PORTLAND, Ore. — A woman was shot and killed around 1 a.m. Monday near the corner of Southwest 6th and College at Portland State University. The victim is one of more than 22 people to lose their life to gun violence in Portland since the start of the year.
"When we lose a life or shots have been fired or any violence occurs that impacts these neighborhoods I feel morally and ethically responsible for those items," Mike Myers said.
Myers oversees the Portland Community Safety Division. He said despite the more than 400 shootings in the first few months of 2022, the city is doing a lot to end gun violence, outlined in the safety division's first annual report.
Myers pointed to millions of dollars awarded to community-based organizations operating in neighborhoods impacted by the gunfire. Myers is also proud of the expansion of the park ranger program and the official launching of the Portland Police Bureau's Enhanced Community Safety Team and Focused Intervention Team.
"It is not one thing and will never be one thing that will take the lead in reducing violence in a neighborhood," Myers said.
Myers said many things help reduce violence. He said community safety plans, similar to those implemented in the Mount Scott neighborhood, are making a difference. Park lighting has been repaired and improved and 18 traffic-calming barrels were installed to address gun violence and related speeding.
"A comprehensive community safety plan rolled out in a community can work," Myers said. "It can reduce gun violence significantly."
However, it will not bring back the approximately two-dozen people who have been gunned down in Portland this year alone. The latest victim is a woman who was shot and killed near the Portland State University campus. The unidentified woman is the latest victim of an epidemic that cannot and will not be fixed overnight.
"It's going to take time to get it [gun violence] down," Myers said. "There's not one thing you can do to go in there and overnight reduce gun violence."