How Woke Portland awoke to grim crime reality as police reveal uncomfortable truth
PORTLAND, OREGON: The citizens of Portland have to face delayed responses to 911 calls unless their complaints are about severe threats to life and property, the police announced on Monday, December 6. In the wake of increasing crime, residents can expect a delay in cops answering their calls.
On Monday, the police authorities were only responding to priority 1 and priority 2 calls. These are the call codes for incidents that are life-threatening or concern a potential for physical injury. Property crimes also fall under this category. The announcement was made when the city cops had a busy day including two carjackings, one of which included a police shooting and resulted in the death of one of the armed suspects.
The department of police tweeted about the delayed response and wrote, "Due to critical incidents happening today and PPB's staffing shortage, officers are responding to Priority 1 and 2 calls only right now and response times may be delayed for certain calls."
Due to critical incidents happening today and PPB's staffing shortage, officers are responding to Priority 1 and 2 calls only right now and response times may be delayed for certain calls.— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) December 6, 2021
The announcement was made after the city hit an all-time high in homicides. Portland touched the 80 murder milestone on Friday which surpassed its last record of 67 which was attained in 1987. It is likely that this milestone will be crossed yet again before 2021 ends 23 days later. The previous record of 67 murders a year has never been breached before. In 2020, 53 homicides were recorded, while 29 and 25 murders were recorded in 2019 and 2018, respectively. As of October, there were a total of 1126 shootings in the city, which is way higher when compared to the 792 figure in 2020.
In other news, 55 officers retired and 29 officers left the department, which leaves only 835 members in the force. The dwindling police numbers come amidst nationwide calls to defund the police, which were especially loud in Portland last year. The city grabbed headlines for its 'Black Lives Matter' protests against police brutality that turned violent. Last year in May 2020, after George Floyd's murder, thousands of people marched to call for defunding or even abolishing its police department. Reportedly, $15 million was removed from the city's budget after the progressive prosecutors were blamed for increasing crime and refusing to charge 70% of people who were arrested by the city's police. In January, the police department of Portland shared that it is facing an acute shortage in police staff due to "budget cuts, retirement and separations and the backlog of needed training for new officers caused by the pandemic." Mayor Ted Wheeler also shared that "many Portlanders no longer feel safe in their city."