PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A community in crisis, now searching for solutions after they say a slew of break-ins and vandalism have left business owners in the Jade Distinct helpless.
That call to action was hosted Thursday afternoon at Powell’s Seafood Restaurant. The owner of the Chinese-run establishment told KOIN 6 News she has been the target of five vandalism attacks over the course of six months.
She and other community members say they are tired of living in fear and are now asking law and city officials what can be done to put an end to this cycle.
Business owners say an ongoing cycle of property crime in the Jade District has left their community feeling targeted by criminals, underserved by police, and financially helpless.
During Thursday’s meeting, hosted by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, business owner Mr. Jing echoed the outcry for help — detailing how he was robbed at gunpoint in his bar Wednesday night.
Mr. Jing’s son, Keith Jing, told KOIN 6 News he did not receive a call back from police until after Thursday’s ceremony.
“To have my father experience this just last night is heartbreaking,” Jing said.
Despite low staffing levels, Portland police pledged to hire officers on overtime to help support missions with the Neighborhood Response Teams and address concerns raised by the community.
“I understand that call times and wait times sometimes can be hours or maybe even the next day…but please don’t stop calling us,” Captain David Abrahamson of the Portland Police Bureau said.
In response to Thursday’s testimony, Bobby Lee with the mayor’s office said the city is working to hire 300 more officers within the next three years to help support efforts to reduce crime in the area. They have also allocated nearly $1 million in funding to help victims of property vandalism pay for damages.