U.S. city of Portland under pressure to stem deadly violence: report

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon continues to be in the grips of deadly violence, despite millions of dollars invested in community-based prevention programs, police specialty teams, and a recently declared state of emergency, reported the local television station KATU on Thursday.

"Despite the city's response over the last 16 months, the violence has continued at about the same pace, or worse, as last year," said KATU in its report.

Through Aug. 10, 2021, police reported 61 homicides. The city saw at least 56 in the same period this year, according to police crime stats. More broadly, police reported 582 shootings in the first six months of 2021 compared to 673 this year.

The gun violence is still going up. "It is still continuing to escalate, and that surprises me. Of all the things that we've done, it's still continuing to escalate," Community Safety Transition Director Mike Myers said.

Myers is referencing 3.5 million U.S. dollars invested in community-based prevention programs since April 2021, a new police team, the Enhanced Community Safety Team, to investigate shootings that launched February of last year, and a separate police team to patrol and try to prevent shootings, the Focused Intervention Team, that launched in January of this year.

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