PORTLAND – Portland police are dealing with a spike in gang crime while budget cuts have reduced the number of gang officers on the streets.
On Friday, police responded to a drive-by shooting at Northeast Sixth Street and Broadway. Police said a suspect in one car shot another at least ten times. Gangs were likely to blame for the crime.
According to police, a summer spike in gang crime is typical.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve increased the size of gang enforcement by bringing people from the precincts and done a really direct focus on battling gang violence,” said Ken Duilio of the Portland Police Gang Enforcement Team.
But this year, budget cuts mean that police will not have the 20 additional summer gang officers they’ve had in previous years.
Instead, gang police will work with approximately half of their usual summertime staff.