Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty will move Wednesday to defund the Transit Police and the Gun Violence Reduction Team when the City Council is scheduled to take its final vote on next year's budget.
Hardesty told the council that she would also move to defund School Resource Officers within the Portland Police Bureau's budget last Wednesday. Since then, Portland Public Schools has cut the program and Mayor Ted Wheeler has said he agrees with that decision.
Hardesty talked about her proposed cuts when she addressed thousands of protesters in Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Friday night. In an exclusive KOIN 6 News interview, Hardesty said she will take a day off after the budget is approved.
It is unclear if Hardesty has the three votes necessary for cutting the Transit Police, which helps provide security on TriMet buses and trains, and the Gun Violence Reduction Team, formerly known as the Gang Enforcement Team. As first reported by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she supported the cuts in a Friday afternoon email to constituents. Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz have not yet commented. The fifth council seat is vacant following the January death of Commissioner Nick Fish.
This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is available.
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