As you well know, this year and the one before it has been a hard one for law enforcement. And nowhere is that truer than in the ever-increasing leftist-backed city of Portland, Oregon.
Here, defunding the police wasn’t just a cry that rang out shortly after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, only to be later realized as the foolish notion that it is.
Instead, it was given life and breath.
In June of 2020, the City Council voted to defund the city’s police forces by some $15 million. It was noted that only one of the four members of the council voted no to the plan. And that was only because she didn’t think $15 million was enough.
Furthermore, the city moved to dissolve the city’s Gun Violence Reduction Team, claiming that it was disproportionately targeting black or minority criminals.
However, as a result of these efforts, the city has been effectively thrown into utter chaos.
As you likely heard, most of 2020’s summer and well into the fall comprised night after night of full-on rioting. And no, I’m not just talking about people protesting in the streets with signs and loud voices.
Fires were set, buildings were burned. Offices, stores, and homes were looted and robbed for anything of value. And violence quite literally took over.
But with the police force on already shaky ground, nothing much could be done but to sit back and watch, hoping that it would eventually die down. It didn’t, of course, at least not until it grew cold enough outside to make people rioting and protesting too uncomfortable.
As a result, Portland experienced some 100 days straight of nightly riots and chaos – with many experiencing a living hell.
With the start of 2021 and a new Democratic POTUS, we hoped things would get better in Portland, seeing as they now had someone in Washington with their voice in mind. But it hasn’t. Sure, riots don’t happen as often anymore. But that doesn’t mean the violence or rising crime has stopped at all.
In fact, the city is on track to hold its single most homicidal year yet. Already 53 people have been killed so far, and the year is only halfway over. The highest on record took place in 1987 when the city saw 70 homicide deaths.
Something has to be done – and fast.
And so the city council has voted to re-establish the city’s anti-gun crime police unit, with a few changes, of course.
Instead of being called anything related to firearms or violence, it will instead be called the Portland Police Bureau’s Focused Initiative Team. According to the National Review, the team will consist of 14 members, whose goal isn’t really guns or violence at all. Instead, it’s to “identify and dismantle institutional and systemic racism in the bureau’s responses to gun violence.”
Yeah, that sounds about right…
But that’s not even the worst of it. In addition, the team will have a “citizen-advisory board” meant to make sure that its targets aren’t racially profiled. After all, this was one of the major reasons the old unit was dismantled last year and why the police force as a whole was defunded.
Now, tell me, who’s ready to sign up for this team?
If you guessed a fairly small number, you’d be correct. So far, the team has only managed to entice a whopping four individuals, leaving another ten slots to fill and soon.
As police union leader Daryl Turner told The Wall Street Journal, police have a pretty tough time as it right now. “They’re demonizing and vilifying you, and then they want to put you in a unit where you’re under an even bigger microscope.”
Police membership nationwide, but especially in places like Portland, has dropped considerably in the last year. No one wants to be part of an industry or a team that isn’t respected, isn’t backed, and is made into the villain at every turn. And they certainly don’t want to be told some racist board with no police experience how to do their job.
Is it any wonder why everyone is saying no?