Portland officials re-establish anti-gun violence unit

Associated Press

Portland, Oregon (April 7, 2021) - A spike in gun violence has forced officials in Portland, Oregon to re-establish a uniformed police unit in hopes of ending the crisis.

The move represents an about-face after Democrat city leaders last June voted to cut nearly $16 million from the police budget in the midst of violent anti-police riots.

There have been at least 284 shootings this year that have left 91 people injured, Lt. Greg Pashley, a Portland police spokesperson, said Tuesday. Firearms have caused 18 of the city’s 25 homicides since Jan. 1.

Statistically, the city is on track to experience 100 homicides if the pace does not slow in the remainder of the year.

Portland recorded 55 homicides in 2020, the highest number in 26 years.

Under this new deal, the council would also provide millions of dollars to community organizations for anti-violence work and authorize the hiring of two dozen unarmed park rangers, as a trio of commissioners proposed last week, according to the proposals.

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