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IPFS News Link • Oregon

Portland Residents Told Not To Call Police For Help

•, by Michael Letts

"Please take a moment to celebrate this victory, and let it fuel your fire, because we're not done," Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said at the time.

Along with the $15 million, another $12 million was cut because of pandemic-caused economic shortfalls. "As a result, school resource officers, transit police and a gun violence reduction team -- which was found to disproportionately target Black Portland residents during traffic stops, according to an audit in March 2018 -- were disbanded," PBS reported.

A year later, the council was trying to add funding and retain the city's police officers. "The added police spending is occurring amid a year of a record number of homicides, the city's greatest police staffing shortage in decades and reform recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Justice," PBS reported.

It was too little, too late. The damage was done, and the city has yet to recover. In fact, the city government is telling residents not to call police unless their lives are at risk. Given how dangerous Portland has become, it might not affect the volume of calls to police because more residents' lives are at risk from criminal activity than ever before.

Commissioner Rene Gonzalez told residents that the city's 911 system is overwhelmed with people calling about addicts on the streets suffering fentanyl overdoses. This is not a Portland-only problem. The state of Oregon decriminalized drug use three years ago. Gonzalez urged people on X (formerly Twitter), "Our 911 system is getting hammered this morning with a multiple person incident -- multiple overdoses in northwest park blocks. Please do not call 911 except in event of life/death emergency or crime in progress (or change of apprehending suspect)."

Over the past year, the city has experienced 104 homicides and 529 arrests were made for drug offenses, according to Portland Police. The city's homeless population has also grown by 50 percent since 2019, topping more than 5,000 people.