Portland REFUNDS the police as police shortages and homicide rates spike

by Laura Ramirez

After slashing the police department budget by $15 million in the liberal city’s attempt to appease “defund the police” crowds, Portland has reversed their decision and reallocated more than $5 million back to the police department amidst record high police shortages and violent crime in the city.

According to the Associated Press, the Portland City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a fall budget, increasing the $230 million police budget by $5.2 million after cutting $15 million last year.

The decision comes as Portland experiences the most violent year in decades with an 83 percent increase in homicides, surpassing almost all major cities in the country, as per Fox News.

“Many Portlanders no longer feel safe in their city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said urging for more police funds earlier this month. “Business owners have closed up shop, for fear of doing business in high risk areas. Commuters fear for their safety, whether taking public transport or going by foot. Parents are scared to let their children play outside.”

Wheeler plans to increase staffing in the police bureau by 300 police officers, 200 sworn officers, and 100 unarmed public safety specialists, starting the fiscal year of 2023 after losing many police officers last year. He proposed a $25,000 signing bonuses to the first 50 officers or public safety specialists as an attempt to lure more police staff and approved of hiring 25 retired police officers, the outlet added.

“Our police bureau staffing levels are at record lows and based on projected retirements, staffing levels will continue (to decrease) unless we take decisive action now,” Wheeler stated.

What’s more, Commissioner Mingus Mapps told The Hill that the Portland police department currently holds only 800 police officers compared to the 1,200 it should have.

Similarly, New York City, after experiencing high rates of crime, restored $200 million to the police budget after cutting $1 billion in 2020.

It seems the “defund the police” movement is in a steady decline as more cities across the country aim to rebuild their police force to fight rising crime.

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