Portland Homicides Reach Record Numbers

Print More

Portland, Oregon has experienced 67 homicides as of September 2021, only one away from breaking its previous record of slayings in 1987, reports the Associated Press. Gang violence has increased, and more bystanders are being caught in the crossfire, as Portland’s police department struggles to keep up amid an acute staffing shortage and budget cuts. In response, the city is implementing novel solutions aimed at improving safety, including adding traffic barrels to prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so officers can focus on immediate threats.

So far this year, Portland has had about 1,000 shootings, 314 people have been injured by bullets and firearms have accounted for three-quarters of homicides. Police attribute much of the gunfire to gangs, fights and retaliation killings. Portland has seen more homicides in 2021 than some larger cities, including San Francisco, and twice as many slayings as its larger neighbor, Seattle. Portland police have struggled to quell the violence with a force that is 128 officers below its authorized strength. Since August 2020, about 200 officers have left the department. 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 Daryl Turner, executive director of Portland’s police union, says has cost lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *