By Chandler Watkins
PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — Violent crime in Multnomah County prompted sheriff Mike Reese to pen an open letter to the community last month, as well as lay out several strategies law enforcement would be using to tackle gun and traffic violence in the county.
“In alignment with our public safety partners and community organizations, we developed a violence reduction strategy, called the Enhanced Public Safety Initiative, or EPSI,” MCSO stated in a press release. “EPSI is a combination of individual, data-driven solutions that all work toward the goals of reducing: gun violence, traffic violence and drug overdose deaths. Our planning and research team examined data from various road departments and public safety agencies and created maps, showing where traffic-related fatalities and gun violence intersect, in Multnomah County, since January 2020. This data focused our efforts to help communities most impacted by violence.”
In the press release, MCSO stated some of the solutions they decided upon included:
Traffic enforcement to reduce reckless and impaired driving Locating and recovering stolen vehicles and firearms Increasing gun dispossession efforts by removing firearms from individuals prohibited by law from possessing them Increasing presence on transit lines and stations most impacted by crime Meeting with community organizations to strengthen relationships
One of those strategies included missions focused on locating stolen vehicles and seizing illegal firearms in “hot spot” locations, like east Multnomah County, according to MSCO.
MCSO said since these efforts began, these missions have resulted in 65 traffic stops, 25 arrests, and five recovered stolen vehicles. It said so far this year, 285 firearms have been seized or recovered, 85 of them from the Gun Dispossession Unit alone, doubling the unit’s rate from last year.
Reese said additional traffic enforcement missions and focused intervention efforts are scheduled over the next several weeks and that MCSO will be providing updates on the continued efforts.
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