Gang violence drops in January from a year ago
Gang violence was down in January compared to a year ago, continuing a trend that includes all of 2016.
According to the police, the Gang Enforcement Team investigated eight incidents of gang violence last month. That's down from the 14 incidents investigated in January 2016.
Gang-related violent crime incidents in 2016 decreased from the record high set the year before. GET investigated 159 incidents last year, compared to 193 in all of 2015.
The latest figures were released at last Friday's meeting of the Community Peace Collaborative (CPC), a bi-weekly gathering of people and organizations working to reduce youth violence. Police there credited the January decrease with partnerships.
One may have been the joint effort called Operation Safe Holidays that resulted in the arrest of 42 people on a variety of changes and the seizure of nine firearms in December. According to the police, many of the people arrested were specifically identified as people involved in recent gun, gang and/or violent crime incidents.
Operation Safe Holidays was a collaborative effort involving: the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office; the Oregon U.S. Attorney's Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Parole and Probation; U.S. Pretrial; the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team and Multnomah County Parole and Probation.
"On my personal behalf and on behalf of the Inter-faith Peace and Action Collaborative, I applaud the great efforts of the Portland Police Bureau and its peacekeeping and law enforcement partners for identifying some major issues on the street and applying the resources needed to create a great result," Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee, who frequently attends the CPC meetings. "I am confident these actions are a model to be followed in the future and will lead to safer streets. When the community and the peacekeepers work together, as indicated by this example, families are also at peace knowing that perpetrators are off the street who have inflicted violence against their loved ones."