Oversight for new Portland anti-shooting team in the works
Community leaders are struggling with strategies to reduce gun violence.
The Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council hosted a countywide gun violence reduction meeting on Wednesday to discuss the rise in crime.
During the Feb. 24 meeting, council members talked about creating a community oversight committee for the Portland Police Bureau's new Enhanced Community Safety Team that's tasked with responding to and investigating shootings. The new team — which includes three police sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives — started responding to calls last week.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said there would be between nine and 12 people on the oversight committee who would meet weekly for updates on law enforcement actions, such as the demographic breakdown of who was stopped and the outcome of those stops.
Erika Preuitt, the director of the Department of Community Justice, is helping to put together the oversight committee. She stressed the importance of the prevention of crime and violence within communities.
"I think what we all have to balance is the interest of reform and changing long-held disparities and historic traumas and the need to keep our communities safe," said Preuitt, "and what's that balance when we do that, because when crime increases, it has a negative impact on our BIPOC communities."
Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell said there have been 151 shootings so far this year, including 41 that resulted in injuries. Lovell said 21 of the people who were injured were Black.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Their story can be found here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.