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Aaron Schmautz becomes president of the Portland Police Association during funding struggles.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Former Portland Police Association Presdient Daryl Turner and incoming President Aaron Schmautz talk to KOIN 6 News on Nov. 4.As the incoming president of the Portland Police Association sat next the outgoing president, both men talked about the difficulties the Portland Police Bureau has gone through over the past few years.

"Our officers have faced something that no other police agency has faced," new PPA President Aaron Schmautz said on Thursday, Nov. 4. "I don't know that people truly understand the amount of trauma that has come from really just being in that daily crush of violence for over 180 days."

Schmautz said his biggest goal is making sure officers have what they need to provide "quality service" to the city.

Mayor Ted Wheeler has said he will ask the Portland City Council to put $7.8 million more toward public safety.

Since last January, the PPA has been negotiating a new contract with the city. But both Schmautz and Daryl Turner — who came out of retirement after an information leak forced former President Brian Hunzeker to resign — were tight lipped about the contract details.

"We can't discuss that," Schmautz said.

"We're in mediation right now so mediation will go as long as it takes to get a contract settled," Turner said. "So we'll see how it goes."

Turner added that, as Portland has changed over the last 18 months, so have PPB's needs and requests.

"The rate of shootings and violent crime in general has gone up so much that that changes the dynamics of a contract, that changes the dynamics of how you recruit, how you retain," he told KOIN 6 News.

Recruiting and retaining officers, Schmautz said, is a major priority in his new leadership role, especially as PPB faces an unprecedented decline in staffing.

"We need to make sure we're giving people who want to come work here opportunities and also giving the people who are here a reason to stay," he said. "And that comes from support and increasing morale and making sure they have the tools they need to be successful."

Turner, who said he is looking forward to "returning to retirement," said Schmautz is a good choice to lead PPA.

"He's passionate, intelligent, he's smart, obviously he's learned a lot from me. What more could you want?" he said, as they both laughed.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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