Like such cities as New York and Seattle, Portland is seeing a huge uptick in crime – and there’s just not enough police officers to keep the streets safe.
Per this report from Fox News, the popular city has seen a noticeable increase in criminal activity, including theft, assault and vandalism. Nearly 6,000 cases were reported for the month of July, and August could wind up looking even worse than that.
However, it appears that’s leaving an effect on its citizens. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler recently conducted a survey, asking if they feel safe within it. And, unfortunately, nearly 50 percent noted they felt unsafe walking alone at night through their own neighborhood. Out of those, 81 percent of women noted the majority of that lack of safety, compared to 74 percent of males.
This is mainly due to the Portland Police Bureau running across staffing shortages, with more than 100 vacancies within its department. The city council had previously voted to cut the department’s budget by $15 million, in response to various “defund the police” protests.
Joining us now to discuss this increase in crime is Michael Letts, who has 30 years of law enforcement under his belt. He currently serves as president, founder and CEO for InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. His knowledge will provide weight to this matter.
- Based on what we’ve seen in other cities and now Portland, would you say this is the negative effect that’s coming from so many people demanding a “defunding” of the police?
- Along with a high number of vacancies, reports indicate that many officers left their posts in Portland due to dissatisfaction with current city leadership, as well as poor morale from the nightly protests. What do you think about this reasoning, and why do you think Portland is going through this?
- Half of the survey respondents noted that they didn’t believe that police would respond quickly to an emergency. How harrowing is it to have people thinking they can’t rely on the police for assistance?
- Along with general criminal activity, homicides nearly jumped to over 100 this past year, beating the previous record of 66. What do you think about this jump, and how much does it bother you that the city council hasn’t done anything to resolve it?
- Judging by what’s happening with these cities and their lack of law enforcement, do you believe that many city councils, mayors and other government types jumped the gun with their reaction to the “defund the police” protests? What would have been a better resolution to that matter?
- Do you think these rising criminal activities in these cities will eventually get the attention of the government and force them to act with better funding for these cities? Or do you believe certain members of Congress will keep that bill from making any progress?
- If you were in charge of revitalizing the city budget for Portland, what would you do to make citizens feel safe again?
- Tell us more about InVest USA, and what this organization does to protect police officers. Does this also extend to Border Patrol agents?
- Where can we learn more about In-Vest USA, and how people can make contributions to the group?
You can visit the official website at http://www.investusa.org.
About Michael Letts:
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.