After Firing, Portland Chief Reflects On ‘Dichotomy’ Of Job


After she was pushed out as police chief of Portland, Ore., Rosie Sizer told the Oregonian that she was struck by the deluge of phone calls and flowers she received. “I felt a little bit like I died — you get the eulogies and condolences,” Sizer said. Sizer, chief for four years, had planned to resign in July but was replaced by Mayor Sam Adams after she criticized the mayor’s proposed police budget. Sizer was replaced by Mike Reese, another Portland police commander.

“The last six months have been very tough on me, and on the Police Bureau,” Sizer said. She referred to a succession of events, including an officer’s beanbag shooting of a 12-year-old girl and a police union march on City Hall. Sizer said she struggled to balance the public’s sometimes unrealistic expectations for police performance and officers who expected her to offer public support almost regardless of the behavior. “That dichotomy and that balance is part of the tension of the job,” Sizer said. “And, in a community as liberal as Portland, it’s more pronounced I think than in other communities.”

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