PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – In light of Saturday morning's mass shooting, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell said they need more resources at the Portland Police Bureau to address the growing gun violence problem in Portland.

"We've lost just over 125 officers, sworn officers, in the last year," Lovell said.

With more Portland police officers expected to retire soon and difficulties recruiting new officers, Lovell said it's going to be tough to prevent gun violence like we've seen recently.

Saturday morning's mass shooting downtown was just one of four shootings in four hours. After two died in two of them, Lovell said those are expected to be the 50th and 51st homicides Portland has seen in 2021.

"I feel like we are under-resourced as a police department and as a city,” he said. “We've had many years of growth as a city and a shrinking police department, frankly. You can only go so long with that trend before you hit a tipping point."

Which is why Wheeler said there needs to be a "five-year plan" to tackle the uptick in gun violence we've seen over the last year. He said more officers will be necessary to accomplish that.

"We do not have the adequate resources deployed on our streets in a proactive way," he said. "I will fight for more police officers."

Though he said his call for more officers doesn't mean they won't still work on police reform efforts in the city.

"That doesn't mean we're going to stop doing the things the public expect us to do to build trust with the community around accountability and transparency, but we need to bring all these pieces together in a way that makes sense for us to particularly address this gun violence issue," he said. "It's not an either/or, it's a both/and."

Wheeler's approach to gun violence for the long term, he said, is three-fold. It starts with intervention and prevention through the focused intervention team - a community approach to preventing gun violence. The second facet is investigative follow through, which he said is being done by the enhanced community safety team.

"I thought Chief Lovell did a terrific job of standing that team up and expanding our investigative capacity for follow up after these incidents take place to make sure each incident gets the attention it deserves," Wheeler said.

The third piece to his plan is community partnership.

"That includes our office of violence prevention working with community partners to work with those who are most impacted by gun violence to try to stop the spread of gun violence," he said. "All of these things need to be brought together simultaneously. You can't just have one of these tools in place and adequately resourced, they all have to work together in tandem to solve this problem in the long term."

Chief Lovell tweeted he would send more officers from the North and East Precincts to provide more police presence downtown Saturday night, so people can feel safe in the Entertainment District.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 

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(16) comments

Jefferson

Started to write a post, but looks all has been said. :) Our city and State are pot-addled from the top down, and Wyden wants to extend the plague nationwide.

Clackakitty

Ted Wheeler and "Ubergirl" Hardesty have done more to ruin Portland in such a short time than anyone I can recall, since moving to the area in 1984. But they couldn't have done it without the voters. The city is a cesspool, and the Progressive Portland voter deserves exactly what they get.

commentor

The low information voters of Portland got exactly what they voted for. There is no one to blame for what is happening but themselves.

Freedom1

Wheeler will go down as Portland's worst mayor to date. We all know Portland will do worse next time..

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

"Violence prevention" starts with consequences for committing crimes, not social programs, unicorns, and rainbows. The homeless flock here b/c of the just-us system here that does more social engineering than advancing public safety.

Superman

Portland (Shineloa City) is "under resourced" at the Mayor position.. Heck, even Damian wants out of this mess of a city. Can't blame the young man... who would want to be associated with ANY city run like an asylum !

Moved on

someone let the trash talk em in to defunding the cops

what the heck were you thinking teddy?

Just curious

[thumbup]Thinking?

commentor

Ted says PPB is 'under-resourced'? Weird, since it was Ted who was involved in defunding them in the first place.

Tomcat1

HaHahahaaaa, That a real joke. Sleepy Ted Wheeler supported defunding when it was election time. Now its not popular anymore???

PDX is a warzone

Six months ago the coward wheeler was gung ho about defunding the police. You got what you wanted and the consequences you idiot. Things will get much worse before they can even start to get better. The PPB is a wounded animal and will take years to get back to a healthy bureau.

Just curious

[thumbup][thumbup] I agree.

pb sir

So, what exactly does the "Office of Violence Prevention" do? Obviously, they are doing just a wonderful job... if those folks worked in the private sector, they would have been fired long ago... Also, I have some bad news for spineless Ted: His "3-point plan" is not going to work...

Honey

Discussion went like this...you are the problem ted...

RetDOD

It's called the National Guard.

You know, like what was pulled out of the woodwork at the Capitol building.

There, millions were spent to protect a cowardly few, where in Oregon, little is being done to protect the many.

maxine

We don't want the National Guard doing policing. What Portland needs is people elected for competency not because of race, sex or sexual orientation. Until Oregonians start voting for their self interest, things are only going to get worse.

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