Portland city leaders discuss early results of gun violence intervention pilot program
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - City leaders met Tuesday in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood to discuss the early results of a gun violence intervention pilot program. The program’s goal was to curb gun violence and speeding in the area.
Eighteen traffic barrels, increased patrol from Portland police, better lighting and more park rangers at Mt. Scott Park - all part of a pilot program that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said takes a holistic approach at addressing gun violence.
“It’s the community feeling safe to walk in their neighborhood and be able to convene in their public space. It’s a combination of everything. Everyone has a role in reducing gun violence,” said Hardesty.
Hardesty said Mt. Scott-Arleta community members had a lot to do with seeing the pilot program come to fruition.
FOX 12 heard from one community member, Victoria Gee, who said she feels city leaders are finally listening after what she said was a grim year of gun violence in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood.
“Seventy-five shell casings one night that [police] came around and picked up,” Gee said. “Shooting toward cars, they shot a car with a baby in it.”
Gee said she’s happy with the progress the neighborhood has made over the past three months of the pilot program. She said for awhile, community members were hiding in their homes in fear of another shooting, but that’s changing now.
“We started talking about maybe needing to have a light shining on pedestrians, showing we are not scare of these bullets, and I think that has helped as well,” Gee said.
Hardesty said since the program started in October, they’ve seen a 64% decrease in gun violence in comparison to the three months prior to its start.
Though the results are promising, Hardesty said it’s still too early to deem the program as a success, but she said she hopes it can continue both in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood and in other areas riddled by gun violence.
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