Portland mayor says more resources needed to deal with violence. Here’s an idea: REFUND the police

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

PORTLAND, OR- Over the past roughly fourteen months, the once-beautiful city of Portland, Oregon has served as ground zero for anti-American riots carefully referred to by mainstream media outlets as “peaceful protests.”

Along with those riots came bizarre calls to defund the Portland Police Bureau despite the fact the city, in particular the downtown area is being held hostage by anarchists.

Along with defunding of police, a number of officers have decided to retire or resign, tiring of being punching bags for criminals and leftist city council members alike.

As a result of anti-law enforcement policies in the city, Portland has seen an 800% increase in homicides and crime is spiraling out of control. One officer, a detective who gave an exit interview said it all:

“The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and city council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists’ fantasy.

What’s worse is ppb [Portland Police Bureau] command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly.”

Another:

“The only differences between the Titanic and PPB? Deck chairs and a band.”

Finally…maybe the city’s government is starting to wake up to the reality of what they have fomented. Unfortunately, it was only after yet another violent weekend in downtown Portland.

KGW-8 in the city reports that early Saturday, seven people were shot, one of whom was killed in weekend violence in the city.

 

Police reported that at around 2:10 a.m. they responded to a report of multiple shots near Southwest 3rd Avenue and Oak Street downtown.

Law enforcement sources say that seven people, men and women were transported to a hospital by ambulance. One, an 18-year-old woman whom police did not identify later succumbed to her wounds. The other six injured people are expected to survive, police reported.

Officials say the suspects fled the area prior to their arrival and no arrests have been made; police did not release a description of the suspects.

In a Saturday afternoon press briefing, police chief Chuck Lovell and Mayor Ted Wheeler bemoaned the violence which continues to plague the city.

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According to Lovell, police arrived at the shooting scene to find “an extremely chaotic scene with lots of injured people.”

“We all want to know what happened and who did this and why, Lovell said. “I pledge that more information will come out as soon as possible.”

For Wheeler, who had long supported the violent protests and riots in downtown Portland and is now trying to close the barn door after the horses have gotten out, he expressed anger at the latest incident.

“What happened early this morning is devastating. It’s tragic and senseless.”

As John McClain said in Die Hard, “Welcome to the party, pal.”

 

As violence started to overtake Portland last year, Wheeler decided to play nice with the Black Lives Matter and Antifa thugs who were running roughshod over the city. He thought that by coddling and showing support for the protests, it would buy him some empathy from the violent mob.

How was he repaid? Violent protesters showed up at his home, he was accosted in restaurants and he was mocked and ridiculed. What’s the saying? “If you sleep with the devil, don’t be surprised when you get burned.” That is exactly what happened to Wheeler.

So, how has the leadership on the city council dealt with the exploding violence? They cut $27 million from the police budget and said they would dedicate money to community groups “working to curb gun violence,” Fox News reported.

Of course a lot of people think if you hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” that will make everything better.

“Police can’t prevent shootings,” said one Portland activist, Royal Harris. “That’s part of it, we as a community have to work together to prevent these things instead of looking at it as a police approach.”

How else did they respond? Last year, the city disbanded a specialized unit which was tasked with dealing with gun violence, claiming that it “disproportionately targeted people of color.” One councilor who supported that move is far-left nut job Jo Ann Hardesty.

“The police have a role, but their role is simply to solve crime—their role is not to prevent crime, their role is not to intervene in community activities,” she told KOIN-6. “A response to gun violence should not be a knee-jerk reaction.”

Got that? Police are not there to “prevent crime,” they are only there, according to Hardesty, to pick up the bodies. You wonder why crime in Portland is out of control? That mindset of the leading loudmouth on the city council tells you everything you need to know.

Sgt. Ken Duilio of the Portland Police Bureau knows exactly why crime is exploding in Portland.

“You took away the gun violence reduction team. There is nobody in this city doing traffic stops of these armed, violent shooters traveling the city looking for their rivals to shoot and who are going to vigils and lighting up the entire crowd,” he said.

The latest shooting has Wheeler finally acknowledging that there is a need for more resources to deal with the crime explosion.

“Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough,” Wheeler said. “What’s needed is clarity in terms of what resources the Portland Police Bureau needs in the years ahead to address the changing safety needs in our community.”

Resources? How about restoring the money the city council defunded from the police department? How about restoring the violence reduction team? And why not show some support for the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau?

Want to know how bad it has gotten in Portland? According to Oregon Live, the department has found little success in getting officers to sign up for a new uniformed team of officers tasked with addressing the gun violence in the city.

Thus far, only three officers have signed up for the positions while they are seeking twelve officers and two sergeants to staff the unit.

The team, called the Focused Intervention Team is designed to fight gun violence in a proactive manner with a visible patrol presence on the streets of Portland. The unit was to cover seven days a seek in order to remove guns off the street. The unit would be directed by police intelligence efforts, identifying those involved in recent shootings and attempting to “interrupt the cycle of violence.”

If you want to know one reason for the reluctance of officers to sign up for the unit, this is a likely culprit. Part of the plan is to establish a 12-member community oversight board to “monitor” the team’s actions. Nothing like having a group of community activists to tell police what and what not to do. The city has selected 12 city residents, who the article did not identify.

According to Assistant Police Chief Jami Resch, who oversees the investigations branch of the PPB, officers are (obviously) concerned about the oversight board and “have a lot of questions” about that board’s role.

If experience is any guide, the board will be a bunch of liberal busybodies with excess time on their hands who always wanted to tell cops what to do. Now they will have their outlet.

“What they’re wanting to know is what is the oversight and what are the expectations of them,” Resch said. “What is actually going to be their job.”

While Resch said officers are reluctant to join the team because “they don’t want to fail,” they are probably more concerned with having to answer to twelve untrained community activists.

In a meeting with the oversight group, Resch told them officers need to know “what is expected of them” from the clueless about law enforcement activists.

“I think once we have a better idea of what this group is, it would be very helpful to bring your information, your mission and your desires of this team to the bureau so that the officers kind of know what is going to be expected of them.”

“Your information?” “Your mission?” “Your desires of this team?” Want to know why officers are “reluctant” to join this team? That’s all you need to know. A bunch of community activists is designing this program, and they are going to let the PPB know what their desires are? This program is destined to go down in flames.

In response to the latest shooting, Wheeler, who also serves as the city’s police commissioner said the city needs “a plan.”

“What we need is a plan,” Wheeler said. “This really exploded in the last year or so. It’s a pandemic, and it needs to be addressed with adequate resources. It’s pretty obvious from where I sit, we do not have the adequate resources deployed on our streets in a proactive way.”

Portland has seen 52 homicides thus far in 2021. Last year the city recorded 55—for the entire year. That number was the most Portland has seen in 26 years.

Adequate resources? Here’s a tip…RE-fund the Portland Police Bureau and increase that amount by a few million dollars. Get the busybody city council out of the day-to-day operations of the police bureau, put a gag on Hardesty and let the police do their damn job!

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