Police see increase in daytime gang-related crimes in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Police see increase in daytime gang-related crimes in Portland

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Sergeant Phil Blanchard (KPTV) Sergeant Phil Blanchard (KPTV)

It’s 85 degrees during a Portland summer day and calls for service could be slow, while situations could be hairy on a Sunday morning.

Sergeant Phil Blanchard with Portland Police shares his stories during a ride-a-long with Fox 12 crews.

Blanchard said lately gang-related crimes have been unpredictable and brazen.

“We have so many shootings like that right now in broad daylight.”

Most recently, Portland’s Gang Enforcement Team is investigating a car-to-car shooting on I-5 Monday which sent one person to the hospital.

In the 24 years Blanchard’s had his Portland blue uniform, he said this is the worst he has seen gang-related crimes occurring during the day.

“It’s unbelievable no one else has gotten hit,” Blanchard said. “I always worry someone’s going to get killed.”

Blanchard recalled living in Hawaii with his family, and as a teenager he said he got high on drugs and got into petty crime. It landed him in a police officer’s office and since then he turned himself around and helped people who were like him.

He’s been to community organizations meetings trying to solve Portland’s gang issue, and Blanchard said the answer to the problem might lie in a conversation between community members.

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