PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – More than a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are in Portland to help police with Saturday’s protests.
Hate group watchdogs say the Daily Stormers, a neo-Nazi group are also expected, the Associated Press reports.
Anti-fascists are expected to confront them.
To handle the crowds and any potential violence, the Portland Police Bureau called upon the help of 18 different law enforcement agencies.
Reinforcements will come from as far as Bend.
“Law enforcement Oregon is a small group,” said Jim Porter, the chief of the Bend Police Department. “None of us have enough resources to do what we need to do independently all the time, so we rely on each other quite often and request assistance.”
More than two dozen of Salem’s crowd control officers will also help, including medics and command staff. Salem officials said their decision to help with the Portland protests will not impact response times in their own cities.
“It can definitely be a burn on our staffing and our resources,” said Lt. Treven Upkes. “Since this is a team that we have already in Salem, we have worked through these staffing issues before.”
Local departments told KOIN 6 News the hands-on approach they will take on Saturday means more work for their officers but they are all committed to maintaining as peaceful of an atmosphere as possible.
Portland by now has a reputation of violent protests and demonstrations. Many have criticized law enforcement and Mayor Ted Wheeler for their approach in handling the events.
But the mayor has vowed that “things will be different” this weekend.
“The expectation is different — the outcome will be different,” said Daryl Turner with the Portland Police Association, who has accused the mayor of “handcuffing” officers from stopping the violence.
“There is a feeling that we need to keep our city safe,” Turner said. “Officers have been frustrated in the past and I believe we will be able to do that with the strategic plan that Chief Outlaw has put forth. I think, going forward, a valuable lesson has been learned, although it has been over several protests.”