Swept away by “Defund the Police” fervor last year, the Portland City Council eliminated the police department’s Gun Violence Reduction Team, and now not enough officers can be found to rebuild it, the Wall Street Journal reported.
As Portland hurdles toward the most murderous year in its history, just four officers have stepped forward to endure both public abuse and dangerous criminals.
The Gun Violence Reduction Team seeks 14 officers to fill its depleted ranks.
Portland has recorded 53 murders so far this year, which is on pace to surpass the crack-era murder spike in 1987 that left 70 people dead.
In the first quarter of 2021, homicides climbed 24% in 32 American cities as a result of the Marxist “Defund the Police” movement.
Police officers have avoided the once-desirable positions on Portland’s Gun Violence Reduction Team because they now come with hatred from anti-cop politicians, heightened scrutiny from a citizen-advisory board, and greater danger from emboldened criminals.
“They’re demonizing and vilifying you, and then they want to put you in a unit where
you’re under an even bigger microscope,” said Daryl Turner, head of the union that
represents Portland’s officers.
The new team has not been fully restored to its former purpose—removing illegal firearms from the streets—but adapted to the city’s new Marxist police protocols.
The team’s mission is to “identify and dismantle institutional and systemic racism in the bureau’s responses to gun violence,” National Review reported.
One veteran Portland officer scoffed at the idealistic and unreasonable mission statement.
“Martin Luther King couldn’t dismantle systematic racism. Now you want a cop to do it?” a veteran Portland officer said of the new unit. “Nobody wants to be part of something that’s set up for failure.”
Jami Resch, assistant chief of the Portland Police Bureau’s investigations branch, said morale remains low in her department.
She said that many officers want to see how the Gun Violence Reduction Team functions and how the citizen-advisory board treats it before they sign on.
In June, 50 officers on Portland’s Rapid Response Team, which contains riots, resigned at once and dissolved the team. They resigned because an officer was indicted for fourth-degree assault after hitting a rioter with a baton.