By Steve Pomper

Last year, in response to the radical’s call for defunding the Portland chapter of ACAB, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) dismantled a specialty squad formed to prevent violent crime, particularly those committed with illegal firearms. So, violent crime, particularly firearms related, has soared in Portland since the defund the police “success.” 

Portland defunded its police by $15 million, including eliminating its Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT), whose purpose speaks for itself. The street radicals wanted to cut $50 million. How much worse would the story be now, if they’d have gotten their way on that amount?  

Who knew defunding the police and Schmidt-canning the GVRT would increase “gun violence?” Weird, right? (Radical leftist Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt has a history of indicting Portland cops).  

OregonLive.com reports “Portland’s homicide count continues to mount…” dutifully referring to a recent street shooting as “a mass shooting,” thus conflating, confusing, gang crime with what society understands as mass shootings, such as at schools. But those are rare, so they had to add to the category something that is not rare. This shooting occurred July 17th, 2021 in downtown Portland with one teen killed and “at least six others” wounded.

So, after defunding the cops, discouraging proactive policing with perilous policies, and getting rid of the GRVT, what does the Portland government want? They want to establish a Focused Intervention Team (FIT) “designed to fight gun violence proactively with a patrol presence on Portland’s streets” [emphasis mine]. Oh, something like the Gun Violence Response Team?

The unit needs two sergeants and 12 officers, of which only three officers have expressed any interest. Assistant Chief Jami Resch says the unit is intended to “interrupt the cycle of violence.” A cycle of violence Portland leaders whipped into motion last year after one man died in police custody in a city nearly 2,000 miles away.   

In April, city officials expected it would take 30-45 days to set up the unit; it’s now July. But what sergeant or officer in their right mind would willingly put a noose over their own necks? Even the job description hasn’t helped allay officers’ trepidation. Then again, it was written “with the help of the Police Bureau’s equity manager” (oh, I really hope that is not a sworn position). Officers know one perceived “wrong move” and they’re toast. 

This factor may also have a dissuasive effect. Concurrent with the dozen officers will be a 12-member community oversight group to monitor the unit. Oh, that sounds like so much fun, right? By the way, Portland apparently had no problem finding 12 cop-haters to fill those positions. 

AC Resch said officers (I guess the three) want to know what role the oversight group will play in their operations. I can only say, if the officers squint when they think about this assignment, it’s because of the halogen sign warning them to run fast and run far from this assignment—the way it’s being designed. 

“The officers are seeking guidance from the community on what it wants the officers to do or not do. Which I think is a reasonable question to ask… They don’t want to fail. So, they’re very cautious,” said AC Resch. They should be, knowing these city leaders’ governing history. 

One huge, and obvious, hitch is the “community,” as led by radical politicians, doesn’t know what they want from the police. They only know what they don’t want but only after the police do it.

During a news briefing about the most recent shootings, held by Mayor Ted Wheeler and Police Chief Chuck Lovell, they mentioned the new FIT unit. However, they apparently “didn’t note that it has yet to be formed or start operating.” I guess it was just a good “fake news” talking point. 

But, don’t worry. Portland Mayor (Antifa pepper sprayed me, lit my building on fire, and made me move out of my apartment) Ted Wheeler has the answer to the surging violence. “What we need is a plan.” Now, I’m squinting in the radiance of such brilliance. No wonder Portland voters reelected him. 

This intellectual giant also noted Portland’s violence has “really exploded in the last year or so. It’s a pandemic [interesting choice and misuse of a word], and it needs to be addressed with adequate resources.” 

He means the resources he helped strip from the PPB. Now, he says it’s “obvious… we do not have adequate resources deployed in a proactive way.” You heard that right. The anti-proactive cop, Wheeler, used the word proactive about the police

During the briefing, Chief Lovell emphasized that 11 shootings resulted in 13 people injured or dead in just the previous 38 hours. Last year, 2020, Portland saw 55 homicides, the most in 26 years. This year, 2021, the death toll is already at 52, and it’s only July.

OregonLive dutifully reported, through June 2021, homicide victims were “disproportionately Black [sic] at 47%” [insinuation: PPB cops are racists]. Perhaps, the shooters were these “white supremacists” the radical left keeps telling us about? Doubtful.

They also list the other victims according to their racial category. However, OregonLive does not mention the race of the shooting suspects. They don’t mean to call for more diversity, equity, and inclusion for murder victims, do they?   

The truly sad part of this disaster is city leaders won’t acknowledge they created this carnage. The de-funders act as if this violence just erupted organically when they caused it. Wheeler’s contradictory talk about police proactivity to reduce violence after cutting the GVRT, and the city slashing the police budget proves it. 

The mayor says he wants “more resources,” more cops, to deploy. But the PPB lost about 125 officers last year to retirements and resignations. That trend is likely to continue. And as Chief Lovell points out, “it’s important for people to know that those resources [cops you get] come from somewhere else.” Again, city leaders did this to themselves—and to the Portland residents who voted for them.