Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Gun Violence Reduction

Gun Violence Reduction

All Portlanders deserve to feel safe in their community. Gun violence remains at historic levels, and it’s important that we work with experts to be innovative and most of all work together to make an impact. We are dedicated to bringing accountability and justice for the harm our community has endured and to intervening to prevent others from experiencing that pain.  

Mayor Wheeler works closely with our public safety partners across the region to strategically and urgently address this crisis. Together, we continue to bolster our public safety initiatives with critical investments with an impact at the ground level. 

Emergency Declaration

In July 2022, I declared a state of emergency related to gun violence which coordinates resources and funds community organizations working in violence prevention. This emergency declaration remains in place today.   

This was in addition to the good work being done by the Office of Violence Prevention, the Focused Intervention Team, and the Enhanced Community Safety Team. 

By the end of 2022, we saw a 19% reduction in total shooting incidents compared to the previous year, flattening the steep rise in gun violence we had seen until that point.

Portland has ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. for its violence prevention investments for 2022 and 2023, and I am pleased to build on those investments again this year to achieve durable public safety solutions.

Portland Ceasefire

The City of Portland is working closely with the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and the California Partnership for Safe Communities to implement a new focused deterrence approach to reducing gun violence called “Portland Ceasefire.” This model has been shown significant results in other cities by focusing on identifying those at the highest risk of involvement in gun violence and offering them outreach and services to help them change their lives.  This subject matter expertise will be invaluable to guide us as we build and implement a program tailored to Portland. 

Portland Ceasefire manages the Intensive Case Management program designed for the highest risk individuals.

Portland Ceasefire will work to unify the efforts of the local community, law enforcement, and other government partners to engage directly with those at the highest risk of perpetrating or being victimized by gun violence.   

How Will Focused Deterrence Work in Portland?

A Collaborative Approach: The Portland Ceasefire strategy is built on collaboration and partnership. It brings together various stakeholders, including government agencies, local community organizations, and concerned citizens, to work together towards a common goal: increasing public safety by the reduction of gun violence and violent crimes. By combining our resources, expertise, and perspectives, we can create a more comprehensive and effective approach to addressing gun violence.

Evidence-Based Strategies: Our efforts are grounded in evidence-based and data-driven strategies and best practices. We are leveraging the expertise of the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform and California Partnership for Safe Communities to ensure that our actions are informed by data, research, and proven methods. This approach will help us maximize our impact and achieve sustainable outcomes.

Community Empowerment: One of the core principles of Portland Ceasefire is empowering our local communities. We recognize that the individuals and families affected by gun violence are the true agents of change. By actively involving them in the decision-making process and providing them with the necessary resources and support, we can empower them to take ownership of their neighborhoods and work towards creating safer environments.

Long-Term Solutions: Our focus extends beyond immediate interventions. While we are committed to addressing the urgent needs of our communities, we are also dedicated to implementing long-term solutions. This includes investing in education, mental health support, youth programs, and economic opportunities that address the root causes of violence and create sustainable pathways for positive change.

Street Level Outreach

Through the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), the City has invested 4.5 million dollars over the next two years to implement a street-level outreach program.  

Street-level outreach (or SLO) is a core program of OVP that hires violence interrupters—people with lived experience and credibility in the community—who can engage with those at risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of violence. 

Office of Violence Prevention

Through the Office of Violence Prevention (OVP), the Portland City Council has invested in further strategies with an unprecedented fourteen million dollars over two years.  

In addition to Street Level Outreach, OVP is also providing services such as: 

  • School-based program for middle school students called Youth Against Violence
  • Healing Hurt People, which is a hospital-based gun violence interruption program; and, 
  • Support for families of the highest risk individuals through Trauma & Violence Impacted Families. 

Safer Portland Initiative

Consistent with previous years, the City is adding resources to its 2024 violence prevention efforts for the summertime. 

In April 2024, the Office of Violence Prevention announced $800,000 in grants available to support summer violence prevention, including direct services, preventative programs, workshops, camps, and events.

Awarding these Safer Portland grants is a top priority for OVP under the gun violence emergency declaration.

Learn more about the Safer Portland plan.

Safe Blocks Program

The Office of Violence Prevention team has also worked to revitalize the Safe Blocks program (formerly the Crime Prevention program), which advances community-led, collaborative strategies using a ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ approach. 

This work supports community members through trainings, education, place-based security assessments, community-building activities, and resources and referrals. This program includes certified Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (or CPTED) experts who provide guidance on reducing vulnerability to harm and increasing positive activity in public spaces.  

The Safe Blocks program was recently awarded a 2-million-dollar federal grant to expand its work, and we are using these resources to bring the program into neighborhoods such as Hazelwood.