Expect to see an increased security presence during Portland’s annual Pride Week following Sunday’s tragic mass shooting at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
A lone gunman opened fire at The Pulse nightclub killing at least 50 and wounding more than 50 others in what is now considered the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In response, the Portland Police Bureau announced it plans to increase security patrols during the city’s annual celebration of its LGBTQ community.
“While there are no known threats to Portland, Acting Chief Henderson has asked that Portland Police officers provide extra patrols in the Downtown Portland Entertainment District, specifically at bars and nightclubs that are popular with our LGBTQ community members,” said a release from the Portland Police Bureau.
Portland Pride Week begins Monday with celebrations across the city including the Pride Glow Run Friday night along the Portland Waterfront. The annual LGBTQ Pride Festival begins Saturday, June 18 at Portland’s Waterfront Park and the parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 19.
According to the PPB, officers will increase their presence at all Pride related events.
“We will take extra precautions and we will, with the limited number of police officers we have at the moment, try to make sure that we have both a reassuring presence and the ability to respond quickly if there ever is a problem, large or small,” a noticeably frustrated Portland Mayor Charlie Hales told OPB’s John Sepulvado Sunday.
“The way to safety is to be a community, not to huddle indoors,” Hales said, calling on the city to come out in support of the LGBTQ community next weekend.
Sunday, June 12, mourners are invited to gather in downtown Portland at NW Couch and NW Broadway streets in honor of those killed and wounded in Orlando. Portland’s Q Center has organized the vigil, and will team up with Pride Northwest for another vigil Thursday.