PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As another Portland family experienced a close call with gun violence, residents from across the city pleaded on Saturday with leaders to do more to combat the problem.
At a regularly scheduled listening session, the Portland City Council heard from a number of residents who want more money allocated to prevent gun violence and increase police response plus invest in resources like public safety support specialists.
“Our top concern is with the shootings. From January through March, 390 shootings were reported, 144 of them was March, alone. The Portland Police Bureau is down to a historic low,” said Laila Hajoo, co-chair of the Coalition of Advisory Groups. “We have heard positive reports from the community about PS3s. They’re able to respond more quickly, walk through the situation with a person and cultivate better relationships with PPB.”
Some rallied behind resources such as the Office of Violence Prevention, which is requesting $5.4 million in American Rescue Plan dollars to combat gun violence.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis here,” said Dr. Elizabeth Klein, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action. “It will pay to expand mentoring program, street outreach and community intervention programs.”
Late Friday night, a family was at their home on SE 155th near Burnside when gunfire pierced their house and entered their bathroom after 11:30 p.m. No one was hurt. But investigators said it could have been a much different situation.
On Saturday, PPB said they’re doing what they can with current resources but need the larger community to chip in, in order to help tackle the problem.
“That’s what it’s going to take, in my opinion to get a handle on this and have a peaceful city,” said PPB Sgt. Allen.