After a rise in homicides and violent crime, Portland mayor Ted Wheeler is looking to refund the police in his city.
Wheeler requested $2 million in funding for the police force and other agencies. Members of the city council have not signaled commitment to the proposal.
The news comes after Antifa set fire to a Portland courthouse Thursday night with people inside. At least one person was arrested.
The call for more funding came Wheeler’s state of the city address Friday. It was three days after a man was murdered in broad daylight in a Portland park and city officials began scrambling to find ways to rectify the crisis.
“This shooting was brazen and horrific,” Wheeler tweeted. “The City and its partners are working hard to prevent and reduce gun violence. It’s a public health crisis that’s harming our entire community.”
Wheeler discussed the need for more funding in a Thursday press conference — namely that the city needs a gun violence detective unit. The mayor said it would be different from past policing units.
“What’s going to be different this time, and Chief Lovell said it very clearly, they believe we need a prevention and intervention function, but he also made it clear that he would not stand that up unless the community supported it, unless there was community oversight, and unless there was the transparent collection and dissemination of data,” Wheeler said.
Whether the city council will back Wheeler in proving an additional $2 million to the police has yet to be seen.