I can't be the only one perplexed by the latest complaint of the Portland Police Association, the union that represents the rank and file of Portland's police. As reported here by the Oregonian, the PPA has filed a grievance alleging that Mike Reese, the Chief of Police, went out on patrol with a lieutenant on three days in May, instead of assigning the patrol shifts to PPA union members at overtime rates of pay. The union asserts, possibly correctly, that the City's contract with the PPA prohibits officers who are not members of the PPA from going on patrols. Chief Reese is not a member of the PPA. (The higher-ups in the Police Bureau are members of a different union.)
Not every wrong needs to be righted. A police union that complains because a Portland police officer, in this case the chief, is actually out in a car patrolling has got a tin ear (I'm tempted to say a brass ear) for the mood of the public and the City Council. It's hard to like a union that wants to keep the police chief off the streets. Curiously, it doesn't appear that the PPA has complained about Chief Reese's practice of filling patrol shifts for the PPA members who have been named Employee of the Month, something that the chief will have to stop doing if the union wins this round.