The Portland Police Association has decided to relocate its headquarters after frequent vandalism and arson attacks.
The police union says that the building has become a target of “vile and vulgar” graffiti and arson incidents since the violent riots of last summer.
“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,” said Portland Police Association Executive Director Daryl Turner in a statement.
The police union did not immediately disclose the new location.
Turner said that the current building, located on North Lombard Street, would be repaired and put on the market.
The union’s headquarters has been located in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland for the past six years. However, over the past year, it has become a target of vandalism and fires.
Turner thanked community members in a Facebook post praising them for helping clean up garbage and debris and paint over anti-police graffiti from the frequent attacks.
Along with the message, Turner’s post included a photo showing the headquarters covered in spray-painted, profanity-laden graffiti.
According to the police union, officials determined that the frequent protests created a risk to neighborhood residents, staff and union members.
About the surrounding North Portland community, Turner said “we appreciated 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.”
During the most recent riot outside the Portland Police Association’s headquarters in April an estimated crowd of 100 gathered outside and set fire to one of the building’s doors.
Turner said that this was the final straw.
Protests and riots stretched on for more than 100 consecutive nights following the May 2020 murder of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside of the headquarters and became destructive on numerous occasions. Unrest has continued frequently in Portland’s downtown as well as other neighborhoods.
Portland Police responded by declaring unlawful assemblies and riots and used crowd control munitions and tear gas. Dozens of people were arrested during the riots.