Portland, Michigan: ‘We’re not Portland, Oregon’

Ionia County

PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The Portland Police Bureau in Oregon is taking criticism not only because a black man was shot and killed by police there last month, but also for how officers handled ensuing protests.

But some of the complaints aren’t reaching the right city. Some 2,300 miles away, they’re coming in to Portland, Michigan.

“Over the past couple days, we certainly noticed a spike,” the city manager of Michigan’s Portland, Tutt Gorman, told 24 Hour News 8 Friday.

Some complaints have come by phone, but many are on Facebook.

“I’ll be damn sure to avoid visiting. You are truly useless. Letting mob rule? Why are you even there?” one of those posts read.

The Facebook pages for the Portland, Michigan, city government and police department have been great tools to get information out. But with about two dozen Portlands in the U.S., the small “City of Two Rivers” in Michigan, which is home to about 4,000 people, is often mistaken for one of the others.

“We’ve gotten FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests, accident reports (for other agencies),” Police Chief Star Thomas said. “Our agency has got eight officers. I can’t imagine how many officers they’re (Portland, Oregon) dealing with.”

The spike in complaints led Gorman to post a PSA of sorts on the city’s Facebook page to clear up any confusion:

“We’re not Portland, Oregon,” it begins.

“Just to give those reassurances that that had nothing to do with our police force,” Gorman explained.

Thomas also added “Michigan” to the Portland PD’s Facebook page name, though she’s not sure it will help.

“Since I’ve put Portland, Michigan, on there, we have gotten two additional (misdirected) messages. I’m not sure what the solution is going to be,” she said.

“Hopefully not everyone believes everything they’re seeing on social media,” she added.

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