Portland police say we could surpass record number of homicides
By DREW MARINE
PORTLAND OR (KPTV) – Portland is on course to break a record as gun violence in the city shows no signs of abating.
Portland Police said on Tuesday there had been seven shootings in 3 hours. They all spread out on the east side of town with the first shot at 2:20 a.m. and the last shot just before 7 p.m.
They said 1987 was a banner year for homicides, with 70 in that year. Data from the Portland Police Department shows that in August of this year there had been more than 830 shootings.
“This is the most violent time of my career. It is the highest level of gun violence I have ever seen,” said Lt. Ken Duilio of the Portland Police Department. He has worked with the office ever since. 24 years old and says he knows the violence can’t be stopped overnight.
“Some of these shootings, especially if it’s gangs, are between rivals,” he said. “Part of the anger and part of the rage associated with the murders that took place, you can see retaliation for years and years to come.”
So far this year we have seen 63 homicides not counting shootings involving officers. Of these, 47 were shot dead. While Duilio said calendar years are important, if you look back to about 12 months ago, we saw a lot more homicides than that.
“I think people are focusing on the calendar year, January 1 to January 1, but in reality we had a 12 month period from July 1 to July 1 where we had 93 homicides in the city, which is higher than the annual record. ”he said.
Duilio was a member of the Gang Enforcement Team, Gun Violence Reduction Team and is now the Acting Lieutenant of the Targeted Response Team. FIT is a new city effort to help prevent gun violence.
“I think the community is quite discouraged and quite worried and deserves better service. I think there is now a commitment from the mayor’s office, from the town hall, from the police office, to hopefully put together the resources to provide this better service, ”said Duilio.
He said previous gun violence teams had faced criticism from the community, with the GVRT disbanded last summer. Now he hopes FIT, together with other efforts, will serve everyone better.
“The citizen watch group of the targeted intervention team – FITCOG – is involved in all aspects of this team. The development, the selection of officers, ”said Duilio. “If there is something that we do that ‘hey, that doesn’t work as well is the community perspective’, they will help us change and adapt to have a team that the community will like.” . “
Duilio said the plan for now is to have FIT fully operational by mid-November.
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