Portland, OR – A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) sergeant is under investigation after he included a picture of a red baseball cap with the words “Make Central Great Again” in a mass email he sent out requesting officers to volunteer for overtime.
The subject line of the mass email sent at 9:53 a.m. on Feb. 23 read “Central A Shift Needs 1 Saturday 2/26/22!” according to the Oregonian.
One of the officers who received the email reported it to the police chief, and Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell referred the matter to Internal Affairs for investigation.
The police chief determined the email was inappropriate and an improper use of police communications, the Oregonian reported.
The phrase “Make Central Great Again” was a play on former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” that appeared on red baseball caps. The word “Central” is in reference to the Central police precinct.
Chief Lovell cited city policy that prohibited city employees from using city resources such as interoffice mail “in support or in opposition to a candidate, petition signature collection, or ballot measure.’’
Portland Police Bureau Sergeant Kevin Allen said the sergeant sent a follow-up message to the same recipients that apologized for the initial email, the Oregonian reported.
Sgt. Allen said the sergeant remained on active duty while the complaint was under investigation.
Chief Lovell said he had notified Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler about the incident and the probe, the Oregonian reported.
Wheeler said he planned to release the email from the chief in order “to be transparent.”
The police chief wasn’t happy about that decision, the Oregonian reported.
“There is a balance between getting out in front of this and being transparent, describing that we have a thorough internal process while also protecting that process,” Chief Lovell wrote.
Police officials have not identified the sergeant who is under investigation, the Oregonian reported.