PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Members of the Portland Police Bureau's Rapid Response Team voluntarily left their positions on Wednesday, the bureau announced.

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) is an all-hazard incident response team that has received advanced specialized training to respond to incidents requiring higher levels of technical expertise including public order policing, natural or man-made disasters, according to the bureau. The team is also in charge of crowd control during permitted and unpermitted marches and protests in the city. Last year, the team responded to the more than 100 social justice protests and riots that were held nightly throughout Portland following the death of George Floyd.

The bureau says the members of the team were sworn employees who served on RRT in addition to their daily assignment. While they will no longer serve on RRT, they will continue in their regular assignments, according to the bureau. There were about 50 employees serving as RRT members.

"In the long term, we will have to find some way to make sure that we have that capability that the public relies on, and then in the short term, we'll have to find a way to adapt and maintain as much of the capability as we can with the resources that we have," said PPB Acting Chief Chris Davis.

The resignations from the team come after one member, Officer Corey Budworth, was indicted on an assault charge stemming from a use of force incident that occurred during a riot on Aug. 18, 2020. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced the indictment on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, the Portland Police Association called the indictment a "politically driven charging decision," and said it stands by Officer Budworth who "did exactly as he was trained."

Acting Chief Davis says the RRT officers brought up the indictment among other things in announcing their resignation.

"I don’t think it’s just an indictment that caused this to happen. I think it’s a very long complicated history of things that have gone on over the past 14 months," Davis said. "I understand those are complex issues but I also understand their perspective if you put a human being through what they were put through, that takes a toll."

FOX 12 spoke with business owners whose stores have been vandalized during riots and weren't sure yet what this change might mean for them. One business owner says she understands why officers wouldn't want to do this work anymore but also worries there could be more conflict and damage now.

Davis says since RRT officers still work for the bureau they can still be directed to respond to riots. The bureau is looking at adjusting staffing schedules and meeting with other agencies about it.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released the following statement on Thursday:

"Management and staffing of the Rapid Response Team falls within the purview of the leadership of the Portland Police Bureau. I have confidence that the Bureau will continue their mission to maintain public safety. In the meantime, my office will continue to focus on the fair and just prosecution of criminal matters. We cannot expect the community to trust law enforcement if we hold ourselves to a lower standard."

SE Portland Protest Reax

(KPTV image)

Mayor Ted Wheeler also released a statement on the resignations:

"Late last night, I learned that the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team voted to resign their voluntary service on this crowd control unit.

The City of Portland has the personnel and the resources to ensure our community’s safety. I have directed the Portland Police Bureau to prepare mobile field forces to respond to any public safety needs, including potential violence related to mass gatherings. Also, I have spoken to Governor Brown, and the Oregon State Police is making members of its Mobile Response Team available on standby. We are also coordinating with other regional law enforcement partners.

Resigning members of the Rapid Response Team remain sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau. I want to acknowledge the toll this past year has taken on them and their families—they have worked long hours under difficult conditions. I personally heard from some of them today, and I appreciate their willingness to share their concerns about managing the many public gatherings that often were violent and destructive.

It is my expectation, and the community’s expectation, that the City remains committed to public safety and effective police oversight. City leaders will continue working in partnership with Portlanders, community organizations and police leadership to reform our community safety system."

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

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(26) comments

Manazuma

I love it when a politician says "they are committed to public safety" and other trite expressions. Notice they never use action words when they speak? Personally I am committed to world peace, the end of hunger and free everything for everybody. Now leave me alone I've got some TV to watch, hand me a beer would ya?

Superman

Now if Ted, Sham-The-Sham, The Rastafarrian and crewe WOULD ONLY GET THE HINT.... and RESIGN THEMSELVES.... but noooooo...'them' busy brandishing their HUBRIS !!!!

pcaame100

You reap what you sow, Portland. The city council can only be as good as the people who voted them in. Let them defend themselves on their own. You had it coming, Portland.

Tomcat1

HaHahahaaaa, Good job Ted, pretty soon you won't have to defund the police because there won't be any.

Don't blame them at all. The bad guys have won hands down. The DA promised when he ran he would indict cops for doing their jobs, and here we are. Without this team the next few riots will be scorched earth in Portland, a downright biblical event. And if the DA indicts police, look for a huge number of transfers out. Protect yourself

PDX2MtHood

Not surprising at all.

slippery

Portland has become the biggest hole in the country, but every liberal run city is a hole that normal people won't live in. Maybe after the mobs burn Portland down, the liberals will elect leaders who care about them and their families. No, liberals aren't smart enough to do that.

Freedom1

Nice reporting Coyote12. Members resigned.

Headline should read.

ALL OF PORTLANDS RIOT TEAM HAS RESIGNED.

CITY LEADER TURN THIER BACKS ON LAW AND OREDER.

Tomcat1

Spot on.

WebFootSTi

I don't blame the RRT as they are now subject to vindictive prosecution from our worthless DA. He lets the peaceful rioter go free...

Pursuit

Remember everyone, you voted the Mayor and City Council members into their leadership positions.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

What choices do we have for Mayor and City Council? Oh course Loretta Smith would have been a much better choice than Joann Hardesty, but Loretta has her own problems. And any vote other than for Wheeler in the last election, would have been a vote for his radical jihadi liberal opponent, who is sure to win the next election. You watch, when Ted runs for Governor, then Iannarone will become the mayor. Can you imagine how insane things will get if we have Ted as Governor, and Sarah as mayor? I'll be gone before that happens. The only hope is that Stan Pulliam can pull an upset in 2022. He's the only GOP prospect who has any chance.

Delta Bravo

Don't blame them. Police are supposed to be error free in face of great adversity. Next step to vigilantism.

pb sir

I don't blame them at all for resigning... at some point, it's just not worth it, anymore... Good job, spineless Ted (and kudos to our Antifa-loving D.A., as well)...

there's only so much

Biuqs

Congrats to Portland for winning the 2021 Race to the Bottom. Quite the honor.

Cat of the Canals

Maybe they just realized they don't have immunity from abuse of power charges?

Kenny Rogers

Cats love fish, and you sure are fishing. Let me guess, your fav acronym is "ACAB." Does that ring a bell?

DefundTheMedia

Kitty of the Ditch just blows smoke and garbage every day. Go away troll. These cops got smart and decided it's not worth it anymore. Good job Feckless Ted and Mike. Slowly killing the city.

guest23463

Nah, they're spot on. The protests and riots haven't been a thing for a while. this stunt is absolutely in response to one of their own being investigated. this is classic modern policing. they're holding the city hostage because they aren't getting what they want. it's just like getting rid of the gun violence response team. I am pretty sure some of these shootings are being carried out by ppb themselves just to keep the city on edge and scared old white guys like you demanding more cops.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Another pearl of wisdom from Kitty in the Ditch.

Cat of the Canals

You guys are my favorite keyboard warriors!

Kenny Rogers

Teddy is far too busy with commenting about pop culture on his Twitter feed, then to concern himself with these "trivial matters." Teddy is clearly a man of action, but that doesn't mean it's constructive. When will this town wake up? Left, right, all individuals, and realize that our city leaders are destroying this town. Nobody holds them accountable, and nobody calls them on this garbage.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Dude, with only 17% of Multnomah County voters being registered republicans, how will anything ever change here? You will never again see city officials who possess logic and common sense. You will never again have an administration at City Hall, that will refrain from inviting more homeless and more criminals to infest this city. The only change you will see here, is it will only become worse, and never better.

Cat of the Canals

They need good ideas which can be put into place and adjusted for success. Do you have any constructive ideas...or just criticism and insults?

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Well than Kitty, here's a good idea. How 'bout Ted and Joann just do something very simple that radical liberals never do, that would be to admit they were wrong to defund the cops in the first place, then give back the 27 million to the PPB, and then promise to leave Chief Lovell the heII alone, and let him..ya know..make public safety decisions from now on. How would that be?

DefundTheMedia

@Worst PDX Mayor Ever, that is way too sensible for kitty to to understand 😄

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