Portland decides to get serious about soaring crime rates and agrees to hire more... Park Rangers?

Apr 9th

I don't know about you, but when I find myself being threatened by a gun-wielding homicidal maniac, my first thought is to dial Smokey Bear.

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler had originally asked the City Council to provide $2 million in additional funding to the police to deal with the skyrocketing increases in gun violence.

Imagine for a moment living in a city where Ted Wheeler is the law-and-order conservative.

Unfortunately for the residents of Portland, that didn't work out.

Portland City Council approved a $6 million proposal Wednesday to try to slow a sharp increase in gun violence that has the city on pace to shatter the previous one-year homicide record set over three decades ago.

In regular racist math, that would be THREE TIMES what Wheeler wanted for the police, but using woke math, 6 divided by 2 equals JUSTICE.

The last-minute agreement is a compromise between the mayor and the council's three newest commissioners, who pushed the mayor to find an answer to the skyrocketing number of shootings that didn't include earmarking new funds for the police bureau.

Interesting approach. They weren't seeking the best solution, or the most efficient one. They were seeking the solution that specifically ruled out the one city service designed to deal with the specific problem at hand. Their eventual solution included $4.1 million for grants for nonprofits working with the city's Office of Violence Prevention to reduce gun violence.

It would be like refusing to consider hiring more construction workers for emergency bridge repairs and instead funneling money to nonprofit outreach services to counsel people to drive more gently.

As for Smokey Bear, he gets $1.4 million.

$1.4 million will be funneled to the city's Parks & Recreation bureau to hire park rangers, who would patrol the city's parks and neighborhoods through the end of the year.

Park Rangers, patrolling city parks armed with pepper spray, a note pad, and a very stern look of disapproval.

How do you think that's going to work out?

Pretty much as you would expect if past is prologue.

It turns out that Park Rangers who had been attempting to politely pass out fliers to the homeless encampment about plans to close the park for a restoration project were run off by a crazy guy with a machete and a paint ball gun.

About 45 minutes later, another team of Park Rangers responded to a fire burning in the park, which is a violation of park rules. Park Rangers reported requesting assistance from Portland Police as they went to address the fire.

What do Park Rangers do when confronted with violence? What anyone else would do when armed with little more than good intentions. They called the police.

So, less Smokey Bear, and maybe more Yogi Bear?

Wheeler did get one big "win."

Jim Middaugh, the communications director for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, said the mayor got the council's approval to re-assign 12 officers and two sergeants to form a gun violence intervention team. This aspect is not included in the ordinance, but, according to the mayor's office, was part of the agreement.

You heard that right, 14 existing officers will be getting some new business cards.

Take that, City Council. No one messes with Ted Wheeler without regretting it.

Meanwhile, in other news...


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