Gresham sees increase in gun violence compared to same time last year

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:09 PM PDT
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) – Across the country and in the Portland metro area crime is on the rise. The city of Gresham is no exception to this increase and recently saw two deadly shootings happen in the same area within a week of each other.

FOX 12 spoke with a father who lives in that area who did not want to be identified. He said the problem is only getting worse.

“We shouldn’t have to see dead bodies on the ground out here in the streets, it’s ridiculous,” he said.

He told FOX 12 that the street he lives on feels like a war zone.

“I have to have all of my kids sleep in the back room at night time because of stray bullets,” he said.

FOX 12 spoke with the chief of police in Gresham and asked him what he might say to this father and so many others dealing with the violence.

“What I tell them is, is I try to empathize and sympathize with their situation,” Chief Travis Gullberg said. “I tell them that we’re working very hard to address gun violence in the ways we can but it’s challenging work.”

Gullberg said they just don’t have the staff they need and right now have nearly 20 vacancies.

“Staffing is at the heart of it, but it’s not the only thing,” Gullberg said.

Last year from Jan. 2021 through April 2021, there were three homicides that were gun-related and this year there have been four during the same time period. The number of verified calls of shootings jumped in that same timeframe from 38 in 2021 to 101 in 2022.

“It’s just heartbreaking in so many ways and again, I just want them to know we’re going to do everything we can to make our community safer,” he said.

Gullberg admitted that he doesn’t have all the answers but that they are working with MCSO and PPB on enhanced safety missions to curb the violence. He also said they’ve started the Safe Gresham initiative which is a community effort to make the city safer.

“Often times it sounds like just talk and I understand that but at the same time it’s really helping us to focus, focus on the data and what our limitations are and our constraints,” he said. “It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable but I will say a lot of people are doing a lot of work to address gun violence.”