Portland’s far left Democrat Mayor Ted Strickland is quoted by Fox News acknowledging the Rose City does not have “adequate resources deployed on our streets in a proactive way” after presiding over the decline of his city into chaos over the past 18 months, which included losing more than a hundred officers from the Portland Police Bureau.
The city, according to Fox, “slashed police funding and saw a year of violence” in the downtown area.
The solution? According to Fox, private armed security companies have been hired to patrol the streets in “a popular section of Portland known for its bars and nightlife.”
So now, Wheeler is promising to “fight for additional resources for the police bureau, I will fight for more police officers and I will fight for more tools and whatever support the police bureau needs to get its job done.”
Is it too little, too late? Portland’s body count for 2021 is already above the 55 dead for the entire 12 months of 2020, and more than four months still remain on the calendar. It is possible the city may surpass the 70 slayings posted in 1987.
Fox is reporting that a private security company, Ravencrest Force Protection Group. This outfit is described in Willamette Weekly as a “Northeast Portland firm (that) bills itself as a private military contractor—the kind of firm that operates in war zones. Their latest assignment: deployment to one block of Portland’s Old Town.”
The newspaper interviewed one of the “heavily armed” guards identified as Jean-Pierre LaFont, 45, who reportedly “did a tour of duty in Bosnia with the Navy SEALS.”
“My job is to get you home safe,” he told the newspaper. “Unless you’re the perpetrator. The only way for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. So I’m going to do something.”
He is armed with a pistol and semi-auto rifle.
Fox News said there are “at least three private security firms” that employ armed guards “to hit the streets to keep the peace as police officers grapple with crimes after their department was slashed by $16 million last year.”
According to the Fox report, Portland business owners “are now championing taking matters into their own hands by hiring private security firms.”
Jesse Burke, president of the Old Town Chinatown Community Association, was quoted by Fox explaining, “There aren’t enough police officers. We’re having to do what the government used to do. We’re kind of running an underground government to keep things safe.”
Nowhere, it appears, has Wheeler or any member of the City Council acknowledged they were wrong at any point over the past year by cutting the police budget, contributing to low morale among commissioned officers, or creating an environment with no support.
So now the city’s business community employs private security guards—hired guns as it might have been described in the 19th Century—because they evidently feel there are no other options.
Burke told the newspaper the city is in a “decision-making spiral of Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid.”
But Portland may be suffering from the kind of wound Band-Aids can’t fix.
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