Report: Three months into 2022 and police-defunded Portland is on track to surpass its homicide rates from 2021

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PORTLAND, OR- According to a report from Daily Mail.com, with just three months into 2022, the city is already on track to surpass 2021’s record-breaking homicide rate.

Murders are up 10 percent as police-defunded Portland continues to struggle to curtail violent crime. According to the Oregonian, Portland topped off February with 22 murders, compared to the 19 in 2021 during the same time.

If violent crime does not stop, Portland is on track to hit nearly 130 homicides by December. After facing a detrimental budget cut in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd, Portland set a record in 2021 with 92 homicides – the highest since 1987 when there were 70.

As Portland’s elected officials embraced calls to defund the police in 2020 and 2021, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) lost several officers to retirements and resignations.

A total of $15 million was initially slashed from the city’s budget while at the same time progressive Portland prosecutors were being blamed for the spiraling crime for refusing to charge 70 percent of people arrested by the city’s police.

On Tuesday, March 15th, Portland leaders in law enforcement and criminal justice addressed the topic of gun violence within the city during a virtual moderated Q&A session by the Portland Peace Initiative.

The virtual forum took place two weeks after the latest homicide within the city. On March 1st, Mark Johnson was shot and killed near Dawson Park in broad daylight.

Leaders with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), the Justice Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and the City of Portland were in attendance. FBI Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey said in a statement:

“Maybe 25 years ago in my career, we would see a shooting scene with four or five rounds, shell casings, on the ground. It’s not uncommon for law enforcement to now find 40, 50, 80, even one hundred shell casings. That’s an unprecedented level of bullets flying around the street.”

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He added:

“We know if we are doing well just by the number of shootings going down. As a result, the number of shooting injuries going down and the number of homicides going down. Unfortunately, that’s not the case right now. We are on a record setting pace, yet again.”

During the virtual forum, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said that community trust is key and that it has been hard to get witnesses, even victims of a crime, to come forward without that trust. He said in a statement:

“You try to reconcile your desires to build trust and do community engagement, and then you realize too, you’re part of a system that has had bad outcomes for people, particularly people of color.”

While Ramsey and others at the forum try to blame the rise in homicides on guns, they are ignoring the reality that a person is behind every pulled trigger, with many being known to the police.

Cheryl Albrecht, the chief criminal judge for Multnomah County Circuit Court, said that one of the reasons the city is seeing more repeat offenders or individuals charged with additional crimes while they’re out on bond is because it is taking far longer to bring cases to trial than it did before the pandemic hit. Albrecht said in a statement:

“It’s everything. It’s the pandemic, it’s staffing shortages, lack of resources. You can’t keep someone behind bars for an extended period of time without a court-appointed attorney. That just is a constitutional crisis.”

The judge added:

“Which brings us to perhaps the most complicating factor of all in Oregon’s criminal justice system right now: a shortage of public defenders and extreme case overload. There are maybe 150 people or so who have been arraigned in the last several weeks who have not been able to receive appointed counsel because we don’t have enough court appointed attorneys to appoint them.”

On Monday, March 7th, Metropolitan Public Defender (MPD), which is Oregon’s largest provider of public defense services, started a four-week pause on accepting new felony or misdemeanor appointments in Washington County.

In Multnomah County, they haven’t been accepting new minor felony appointments since January 10th. For reference, most auto thefts are minor felonies.

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In 2020, he screamed “defund the police”. Now with crime exploding, the Portland mayor wants more cops.

February 3rd, 2022

PORTLAND, OR – The Democrat Mayor was one of the first people to stand up in the city and agree with protesters and rioters that the Portland Police Bureau needed to be defunded.

Now the mayor is asking for additional police officer positions.

The Democrat Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, was one of the first politicians to announce that they stood in solidarity with the defund the police movement.

In 2020, after Care Not Cops, a group who stood for disbanding the police department completely, rallied in front of Wheeler’s apartment building, he said:

“While I sit here as a middle-aged white guy who is fortunate in so many ways, I do believe I have an important role to play in this transitional period. As I speak there are hundreds of you out in front of my apartment building…I hear you and I see you…And I’m going to be with you all the way.”

Fast-forward to today, Wheeler and other city leaders must have realized that defunding the police may not have been such a smart move. Instead of crime lowering as proponents of the movement claimed, there was clearly a different result – crime rose substantially.

As a result, Wheeler is proposing a budget increase to reflect hiring an additional 67 officers at the Portland Police Bureau.

However, even if the council approves his request, he is having a hard enough time with retaining officers and filling the roughly 91 positions that are currently vacant.

The Portland Police Bureau is reporting the number of vacancies that have been created in the last year has been due to retirements and the slow hiring process at the agency. They report that new hires must first complete training at the state and city levels before they are even placed into field training. The process can take up to two years.

The lengthy process to train a recruit is why Wheeler cannot commit to where those positions would be housed. He wrote:

“Given the number of vacancies the bureau currently has to fill and the training time required before a new officer is able to be deployed, it is difficult to prescribe these 67 police officer positions to any one task or function, beyond call response, or state specifically what metrics they will impact.

That said, the greater the number of officers the bureau has to dispatch to calls for service there would be expected benefits of reduced response time for call types.”

In addition to the extra police positions, Wheeler is also proposing increasing the civilian staff of the agencies by 33 positions.

Those positions would be Public Safety Support Specialists 3 (PS3) would be an unarmed group that would respond to low-level crimes that would prevent a sworn law enforcement officer from having to respond. Wheeler’s budget proposal reads, in part:

“Simultaneously expanding the PS3 Program would allow the bureau to consider additional call types PS3s could respond to and allow Police Officers to focus on responding to higher priority calls for service.”

Wheeler and Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps believe fully staffing and increasing police department levels will reduce call times and decrease the violent crime that has been plaguing the city.

While that is their opinion, others like City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty believe that money would be better used in different programs.

Hardesty specifically wants to see the money needed to increase the police department to go towards funding the Portland Street Response program.

That program is overseen by Hardesty and is geared toward sending trained medics and behavioral health specialists to 911 calls that are generated over low-level mental health issues and problems with the homeless population.

Right now, that program only has 22 temporary positions assigned and she wants to use the money to make those positions permanent.

Report: Three months into 2022 and police-defunded Portland is on track to surpass its homicide rates from 2021

It’s spreading! Washington leader calls for multi-million dollar “Re-fund Police” initiative as crime explodes in the state

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.
And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

KING COUNTY, WA – Since the death of George Floyd, the main narrative that was heard repeatedly on mainstream media was the ‘defund the police’ movement.

Thousands of demonstrators and rioters called on their local leaders to either significantly reduce the police forces in their large metropolitan cities or get rid of them completely.

Now that violent crime has started spiking in the State of Washington, one brave Republican lawmaker is calling to “re-fund” the police.

 

King County Council Vice Chairman Regan Dunn believes that those that live in suburban areas are feeling the consequences of reducing police forces and how he equates it to a rise in violent crime. He believes that the policies to defund the police have failed and have only led to more violent crime.

To combat that issue, he introduced a measure on November 15th which would allocate a portion of the 2021 mid-biennial supplement budget to go towards “a funding deficit.”

He believes that the deficit created by defunding measures has restricted local law enforcement abilities to maintain critical law enforcement services in both the cities and unincorporated areas the King County Sheriff’s Office covers. Dunn spoke to Fox News about the measure:

“For a long time, the suburban taxpayers have been on the hook for Seattle’s failed policies. If the city of Seattle, being a large one, won’t take its responsibility to protect the public seriously, we have to step in. My ‘Re-fund the Police’ initiative, will build back a huge number of law enforcement personnel, as well as some specialized units.”

While passing a measure to re-fund the police would seem like a daunting task in a Democratic hotbed, Dunn believes that he will get the measure passed because it includes funding four deputies and one staff person who will be in a hate and bias unit.

That is something that he does not think that Democrats will pass up.

Dunn also believes that he may have the power behind him because he just won a fifth term in office. Dunn attributes that win because voters in the area are beginning to dislike the progressive agendas that have been the priority for the last few years in the area. He said:

“The winning ideas, the right policies, the voters get it. And for the first time in nearly a century, the city of Seattle elected a Republican to be its city attorney. It sends a message, particularly to the ‘Defund the Police’ crowd, the woke left that, ‘Hey, your policies are failing. They’re not getting votes.’

In fact, any candidate who touches that is going to lose the next election. And so these are very tough votes now for my colleagues today because they know they’re going to be challenged by moderates who had enough of the way that Seattle is trying to run our community.”

 

Dunn makes at least an arguable point in terms of progressive candidates losing in the recent election. The person who won the election for mayor in the city did so on a pro-police platform by 17 percentage points.

Even though this is the case, the sitting Seattle City Council moved forward with a proposal to remove almost another $11 million from the Seattle Police Department’s budget. Dunn said:

“The city of Seattle continues to push those failed policies of defund the police. 300 police officers are no longer on the streets of Seattle because of this insanity that has occurred.

We have the record number of shootings this year and the record number of homicides this year and it’s largely because of this intense decriminalization that’s occurring with all crimes, as well as the blatant attempt to just burn down the entire system of community safety that we have built carefully over generations.”

If Dunn measure passes, the money would be focused on the King County Sheriff’s Office who currently has 59 deputy positions. To fill those positions, massive recruiting efforts need to take place so that quality candidates will be more apt to ignore the noise in the area and come to work in the county. Dunn said:

“We have 59 vacancies right now in the King County Sheriff’s Office. That’s significant. Part of the problem is that there have been law enforcement folks getting into it have been sort of demoralized that people don’t want to come to the Seattle area to police anymore. It’s really tragic.”

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