Portland officers will try to "restore" since of safety
A shot rang out in downtown Portland late Thursday night, just hours after Portland Mayor Tom Potter and police Chief Derrick Foxworth on Thursday pledged to blanket the city's entertainment core with police officers for the next two weekends to ease fear after five downtown shootings.
Police said no one was injured in Thursday's shooting near Southwest Third Avenue and Alder Street. Police set up a perimeter around the area and were searching for a suspect.
The incident was the latest in a string of shootings in recent months that has raised concerns about safety in the downtown area.
Under a plan dubbed Operation Safe Streets, at least two dozen Portland officers will patrol the entertainment district on foot, bike and horseback Friday and Saturday nights, through the early morning.
Traffic safety officers will crack down on drunken drivers. Gang enforcement, TriMet and parole officers, as well as liquor control investigators, will be out to spot any trouble.
All will work to ensure clubgoers and other visitors to the city's downtown can enjoy themselves, the chief and mayor said.
"Acts of violence that have marred our city these past few months will stop," Potter declared, standing outside the Justice Center in front of one of two Portland Police Bureau mobile precincts that will be placed downtown on weekends.
One precinct will be parked along Waterfront Park, where The Bite of Oregon is being held this weekend. A second will be at Southwest Washington Street and Third Avenue, not far from the parking lot where a 29-year-old Seattle man died from a single gunshot wound about 1:15 a.m. Monday.
A couple months ago, I went to Portland for a weekend visit and accidentally wound up on Hawthorne Street.
Living in Eugene/Springfield area, I am not used to seeing streets lined with hundreds of people lying on the streets.
Moreover, this was during the daytime, there is no way that I would want to be there after dark.
And now because crime is starting to move out of the Hawthorne District into the entertainment district (and effecting incoming money) now, Potter and the police now want to do something about it.
It is just like years ago in the Eugene/Springfield area when gang activity here was just beginning, local police were not really concerned about it.