PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Police Bureau once again sent out a special investigative team this weekend to the streets in an effort to curb the rise in shootings in the city.
The Enhanced Community Safety Team is made up of 12 officers, six detectives and two sergeants. PPB officials said that while this team doesn’t replace the staff of 55 officers that used to work on the recently disbanded Gun Violence Reduction Team, it is a step in the right direction.
ECST members told KOIN 6 News that the goal is to not only stop shootings before they happen but to also meet with folks in the community to learn how to better serve them.
“Our goal is to let folks know we are out there, that we are hearing the calls for police service to reduce gun violence, and you know, some of the goals for tonight would be to have conversations with folks in the community, respond to shooting scenes and strategize and hear ideas on how the police can be receptive to the needs of the community when stopping gun violence,” said ECST Sgt. Steve Wilbon.
While the main focus of the team is to reduce gun violence, Wilbon said there will be a triage process in case the team is needed to respond to any destructive protests scheduled to take place Saturday night.
Allen told KOIN 6 News that the goal is to get to the scene as quickly as possible.
“Anytime we get word of this kind of activity, we do make tactical plans and try to have folks working and on standby and we are doing that this weekend,” he said.
PPB Sgt. Kevin Allen said additional officers have already been staffed this weekend to respond to any potential demonstrations they may turn destructive.