‘It’s devastating’: PPB to temporarily close cold case team

Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 10:23 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Police Bureau is temporarily closing their cold case team to deal with the increasing number of homicides the city is seeing.

With nights with rash amounts of crime, Portland Police said they are stretched thin. So far, 2022 has seen 33 homicides, and 31 of those were shootings.

In an email to employees, Chief Chuck Lovell said having only 18 homicide detectives is not sustainable with the number of homicides they are responding to. He went on to say because of that, they are pulling a sergeant and six detectives from different teams to create a third homicide detail, which includes the sergeant that oversees the cold case team.

Lovell said it was a difficult decision, but he hopes to re-staff the old case team when they get more resources.

This news comes nearly eight years after Paul Krekeler, known by friends as Paul Miler, was shot and killed in Southeast Portland.

“Paul Miller is a legend and he always will be,” his friend, Kemper Woodruff, said. “If you looked at all his friends, he was a caretaker over a lot of people.”

All these years later, his loved ones are still dealing with unanswered questions, like who could’ve done this? Even Crime Stoppers of Oregon offered a $2,500 reward for any information leading to an arrest last July.

“That’s torture. What about the future this person had that they weren’t truly able to live out?” Kemper Woodruff said.

While this news is painful for families waiting for justice, Woodruff said this could be a problem for the community at large, too.

“What happens when it’s your best friend? What happens when it’s your kid and there’s no one there to research? Because that’s the reality that we all face now,” he said.