Armed private security forces, hired by local businesses, are now patrolling Portland, Oregon’s, downtown to keep the peace amid a crime spree, following a Portland city government decision to slash police funding by $16 million.
According to local news sources, Portland, like most major cities, is suffering from a spike in crime. “Homicides in Portland increased from 28 in 2019 to 54 in 2020. Among cities similar in size to Portland, Seattle saw an increase from 34 to 53 homicides, in Minneapolis, a spike from 48 to 82, and Milwaukee saw homicides increase from 97 to 190 from 2019 to 2020, ” KGW reported earlier this summer.
Portland, the outlet added, is likely on track to see around a thousand homicides this year.
The city is also still reeling from an extended spate of demonstrations — a 100-day streak of protests that caused an estimated $23 million in damages, $2 million in damages to federal buildings in downtown Portland alone.