Former Oregon Chief Speaks Out About Firing


Nine months after she was ousted from the Portland Police Bureau’s highest position, former Police Chief Rosie Sizer says she’s proud of her two-and-a-half decades on the force.

Sizer was recognized, along with 21 other officers, at a retirement banquet in downtown Portland Tuesday night.

"I think I took one for the team and I got fired for it," Sizer says. "I think I was stretched and fascinated for 25 years. And I think I gave good value to the city."

Sizer was fired under a cloud of controversy last May. Mayor Sam Adams forced Sizer to resign after what Adams called "failures in the bureau," and after Sizer openly criticized the mayor for proposed cuts to the police force.

"I think it was important for me to stand up on the principle that I got fired about," Sizer says. "I think the mayor was playing kind of fast and loose with the budget, saying that he supported public safety, but not expressing it in the proposed budget."

Adams immediately appointed current Police Chief Mike Reese, who was also at Tuesday night’s event.

"Rosie is a friend and a mentor and I really value her insight into the job of chief of police," Reese says.

Sizer says she holds no grudge against her successor. She says being police chief is not an easy job.

"You know, when you become a police chief, you are serving at the whim of a mayor or in some cases a police commissioner. And it is a dangerous position. It’s very risky. It’s very politically explosive," Sizer says.

Even with a rough ending to a long career, this former police chief says her 25 years of service will be remembered with a smile.

"When I was first appointed to the chief of police, my husband said to me, 'Have fun. Go like hell and know that you will be fired,'" Sizer says. "And I had fun. I went like hell and then I was fired."

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