A Republican congresswoman from Southwest Washington is weighing in on Portland’s decision to pull two police officers from the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The Portland City Council voted to pull out of the task force last week in a 3-2 vote, over concerns the JTTF is violating the civil liberties of Portland residents, in particular Muslims and immigrants.
In a letter to the City Council on Wednesday, Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler said the decision has alarmed her constituents in southwest Washington.
“Those I represent who must travel to Portland are now less safe — and all because of an apparent disagreement over politics,” she wrote.
Herrera Beutler’s staff said she wrote the letter after hearing from many of her constituents concerned about the decision.
At the City Council’s hearing on the issue last week, members of the public spoke overwhelmingly in favor of withdrawing.
Herrera Beutler joins Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy Williams, who have also said the council made a political decision at the expense of public safety.
Portland is the second West Coast city to withdraw from the task force since President Trump took office. San Francisco withdrew its officers from the group in 2017.
The members of Oregon’s congressional delegation haven’t publicly commented on the city’s decision to withdraw from the JTTF.
The city’s resolution does not end the JTTF’s work or its partnerships with other local law enforcement agencies in Oregon.