Portland's High Stakes Experiment to Shrink the Role of Police in Fighting Gun Violence

Two years after reorganizing a police gun-enforcement unit to focus it on an evidence-based approach to preventing retaliatory shootings, Portland city leaders abolished the unit in a round of police budget cuts and failed to reinvest that money in community-based alternatives that don't rely on the police. The result, criminologists say, is a worst-case scenario: a policing reform that creates a vacuum and could be to blame for an alarming spike in gun violence. The most effective solutions, they say, blend effective policing with proven community-based programs.

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