Facebook. In the post, he explained how the police union is moving because of the anti-law enforcement presence in the area, and reflected on their time in the location over the past 6 years.
When they moved to the building on North Lombard Street 6 years ago, residents welcomed them. Before the PPA moved in, the building was the site of parties and illegal drug use.
“The neighbors welcomed us and were glad to have the police union and police cars there. The community supported us and dropped by to say hello. We opened a Rest Stop for officers, so they had a place to come have lunch, use the restroom, and write reports. Time and again we heard from folks that they felt safer in the neighborhood and were thankful to have things cleaned up,” Turner wrote.
During the 2020 summer protests, the PPA building became a constant target of vandalism and arson. The building was the site of frequent anti-law enforcement protests and riots, and was bombarded with projectiles, graffiti, and fires.
Despite the harassment, community members continued to support their presence.
“As our building became the target of vandalism and arson last summer, there were several times that our neighbors helped paint over vile and vulgar graffiti scrawled across the outside walls and picked up trash and garbage,” Turner wrote.
Eventually, Turner felt their presence was putting the community at risk for more crime and it was time to move. He did not specify their new location.
“As the rioting escalated at our location, we felt that the community was more and more at risk. At the most recent arson incident, a neighbor stood on the sidewalk with a water hose trying to put the fire out just before first responders arrived. It went too far and it was time to find another location. We have since moved out and relocated. The Lombard building will be repaired and, at a later date, put on the market to sell.”
At the end of the post, Turner thanked the community and the nearby business owners in particular.
“We appreciate their support and patience over the last year. We thank them for their tolerance. And we hope that with our relocation, they can have some peace,” he said.