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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the police are using the right strategies to combat gang violence, but they need help from the community to succeed.
The bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team said it has investigated 121 incidents of gang violence so far this year.
A new study into gang activity in the Portland area suggests the problem has declined generally in recent years, but has increased in pockets of east Multnomah County.
Portland police plan to ramp up efforts to prevent gang violence this summer. Gang violence in Portland is already higher than usual this year, and officials are worried that gang activity will increase during the summer months, when kids are out of school. Last year around this time, we covered an uptick in gang-related shootings. The Portland Police Bureau will pull officers from three divisions: Drug and Vice, Training, and Family Services, which responds to domestic violence incidents. The U.S. Attorney has reassigned three more prosecutors to deal with gang-related gun possessions (there is currently only one prosecutor).
Portland and Gresham aren’t the only places in Oregon witnessing an increase in gang activity. Washington County and Hillsboro are also worried.