As the director of the Portland Office of Youth Violence Prevention, Antoinette Edwards chairs the Gang Enforcement Task Force. She and Captain Pat Walsh of the Portland Police Bureau work together to address violence in the Portland area, particularly as the summer wears on and gang activity is only expected to get worse.
Officers are launching “Operation Cool Down” to supress gang-related violence. Walsh says he expects retaliation for two recent fatal shootings, as well as a shooting of a five-year-old boy hit in the leg. Those incidents prompted Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to declare gun violence a “public safety and public health crisis.”
We’ll talk to Antoinette Edwards and Pat Walsh about the suppression effort, the long-term approach to combatting gang violence, and their reactions to the recent comprehensive gang assessment put out by Multnomah County.