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And the incidents of gun violence just keep on coming, in Southeast Portland; Mayor orders a change

DAVID F. ASHTON - Officers are being called to one shooting incident after another these days, east of the Willamette River. On this particular evening, there were a number of empty bullet casings found at a Shots Fired call in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. Soaring instances of people firing guns in the Rose City have continued in the last month in Inner Southeast Portland neighborhoods.

And, although PPB Chief of Police Chuck Lovell delivered a four-page "Gun Violence Reduction Plan" to Portland's Commissioner of Police – Mayor Ted Wheeler – on December 23 as he was requested to do, so far no actual plan has been revealed to the public.

East Precinct officers have been responding to an average of eight "Shots Fired" calls per week recently in the Brentwood-Darlington, Foster-Powell, Creston-Kenilworth, Mt. Scott-Arleta, and Woodstock neighborhoods.

Keep in mind, in many of these "Shots Fired" calls, officers often don't find any "evidence of shooting" when they investigate such a report. People are on edge, and so in many cases, someone slamming a door or setting off illegal fireworks can cause a nervous resident, aware of many actual shooting incidents, to report shots to 911.

However, "These [incidents] bring the total to 129 verified shootings for the year 2021 so far in the City of Portland (not including suicide attempts)," according to PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen.

Evidence found in Brentwood-Darlington "Shots Fired" call

In one of the latest incidents before this issue of THE BEE went to press, on Monday, February 8, East Precinct officers were dispatched at 8:36 p.m. to S.E. Henderson Street, just west of 82nd Avenue of Roses, on a "Shots Fired" call.

"Multiple callers to the 9-1-1 Center reported hearing shots," PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Greg Pashley told THE BEE. "Officers found evidence of gunfire, including shell casings and property damage. A parked vehicle, a fence, and an occupied residence appeared to have been struck by bullets – but fortunately, there were no reported injuries."

Officers searching the area and questioning witnesses did learn that there may have been some kind of argument right before the shots, Pashley reported. "There were no arrests, and this incident is under investigation."

New initiative announced by Mayor

On February 19, the Portland Police Bureau announced the formation of an "Enhanced Community Safety Team" (ECST). "Mayor Wheeler and the Portland Police Bureau are implementing the team to address gun violence in our city. The ECST is an investigative team which falls under the Investigations Branch of PPB. The team is composed of three sergeants, 12 officers and six detectives that will focus full-time on the investigation of shootings."


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