Portland Democratic officials this week approved an extraordinary appropriation of about $6 million in funding to combat rising violence, but it’s no surprise to many thatnone of the money will go to the city’s police department.
Faced with more than 250 shootings developing in Portland since the beginning of 2021, up significantly from 111 shootings in the first few months of 2020, Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell warns how crucial it is to stop the violence:
“We know this work is important,” he told local media. “It’s some of the most important work we do ’cause it really impacts people’s lives and safety every day.”
However, that work does not seem to be recognized by the local Democratic authorities who constantly come to hinder their work, and when they have the possibility of investing extra funding such as the six million they just announced, none of it is granted to the police.
On Wednesday, the Portland district unanimously approved a $6 million plan to address the rise in gun violence in the city. Not a penny of that money will go to the Portland Police Bureau.
As part of a populist and ineffective measure, $4.1 million of the $6 million will go to community groups working in the neighborhoods most affected by shootings, which have minimal security expertise, let alone carry guns to stop criminals.
Another $1.4 million will go to hiring two dozen surveillance officers who will patrol on foot in rotating shifts around the clock but will be completely unarmed.
The measure was quickly questioned, especially by those sectors that have been demanding a more significant police presence and more incentives for the security forces. Among them is Randy Philbrick, founder of Portland for Positive Impact, who criticized the city’s new plan, specifically the part involving unarmed guards.
“My personal feeling is this is what happens when you have a public safety policy created by people with zero public safety experience,” Philbrick said, among other accusations.
The city of Portland was one of the hardest hit by violence from radical leftist groups like Antifa and BLM during 2020. The destruction of historic federal buildings and businesses has cost millions of dollars.
Simultaneously, crime has increased considerably, as have the murders of innocent people, including several children.
In the face of this chaotic situation, the authorities’ only response was to heed left-wing demands to “defund the police.” Just when it was most needed, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler announced in July of last year a $16 million cut in the police budget, from there, everything got worse.
According to Fox News, 2020 was the bloodiest year for Portland. After city officials approved the cut, homicides increased 270% over the previous year.