Portland to Mark Police Helmets with Prominent ID Numbers

A Portland police officer pushes back protesters, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Portland. The protests, which began over the killing of George Floyd, often result frequent clashes between protesters and law enforcement. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher

The Portland Police Bureau will clearly mark police officers’ helmets for identification, the city’s mayor announced. Mayor Ted Wheeler said a number will be “prominently displayed on officers’ helmets during crowd management events.”

Mayor Wheeler tweeted on Friday:

Wheeler trailed his opponent, a self-described Antifa follower, earlier in his contest to keep his mayoral seat. His challenger, Sarah Iannarone, says, “I am Antifa.” The November race has now been reported as “neck and neck.”

Breitbart News reported in September that Wheeler disciplined police officers accused of misconduct allegedly committed when responding to rioters.

Protests and riots have continued in the city for nearly five months.

The Oregonian reported that the helmet numbers are to be branded by November 15. The local news outlet added that the “large three-digit numbers” were “to help people more easily identify officers during protests.”

“The size and font will be standardized and big enough” to be captured, the police bureau said Friday night.

The newspaper also cited the online and telephone contact information for making complaints against peace officers.

Deputy Chief Chris Davis released a statement that said, “We support peaceful protest and understand that ref0rms to advance racial justice are necessary and overdue.”

“We also want the public to be able to easily identify officers if they have concerns,” Davis added.

Portland police began to remove their name tags this past June. They replaced the metal tags with six-digit employee numbers written on tape. The Oregonian reported that the officers removed the name tags to protect officers’ safety “following doxxing” incidents.

Breitbart Texas reached out to a representative of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the world. Its website boasts 355,000 members in more than 2,100 local lodges.

“Any officers working these protests should not have their names on their uniforms. This is a clear officer safety issue,” Joe Gamaldi, FOP vice president, told Breitbart Texas. He explained, “when they have their name, Antifa terrorists and anti-police activists attempt to dox them and expose their home addresses.”

“The goal is to harm or intimate their families,” he explained. “That is where we are in 2020.”

Gamaldi expressed, “Numbers on helmets or uniforms do not concern us. Departments can still track us by numbers for accountability purposes if someone wants to file a complaint.”

“In light of these new doxing threats that could not have been perceived when we put names on uniforms 100 years ago, the conversation needs to be had if we all should just have badge numbers for identification,” the FOP official concluded. “We can provide our names when appropriate and to build trust.”

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart News. She is a trial lawyer who previously served as a prosecutor and family court associate judge in Texas. You can reach Shadwick at Lana@LanaShadwick.com.


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