PORTLAND, Ore. – The president of Portland’s police union says he’s worried that Occupy Portland camps and demonstrations will only get bigger, and says police and citizens are paying the price.
Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner told KATU News he doesn’t like the idea of police not being allowed to enforce the law, referring to Mayor Sam Adams’ decision to allow protesters to camp downtown 24 hours a day.
Early Sunday morning, police arrested 27 protesters in Jamison Square, located in Portland’s Pearl District, because they continued to stay there after the park was closed.
“If you enforce the law one place, you have to enforce every place,” Turner said. “You’re not treating everybody the same.”
“It’s a matter of enforcing the law," he added. "That’s what we’re supposed to do and we’re not allowed to do that in this instance.”
Mayor Sam Adams argues the difference is in the surrounding buildings. The downtown camp is surrounded by government buildings, while Jamison Square is surrounded by residential buildings.
Turner told KATU News the mayor’s approach isn’t only unfair, it’s also inefficient.
“Over $200,000 they’ve used for police resources right now is problematic in a time when budget cuts for all bureaus in the city is being looked at, so it’s a bad position to be in,” said Turner.
Mayor Adams admits it’s been expensive.
“Given the hours of the Jamison Park event, the long hours and the number of people that we had to call in, it will be an expensive undertaking on our part. But that’s part of managing day to day,” Adams said.