Portland, OR – In a press conference today, Mayor Ted Wheeler provided an update on public safety issues in the city. He was joined by Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell.
“During the last year, 283 people have been injured by gunfire. 46 people have lost their lives to gun violence by another. A person is behind each of these numbers. Every loved one lost causes grief, fear, frustration, and, in some instances, more violence. Last March, when I worked with the Inter-Faith Peace and Action Collective and other community leaders to propose a gun violence reduction plan, I said we needed to act then, so that we would have time to prepare for what looked like a deadly summer ahead. We have been living that summer. The City is on trend to have its deadliest year in decades. And while urban gun violence is impacting cities throughout the nation, we are not other cities. This is our home, and we need to better here."
“At the beginning of this year, as your Mayor, I announced my four focus areas: livability, community safety, equitable prosperity, and houselessness. Today, I will focus on what we’ve done and more importantly, what more I will ask my colleagues, staff and partners to do to help restore community safety, both in the near term and in the longer term.”
“We know this work is going to take time, but it is critical that everyone understand the importance of using evidence-based approaches to reduce gun violence. Truly sustainable reform is cyclical. We listen. We learn. We implement. And then begin the cycle again to ensure the systems we put in place, the trainings we provide to officers, and the safety services we deliver match the needs of our community. Above all else, we have to remain flexible and responsive to community needs."
A recording of today’s press conference is available here. The recording had technical issues and staff are working to add American Sign Language simulcast and closed captioning.
A copy of the Mayor’s prepared remarks from today’s press conference is available here: