February 19, 2014 08:05
On Tuesday February 18, 2014, the "Summit to Combat Gun Violence and Crime" brought together law enforcement officers from across the United States together to discuss different strategies to effectively address gun violence. The summit was held at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Portland.
"This was a unique opportunity for law enforcement to discuss innovative strategies to keep our communities safe from gun violence," said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese. "There was broad support from the law enforcement professionals that we need effective preventative, investigative, and enforcement strategies to effectively address gun violence."
The summit was hosted by the Portland Police Bureau and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
Law enforcement officials in attendance included representatives from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, FBI, ATF, DEA, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Topics discussed included a regional overview on gun violence and crime statistics; the nature of gun crimes in the region; how crime guns are ending up in the community; guns, gangs and drugs; active shooters; regional attitudes about guns and gun violence; background checks; and firearms and mental health.
In 2013 firearms were used in 62.5% of all homicides and 36.8% of all suicides in Portland. In addition, firearms were involved in 201 robberies, 195 assaults and 19 attempted murder cases.
"In listening to all the law enforcement representatives in the room, we found that there are more similarities than differences," said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director at PERF. "There is strong support for a regional approach to reducing gun violence, increasing mental health treatment and reducing access to firearms by criminals and those struggling with mental health issues."
"Prosecuting gun crimes is a priority for my office," said Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. "Prosecutors and police officers work daily to solve gun crimes that negatively affect the livability of our community."
PERF was founded in 1976 as a nonprofit organization and is a police research organization and a provider of management services, technical assistance, and executive-level education to support law enforcement agencies. PERF helps to improve the delivery of police services through the exercise of strong national leadership; public debate of police and criminal justice issues; and research and policy development.
The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team and Gun Task Force continue to actively investigate gang and gun crimes in the City of Portland. Anyone with information about gang and/or illegal gun crimes in the City of Portland is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau.
If you see an illegal gun crime in progress, call 9-1-1.
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204