PORTLAND, OR – Since May of 2020, Portland residents have seen their city become ground zero for a 10-month long occupation by groups of rioters and protesters. After the city’s mayor and council backed measures to cut back policing, the police department says it is taking its queue from the residents of the city who want their city back. They will be deploying more officers to handle violent crime calls and to deal with frequent public disorders.
‘In response to community concerns about the rise in violence in Portland, and the calls to increase public safety and respond to calls in a timely manner, the Portland Police Bureau will take steps over the next two days to provide additional officers to respond to incidents of gun violence and public disorder,” the department said. “Eight officers from the Enhanced Community Safety Team (ECST) will work Friday and Saturday evening with the express purpose of following up on shootings that have occurred and responding as quickly as possible to shooting calls. ECST officers will enhance the work already being done by patrol officers.”
Police response to shooting calls, especially when there are gunshot victims, takes multiple officers to locate fleeing suspects, render aid until medical help arrives, secure the scene, preserve evidence, and contact witnesses.
“The Enhanced Community Safety Team officers will focus on high visibility and an enhanced police response to incidents of gun violence in progress,” said Assistant Chief of Investigations Jami Resch. “Their priority will be apprehending those engaged in this violence which threatens the safety of our community.”
In addition, PPB has listened to community members’ calls for a stop to vandalism and senseless destruction that has occurred periodically over the last several months. Portland Police will deploy additional uniform presence from its three precincts to keep watch in areas commonly targeted by vandals and respond quickly to any calls of public disorder. The community has expressed its desire for peace and safety in neighborhoods and shopping districts city-wide, and these additional officers will be as responsive as possible to those concerns.
The Portland Police Bureau asks community members to call and report suspicious activity when they see it, whether it is related to gun violence, public disorder or any criminal activity. We have listened to people throughout the city express to us their desire for an end to violence and destruction and to their call for help from officers serving them in their communities. The Portland Police Bureau shares community desire for peace and will continue to work with our partners to lower the instances of violence and destruction.