Skip to Content

‘A dangerous time’: Portland sees record homicides

KTVZ file

By SARA CLINE
Associated Press/Report for America

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland has had 67 homicides so far this year, surpassing its previous record of 66, set in 1987.

Its police are struggling to keep up amid an acute staffing shortage and budget cuts. Now, the liberal Pacific Northwest city is implementing novel solutions to try to improve safety.

They include adding traffic barrels to prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so officers can focus on immediate threats. But critics say the city is flailing.

Nationally, homicides increased by nearly 30% from 2019 to 2020, based on FBI data. However, in Portland, deadly violence is increasing at a faster rate than nearly all major cities, with an 83% increase in homicides in 2020.

Portland has seen more homicides in 2021 than some larger cities, including San Francisco, and it’s had twice as many slayings as its larger Pacific Northwest neighbor, Seattle. Other hard-hit Western cities include the Albuquerque, New Mexico, metro area, which has about 679,000 residents and has seen a record 97 homicides this year.

Portland police have struggled to quell the violence, with the bureau 128 officers below authorized strength. Since August 2020, about 200 officers have left the department. Many, in their exit interviews, cited low morale, lack of support from city officials and burnout from months of racial justice protests, which often ended in plumes of tear gas and confrontation but have largely died down since last summer.

“We are running on fumes. There’s no way we can investigate thoroughly, and correctly, all these shootings,” said Daryl Turner, executive director of Portland’s police union.

Turner says the city will need to hire 840 officers over the next five years to implement proper community policing and keep Portland safe.

Besides staffing, Turner said the increase in violence is directly related to budget cuts.

Amid booming calls to defund the police, city leaders slashed $27 million from the police budget last year — $11 million due to the pandemic-caused budget crisis — a decision that Turner says has cost lives.

Officials also disbanded a specialized unit focused on curbing gun violence, which had long faced criticism for disproportionately targeting people of color.

Read more at: https://apnews.com/article/business-oregon-violence-portland-homicide-25699ecd9f885cc61f63774c2fed48ac

The Associated Press

Comments

15 Comments

  1. Will Portland take a page from Chicago’s playbook and blame it’s violence problem on nearby communities and their availability of guns instead of the city’s own failed municipal policies?

    Stayed tuned for the next exciting episode of “As the City Burns”…

    1. Portland has 1/3 the rate of red state cities like Kansas City and St Louis and Cleveland where governors have control over the cities police departments budgets.

      1. “While it may seem like the city is plagued with shootings, and other crimes, the Kansas City Police Department said that if you look at the statistics, it’s actually safer than a year ago when it comes to gun violence. In fact, Kansas City’s homicide rate has dropped 24% over the past year, a trend that is not happening in other cities, according to police.”

        https://fox4kc.com/news/homicides-dropping-in-kansas-city-increasing-in-other-areas/

        “New FBI Figures Show Portland Is Way Above Average in Its Increased Rate of Homicides”

        “Those deaths are part of a national trend—and are also surpassing it.”

        https://www.wweek.com/news/2021/09/29/new-fbi-figures-show-portland-is-way-above-average-in-its-increased-rate-of-homicides/

    2. It must still be fallout from Trumps “Dangerous Rhetoric” Oooooooo!!!!!!! Scary orange man still hurting Portlandians…

      It has nothing to do with the absolute clowns running this state.

  2. It’s as simple as the Police in PDX have thrown in the towel. They put their lives in danger trying to protect the city prior to the Pandemic the subsequent onset of Antifa. The Mayor and the city turned their backs on the police. They made the police out to be the villains and the they had enough. They retired or they found new jobs. The ones that stay realize it’s not worth putting their lives on the line as the perps won’t be prosecuted and whatever the do to enforce the law will be used against them. AKA, I’m here at work but I aint gonnna do jack…. Who could blame them. Unintended consequences of failed progressive policy. Happening across the country and it’s most evident in the poster child for progressive politics in Portland OR.

  3. Give it time, our city council and Krantz are working hard to bring us the Portland lifestyle we all don’t want. I’m sure the San Francisco transplants can’t wait to feel right at home here in Bend once this city falls too.

  4. Demographics are inconvenient things. It is not gun violence or gun crime. It is a rotten culture problem exacerbated by rotten democrat party policies that reward it.

  5. Nobody is mentioning it, BUT, the rise in homicides started when Portland did away with the Gang Taskforce because it hurt peoples feelings. This violence is mostly gang related. Bring back the taskforce!!!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content