Portland, Oregon has reportedly got 67 incidents of homicides so far in 2021 and the city also has surpassed the previous record which was 66 homicides in 1987.
It was nearly a close call on Friday when Jacob Vasquez went into a cafe from the tavern where he used to work in northwest Portland- which is an area that has a divine dining scene, as most of the city people enjoy the eateries.
This 34-year-old man was at the pizza eatery for a very short period when shots began and he was hit by a gunshot and died at the spot.
His death in September was listed in one of the 67 homicides that happened this year in Portland– however, the previous record was found to be at 66 homicides.
There was an ongoing fear and frustration amid the homicide incidents as there are more stories just like Vasquez. Unlike previous incidents, the gunmen were caught in the crossfire.
“People should be leery because this is a dangerous time,” said Lionel Irving Jr., a lifelong Portland resident, and a gang outreach worker.
The police department of Portland is now struggling to keep its mind strong due to budget cuts and staff shortages. The city is also implementing sound solutions to improve the safety of the people that including adding traffic barricades that will prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so that the officers can focus on any threats immediately and take appropriate actions.
“Let’s please untie the hands of our law enforcement officers,” Vasquez’s brother-in-law, Don Osborn, said outside the business where Vasquez was slain. “I believe if the proper tools were in place for our law enforcement officers, this wouldn’t even have happened.”
“We are running on fumes. There’s no way we can investigate thoroughly, and correctly, all these shootings,” said Daryl Turner, executive director of Portland’s police union.
Around the US, there have been police budgets that are also being restored at the moment. From LA to NYC, some law enforcers who underwent massive cuts in police budgets amid the nationwide protest over the ongoing shooting incidents have local leaders that help in restoring funds and implementing new programs.
In Portland, there is also a budget for public safety in the form of a $60 million general budget.
“We have to realize that everybody has a role, from community members to the police department,” Irving said. “No one entity is going to solve gun violence.”