PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With 2023 still three weeks away, the number of homicides in Portland this year has matched the record-breaking total of 90 in 2021.
The city is also recording far more homicides than other major west coast cities.
San Francisco Police Department recorded 51 homicides in total through early December, while Seattle police reported 46 homicides through October. Sacramento police told KOIN 6 News that they’ve had 54 homicides this year to date and San Diego police say they’ve had 49 homicides in 2022.
Portland Police Association President Aaron Schmautz talked about the city’s tragic trajectory.
“People feel unsafe right now and that’s very hard to address. We have crises at every level of our public safety system … All of these things have to get fixed,” he said. “The one common factor is all violent crime surrounds disorder … We still see a lot of gang violence, we still a lot of violence in our homeless community, a lot of violence around narcotics and prevalence of them in our community.”
Schmautz also said they’ve had to reassign some of their staff to the homicide unit.
“The real difficulty, our homicide detectives, we’ve had to pull people from other work. It’s difficult to get up every day knowing there are more coming,” he said.