Portland police hit the streets on the east side Friday night, focusing on areas they worry have become hot sports for shootings and gang activity.
Even though the number of shootings has dropped – 48 so far this year compared to 62 last year - officers are determined to keep that trend from reversing during this weekend's heat wave.
Officers and local clergy focused on the Terri Lee Apartments on Burnside near Northeast 162nd St Friday. They worry a nearby methadone clinic and MAX stop have made the apartments a dangerous place to live.
"I don't let my daughter come outside and play because I'm scared she's going to find a crack pipe or a needle," said Desiree McCleland.
Pastor Dwight Minnieweather chatted with other residents and encouraged them to contact police if they need help or witness a crime.
"I think that once you build a rapport with people…that we're here to bring a safe environment to a neighborhood that's become not a safe place," Minnieweather said.
Lt. Vince Elmore said the program was part of a citywide effort to increase neighborhood policing and chase gang members out of neighborhoods.
"Now we need to talk about how we are going to address it over a long period of time," Lt. Elmore said.
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