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Data shows shootings nearly doubled from 2020 as the city faces a short-staffed police department

PMG FILE PHOTO - Gresham had a historic spike in shootings in 2021. The city of Gresham experienced historic levels of violence in 2021 with a police department that is understaffed.

In 2021 there were 175 shootings in Gresham, of which 57 involved injuries and eight were classified as homicides. Another three shooting deaths in Gresham last year were ruled "justifiable" by the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

"We acknowledge Gresham is experiencing a traumatic increase in gun violence, which is detrimentally impacting our community," Chief Travis Gullberg said. "The police department is committed to collaborating with community partners to create a safer Gresham for all."

In total there were 12 murders in the city last year, with two involving edged-weapons and two from "other force." Two of the shootings in Gresham met the national standard for "mass shootings" with more than four victims.

These numbers, which do not reflect "shots heard" calls fielded by officers that did not result in subsequent cases, represent an overwhelming spike from previous years.

In 2020 there were 106 shootings within Gresham city limits; in 2019 there 28; and 2018 there were 29 shootings.

According to Gresham Police, the marked uptick in shootings began in June 2020, when the average monthly shootings in Gresham jumped from 4 incidents to 10.

The deadliest months in 2021 were October (22 shootings), September (21), December (20), and August (19). There were no months in which a shooting did not occur.

All of this comes as Gresham reorganizes officers to bolster the patrol and investigation ranks. The department reports being down 10% of sworn-officers, 12 positions, after a flurry of retirements, departures and officers stepping away from law enforcement all together.

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