Portland bike cops doing their best to tackle open-air drug use: ‘All roads in downtown lead to fentanyl’

Portland bike police see the devastating decline of the city every day as open-air drug use rules the streets and fentanyl can be found just about anywhere, which is now akin to getting a traffic ticket.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

“Wheels squeal as Officer David Baer wrenches his bike to the right and jumps it onto the sidewalk next to a Subaru. In one swift movement, he slides a portable spike strip behind the front tires and raps on the window,” Fox News Digital reported. “Then he takes a plastic bag of suspected fentanyl from the man in the driver’s seat.”

“Let me get you a hundred-dollar ticket. You’ll be out of here in a second,” the officer informs the driver as he has a friendly chat with the car’s owner in the passenger seat before he walks back to his bicycle. When he returned, he told the woman that if her friend is spotted again driving her car without a license, they’ll have it towed.

“If I can see fentanyl from the sidewalk, it’s a problem,” the officer warned her.

“I get it, I get it,” she replied.

“Okay. Just so you know,” Baer stated as he gave her friend a ticket with a number on it so he could call for treatment or to just avoid paying the fine.

“I’m seizing your drugs as evidence,” he informed the woman. “Have a great day.”

When Baier first became a Portland bike cop four years ago, the main infraction encountered was drinking. That all changed when voters decriminalized personal-use amounts of all drugs in 2020. That caused an “explosion” in open-air drug use and morphed the City of Roses into a third-world hell-hole.

“All roads in downtown lead to fentanyl,” the officer told Fox News in an interview. “Whether that’s stolen cars, whether that’s burglaries or thefts or organized retail theft, there’s almost always a fentanyl nexus. So we spend a lot of our time currently policing fentanyl and trying to stop that flow.”

“Officers respond to a shouting match over shoes, finding both women standing amid tents and piles of luggage under a bridge. Baer prods a man slumped over on an overturned bucket, asking repeatedly if he’s okay before getting a response from one of the people sitting on the sidewalk nearby. A chain link fence separating the camp from the adjacent building is garnished with shirts and pants, like a makeshift clothesline,” Fox News Digital wrote.

“To see this happen in the city is just absolutely crushing,” Sgt. Jerry Cioeta, who is a Portland native and has worked as a cop in the city for 25 years, stated.

Portland no longer resembles the beautiful city it was twenty years ago. Drug overdose deaths have exploded in number in the last few years. A deadly combination of progressive laws at both the state and city level have devastated the city. Leaders are making small reversals, but it is far too little too late.

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek just recently signed a bill into law that makes possession of more than 1 gram of fentanyl a misdemeanor. The Portland City Council has also outlawed camping on public property during the day, but that mandate is not being enforced currently.

City leaders voted unanimously to ban public drug use. Again, that decision can’t be implemented unless state laws change.

None of those moves are having an impact on the growing homeless population or the spreading cancer of drug addiction strangling the city. Residents and businesses are fleeing the city as crime skyrockets due to all of it.

One thing has turned around in the city reportedly: The response to the police who are now welcomed not only by residents and business owners but also by some of those on the street. They are quick to thank officers.

“It’s super positive from the business community and even, for the most part, from just the people we’re arresting,” Cioeta remarked.

Both Baier and Cioeta credit the bike patrol with making the police more accessible and welcome.

“We’re a part of the community because there’s nowhere to go, right? When you’re on a bike, you’re exposed to everything,” Baer pointed out. “People can interact with you. You’re available. You can hear and smell and see everything that goes on on the streets.”

Only two or three summers ago, police were hated in Portland and often insulted, if not outright attacked. Messages such as “kill all cops” were commonly tagged on buildings.

But the pendulum is swinging back and residents in Portland are sick of the crime and death surrounding them.

Cioeta credits it to a “change in the times.”

“2020 was just a different time in our society as a whole,” he commented. “I think people see that and things are just changing dramatically.”

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