gun violence reduction pilot program shows results | JAM’N 107.5

Earlier in the day, Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Carmen Rubio and Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association President Matchu Williams hosted a walking tour and press conference to discuss the results of the first 3 months of a multi-office, collaborative pilot project aimed at reducing gun violence and associated speeding in the region. The current pilot assessment runs for 3 months from October to December 2021.

“Mt. Scott-Arleta is a diverse neighborhood with many households with young children who enjoy walking to the Mount Scott Community Center,” said Mount Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association President Matchu Williams. “The sudden increase in gunfire and reckless driving over the past year has rocked the community and spurred calls for safe streets where neighbors can gather. The pilot project gives us hope for future investments in safe streets in Mt. Scott-Arleta and throughout the city.

Working with neighbors to implement their idea, the Portland Bureau of Transportation installed a total of 18 low-cost temporary traffic barrels within a 6×6 block radius where the combination of gun violence and speeding partners was the most important.

“My office became involved in this neighborhood after a group of community members approached my office with an idea in response to the rapidly rising violence in the area,” Commissioner Hardesty said. “Neighbors were watching high-speed traffic due to incidents of gun violence in the area, further endangering community members beyond shots being fired to threats of road rage as vehicles drove by. at full speed through the off-ramp lanes and nearby residential streets.I asked my staff and PBOT to collaborate with the local community as well as offices across the city to pilot a holistic violence mitigation effort.

Commissioner Hardesty’s office and the PBOT were not alone, as the response became a collaborative effort involving the PBOT, Parks and Recreation, the Community Safety Division of the OMF, the Police Bureau of Portland and local community residents.

“To end this increase in gun violence, we will need a combination of short-term mitigation measures and long-term solutions that address the root causes of the violence. We need a comprehensive and comprehensive response. said Commissioner Hardesty.

Summarizing the work between October and December 2021

  • PBOT placed 18 barrels of traffic calming at the request of neighbors
  • Parks & Recreation increased Park Ranger patrol and repaired Mt. Scott park lighting
  • The Portland Police Bureau has increased patrols in the area and strengthened collaboration with Park Rangers
  • Commissioner Hardesty’s office interviewed area residents to gather their concerns and ideas
  • City staff spoke to local businesses and encouraged the installation of security cameras
  • Based on a partnership with the Multnomah County Youth Violence Prevention Office

The results

  • 64% decrease in verified shots in the first 3 months of the pilot following an intervention that began in October 2021, compared to the 3 months before the pilot intervention
  • Following the intervention, gun violence decreased in the neighborhood compared to the city as a whole. This decrease occurred while the number of shootings in the rest of the city remained constant.
  • The Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood has seen a huge increase in 911 calls related to the shooting (251% increase from 2019 to 2021). This is believed to be both due to the actual increase in shootings, but also because people are on heightened alert, leading to 911 calls reporting gun violence which are then subject to investigation and are determined to be fireworks or other loud noise.
  • 72% of our survey respondents were looking for solutions beyond traditional law enforcement, such as raising awareness about youth violence prevention and creating an active and positive community space.
  • Twice as many survey respondents believed the traffic intervention had reduced traffic for people fleeing a shooting compared to those who did not perceive a difference.

“A wise elected leader whom I greatly respect used to say that everyone has a role to play in creating a safe and prosperous community,” Commissioner Rubio said. “The community of Mt. Scott and SE Uplift have done an excellent service to the greater Portland community, and I am grateful for their advocacy. As Portland’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner, I’m open to hearing from other park-adjacent neighborhoods interested in similar pilot projects.

“The Portland Police Department was pleased to partner with Portland Parks & Recreation in walking officers through Mount Scott Park with rangers,” Deputy Police Chief Mike Frome said. “Efforts like this demonstrate how the City of Portland can address issues like gun violence holistically, rather than treating it as a purely policing issue. In the coming months, the Police Bureau looks forward to continued partnerships with Parks & Recreation, the Bureau of Transportation, and any other city office that has innovative ideas on how to improve community safety.In addition to the work in Mount Scott Park, the office of Portland Police conducted five targeted missions in the Mount Scott-Arleta neighborhood between November 2021 and January 2022, resulting in sixty-three police custody and the seizure of three firearms.

“This community-focused approach with offices working collectively to support them is a great framework for the future as we work to address safety issues across Portland,” said Mike Myers, director of safety transition. community. “The continuation of this pilot project will allow the team to properly assess the effectiveness of the program over the coming months.

“To be clear, this is a short evaluation period and a volatile data set that we will need to continue to evaluate and adapt to what it teaches us. We have not implemented this pilot project long enough to call it a success, but early results are promising,” said Commissioner Hardesty. “I know people are scared. The amount of gun violence we have attended last year and so far in 2022 is unacceptable Based on the data I have seen and the conversations I have had, I want to continue this pilot project in Mt. Scott and beyond. look forward to working with my colleagues over the next budget cycle to see what this will look like in the future.

Source: Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

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