PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - So many people have been killed in Portland this year that detectives are having trouble keeping up with the number of cases.
In 2021, there’ve been 48 homicides and more than 600 shootings.
Police have made arrests in fewer than half of this year's homicides; the total at 19 arrests.
We asked why there haven't been more arrests.
"There’s a lot of factors that go into how detectives come to the point where they make an arrest in a case," Lt. Greg Pashley said.
On the one hand, Pashley said usually the person responsible runs from the scene and detectives have to rely on tips.
"In a lot of cases that’s what they’re really waiting for is that one phone call that says here’s who did it and unfortunately it just doesn’t happen that often," he said.
And this year, Pashley said there are just so many homicides on top of a smaller staff that the detectives are swamped. According to PPB, in an entire year, 30 homicides would be a lot for Portland. Last year there were 54.
"Every single one of these cases just like every shooting deserves a detective's full attention but they can’t possibly give it their full attention these days because of the volume," Pashley said.
Portland police had 10 homicide detectives then dedicated 6 more detectives to homicides to make it 16 earlier this year, and now they're hiring for two more just to try to keep up with the caseload.
Pashley said victims' families should keep in regular communication with their detective on the case, community members need to come forward when they have information and that the bureau needs to get up to fuller staffing to help solve these crimes.