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The Portland Police Bureau announces it is deploying additional officers for public safety, protests.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A Portland police vehicle.Portland police are deploying additional officers Friday and Saturday in response to an increase in gun violence and announced political protests this weekend.

"In response to community concerns about the rise in violence in Portland, and the calls to increase public safety and respond to calls in a timely manner, the Portland Police Bureau will take steps over the next two days to provide additional officers to respond to incidents of gun violence and public disorder," the Portland Police Bureau said in a late Friday afternoon announcement.

According to the police, eight officers from the newly formed Enhanced Community Safety Team will work Friday and Saturday evenings to follow up on shootings as quickly as possible. They will enhance the work already being done by patrol officers.

In addition, left-wing activists have called for a day of action Saturday, March 5. Although the bureau did not cite it specifically, the bureau said: "PPB has listened to community members' calls for a stop to vandalism and senseless destruction that has occurred periodically over the last several months. Portland Police will deploy additional uniformed presence from its three precincts to keep watch in areas commonly targeted by vandals and respond quickly to any calls of public disorder. The community has expressed its desire for peace and safety in neighborhoods and shopping districts city-wide, and these additional officers will be as responsive as possible to those concerns."

Earlier in the day, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said political violence will not be tolerated.

"Acts of violence against people and damage to property are unlawful and unacceptable. I have adamantly and repeatedly said that property damage and violent behavior will not be tolerated. Recent riotous activity and wanton destruction of private property that targets businesses struggling to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic does not appear connected to the calls for social justice and system reform, which I strongly support. Instead, these destructive acts only serve to harm our community. My office will continue to prosecute acts of violence and property destruction," Schmidt said.

In its announcement, the police bureau asked community members to call and report suspicious activity when they see it, whether it is related to gun violence, public disorder or any criminal activity.

"We have listened to people throughout the city express to us their desire for an end to violence and destruction and to their call for help from officers serving them in their communities. The Portland Police Bureau shares community desire for peace and will continue to work with our partners to lower the instances of violence and destruction," the announcement said.

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