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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Portland gangs get on multi-modal bandwagon

Portland's ever-expanding gangs have now taken to stabbing each other as well as shooting each other. After five shootings in six nights, we had two knifings Thursday night.

But don't worry -- the mayor's on the case. Yesterday he issued another press release and went to another meeting, and so any day now we can expect results.

As always, the Goofy One leads off his latest spiel with a heartfelt plea for everyday residents to come forward and rat out the murderers. Somehow people are supposed to trust the police bureau to keep them safe if they do this. The fact that they don't shows that they're far more reality-based than the person making that pitch. This police bureau hasn't done real well with the whole trust thing.

Oh, and now there's an official mayoral gang web page: mayorsamadams.com/gangs. Nothing like a web page to stop gangs. There's a "Dear Portlander" letter there -- a really long letter that took Amy Ruiz a long time to write -- telling us all the stuff that the city is trying without success. This is progress, apparently.

We still don't see a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, or a Droid app for the mayor's gang initiatives, but they're surely coming. They'll probably roll those out when the weather gets hot and the bullets really start flying.

What's most bizarre about the mayor's latest response is the revelation in the O that he apparently didn't even know whether the police had had a gang enforcement team before he took over the bureau:

He started a draft of the letter by saying the gang problem has "come roaring back" after "the past leadership eliminated the local gang enforcement task force'' despite his objections. But the mayor learned this morning at the Gang Violence Task Force meeting at North Precinct that the past chief never eliminated the gang enforcement team, but instead reduced the number of officers assigned to it.

In his final letter, Adams changed the word to "cut" the gang enforcement team. The team was reduced between 2001 and 2007, but under former Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the gang enforcement efforts were buoyed by a separate Hot Spot Enforcement Action Team of officers, and funding for gang outreach went up.

This week, there's also mention of "air support" coming on line for the new enforcement efforts -- police helicopters, apparently. Nothing like cop choppers to lift everybody's spirits in the community.

There's only so much even a highly skilled leader can do to stop senseless violence when it's gone as far as it already has in this town. Pity that we're getting so much less than that.

Comments (10)

Air support is currently being used in support of the "cool down" missions. PPB Air One plane has been doing circles over N Portland (and probably other areas too) quite a bit various evenings and nights, including last night. I don't think PPB has any plans for choppers right now but they do have a small plane or two in the air unit.

Hummm....creative writing 101...?
It was a hot and steamy summer night in the City of Roses.
The city vibrated with the heat and threat of potential out of control gang violence. And Cowering in his bathroom with an underage male intern, the mayor heard a hail of gunfire outside his office at city hall. Screams of terror followed.
"Oh Beau, what SHALL we do?" the mayor cried.
"WE?" replied his young lover. "You are supposed to be the leader here."

Actually, I thought the Mayor's letter spelled out a pretty reasonable approach to deal with the problem. Of course, it's success will depend on the strength of his leadership.

I saw no mention however of implementing a "Broken Glass Theory" approach that has been so successful in other parts of the country/world.

That plan of course would include stricter policing of the individuals who are committing minor crimes. The idea being that stronger sanctions for those responsible for graffiti and other minor crimes will likely decrease the chances these same persons will commit other more violent crimes later.

I'm just not sure the overly tolerant Portland is ready or willing to accept that type of approach.

God, besides appearance, Sammy is getting to be more like Dean van WOrmer (Animal House) every day.

Who would've though such ineptitude would've taken him this far in life?

Like the letter though, say nothing about what Sammy's going to do and find someone else to blame for the problem.

Very well crafted and grate political solution. That oughta scare the crap out of the bangers.

"Actually, I thought the Mayor's letter spelled out a pretty reasonable approach..."

I suggest you email Amy Ruiz and tell her you like her writing style,and ask her where she got her ideas, then suggest she try to explain them to the mayor when he gets out of the men's room.

Too bad the city council gave all that police funding money to the developers with urban renewal.

About $100 million per year taken from police, social services, fire & schools!


Every policy decision Adams makes has something to do with gang activity. Streetcar expansions? It's related. Building miles of new MAX lines? related. Trying to make Portland an "international city"? Definitely related. Slowly making decisions that focus on the mysterious "creative class" Oh, yes.

In other words, there is a *lot* that a Mayor can do. The first thing Mayor Pudgy can do is get his priorities straight (hint: keep the list under 100), tell everybody what they are, and...stick to them. Here's another hint: "bike lanes" shouldn't be anywhere *near* the top of the list of crucial policy decisions that need making.

Your post above may be one of the few I ever agree with JK.

But yeah, the way the city spends money is the baseline indicator of the real priorities around here. Or to paraphrase an old gem, why doesn't kiddie council put money where Sam's mouth is moving on this issue?

Most of the entry level jobs that young people once held have been taken by low skilled Illegal Aliens leaving our kids with nothing but gang activity and retailing of illegal drugs as a source of income.

What's worse, many Illegal Aliens mule drugs from Mexico in exchange for travel to and from and those are the drugs the gangs are selling.

Now, isn't that what we call sustainable?

So, eliminating the exclusion zones has really paid off. Gang violence had dropped to almost zero during Potter's term. It's starting to feel like the mid-to-late 1980s again.

I wonder when the 4 Fessenden bus will require security guards on each bus again. Oh, wait, nobody rides the bus. When will every single MAX train require a security guard? (Tacoma's "light rail" system, all 1.6 miles of it, puts a security guard on each train - mostly just to keep the homeless people off of it since it doesn't charge a fare.)

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