In the face of homicide rates that continue to soar and too few detectives to solve them, the Portland Police Bureau is reportedly shutting down its cold case division and transferring detectives from other teams to the homicide division, dealing a “devastating” blow to desperate families seeking answers and justice for their loved ones.
Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell told department employees in a recent email that the current number of 18 homicide detectives is not sustainable, Fox News reports.
The sergeant overseeing the cold case team and six other detectives from across the bureau will now respond to active homicide cases, in what will be the bureau’s third homicide detail.
According to Lovell, the cold case unit will be restaffed “as our resources increase.”
For friends of Paul Krekeler (aka Paul Miler), a 19-year-old victim whose fatal shooting in 2014 remains unsolved, the closure is “devastating.”
“It’s devastating to the people who are affected by this,” friend Kemper Woodruff told Fox 12. “To a mother that has nothing but a jersey to hug and say she loves each day.”
“That’s torture,” Woodruff said. “What about the future this person had that they weren’t truly able to live out? What happens when it’s your best friend? What happens when it’s your kid and there’s no one there to research?”
News of the cold case closure followed a statement Saturday from the Portland Police Bureau informing citizens that its resources were strained by “an extraordinarily busy evening of significant events.”
The Burau release went on to detail nine separate incidents, including a Friday pursuit of a reckless driver in a stolen ambulance going the wrong way on one-way streets and multiple shootings.
“As a result of the extremely heavy call load and series of significant events, all three precincts were placed on high priority (life safety) calls only for various times most of the night,” the statement read.
Extremely Busy Night Strains Resources https://t.co/uBG5mFLVlp
— Portland Police News (@PPBPIO) April 30, 2022
The state of the Portland police has been making national headlines for awhile now, and it’s hard to argue that the city of Portland didn’t actively bring at least part of this current crisis on itself.
Almost exactly one year ago, in April 2021, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler bowed to the Portland City Council and, rather than pursue his request for the Portland Police Bureau to receive $2 million in emergency funding, instead agreed to spend $6 million in grants on the hiring of 24 park rangers.
The summer prior to that, city leaders slashed $16 million from its annual budget, BizPac Review reported at the time.
In June 2021, all 50 Police Bureau employees serving on the cities all-volunteer Rapid Response Team resigned after former RRT member Corey Budworth was indicted for allegedly using unlawful physical force during an August 2020 protest.
The indictment marked the first time a member of Portland PD faced prosecution for force used during a protest.
The city’s radical, woke policies have persisted, despite an explosion in gun crimes.
According to Fox, this year alone, Portland has seen 33 homicides, with all but two the result of shootings.
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