In the wake of two shootings, the Police Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Sam Adams met with press and community members yesterday afternoon to discuss the recent spat of violence that is believed to be gang-related, saying that they would step up efforts to address gang violence, while calling on Portlanders to be vigilant.
“The increase in gang violence activity requires us to move quickly,” said Mayor Adams, speaking near the spot where 17-year-old Billy A. Moore was shot to death last night.
“This is also a call to action to all Portlanders because the police alone cannot solve and prevent these kinds of gang-related activities…on their own.”
Adams went on to enumerate ways that every Portlander needs to help: reporting tips or concerns, calling 911 after seeing a gun, volunteering to help with summertime recreational activities, and getting involved with the neighborhood watch program.
“These shootings are upsetting; they’re tragic; and they are preventable,” said the Mayor, “But it’s gonna take a very swift, fleet-footed and effective…response, both by police and members of
the community,” he said.
“Without…residents who got involved…we would not have been able to make arrests as quickly as we did,” said Mike Reese, who was sworn in as Portland Police Chief last month.
North Precinct Commander Jim Ferraris announced that starting today, specific units of the police bureau would assist officers from each of three precincts, emphasizing positive communication with outreach groups.
Ferraris asserted that while gang activity is centered in north Portland, there’s been a citywide spike. To wit, the areas of will include the downtown entertainment district, the Lloyd Center, select MAX platform,; McCoy; the North Killingsworth corridor, and Peninsula and Holladay Parks.
Adams also pointed to the high level of unemployment, not seen since World War II, as a factor that has put everybody on edge while also allowing youth more time outside, giving way to an increasingly violent atmosphere.
Even amid the first hot wind of summer, Adams kept his cool. “The bureau is very much on top of this issue,” he said.