City Hall: Police change gun violence tracking methods
The Portland Police Bureau has redesignated the Gang Violence Response Team as the Gun Violence Response Team.
The change means the team will investigate all incidents of gun violence, except for robberies and domestic violence, instead of only those involving gangs. The bureau still has a Gang Enforcement Team, however.
The change will make it impossible to directly compare the number of such incidents by month and year until 2020. The most recent numbers, including a few incidents investigated after the change was made, show little change this year from 2017. As of Oct. 1, the team had investigated 88 incidents of gang and gun violence, compared to 86 incidents of gang violence by the same time last year.
Several shootings have happened since then, including two homicides.
New policy producing more affordable housing
The Portland Housing Bureau reports that 362 affordable apartments either have been built or are in the development process since the Inclusionary Housing program approved by the City Council took effect in February 2017.
The IH program requires developers to set aside units affordable to households earning 80 percent or less of the median family income in new multifamily projects with 20 or more apartments. Over the past 18 months, the Bureau of Development Services has issued or began processing permits for 43 projects covered by the IH program.
The PHB report released Oct. 3 says Portland has a deficit of 22,000 affordable units, however, and must produce an additional 10,000 by 2035 just to maintain that gap, given the 123,000 additional households expected in the city by then.
To read the report, go to: http://tinyurl.com/ycr8k9pm.
Community oversight panel delayed
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon refused last Thursday to grant final approval to Portland's new citizen police reform oversight panel, saying he needs more information to make a final decision.
Simon is overseeing the city's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice after its investigation determined Portland police have historically used excessive force against the mentally ill. Such a committee is a required part of the settlement.
Although the City Council already has approved the new 13-member Committee on Community-Engaged Policing proposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler, Simon ordered all parties to return to court with an update on June 6.