The Portland Police Bureau has changed the way it investigates shootings in the city.
The restructured Gun Violence Response Team (GVRT), a unit within the Tactical Operations Division, is now contacted about every shooting. Before this change, GVRT only responded to shootings that were gang related.
Now, a GVRT sergeant is available 24/7 and will be contacted by officers who respond to a scene where there is evidence of gunfire. The GVRT sergeant will determine if members of GVRT, the Robbery Detail, Domestic Violence Reduction Unit, Homicide Detail or another investigative unit will respond to assume the investigation.
With this restructure, Chief Danielle Outlaw assigned an additional six detectives and six officers to join the Tactical Operations Division.
A second part of the approach involves the use of technology and collaboration.
The Bureau, which is now part of the Portland Area Crime Gun Initiative (PACGI), based on the National Crime Gun Intelligence Center model, works with other law enforcement partners to prevent violent crime by identifying perpetrators, linking criminal activities, and identifying sources of crime guns for immediate disruption, investigation, and prosecution.
These efforts and others are all components of Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs), an interagency collaboration focused on the immediate collection, management, and analysis of crime gun evidence, such as shell casings, in real time, in an effort to identify shooters, disrupt criminal activity, and to prevent future violence.
As part of this collaboration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provided the Portland Police Bureau's Tactical Operation Division with a National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) machine for one year. Through NIBIN, the Bureau can access forensic information on recovered casings.
This information is just one investigative factor, but in the past it would have taken weeks, if not months, to receive the information. Now, investigators are able to access the information immediately, and perhaps identify a suspect and stop them from committing additional shootings.
After a directive and roll call training video are completed within a few weeks, the Bureau will move toward a 100 percent submission rate for casings.
The Portland Area Crime Gun Initiative also includes the Gresham Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, US Attorney's Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Crime Lab, ATF and FBI.
The Portland Police Bureau and PACGI will continue to work with the Office of Youth Violence Prevention (OYVP), Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (HEAT), and the Gang Impacted Families Team (GIFT). The Police Bureau's Tactical Operation Division facilitates frequent investigative reviews within the Police Bureau and among PACGI members. The Bureau also continues to partner and share information with the Office of Youth Violence Prevention in a coordinated effort to reach community members directly impacted by gun violence.
This holistic approach, which includes services and assistance to those involved in or at risk for future violence made available through OYVP is intended to prevent further gun violence and trauma in our community.
By this time last year there were 240 shootings in Portland. So far in 2018, there have been 271 shooting investigations in the city.
For more information about shootings, visit the Police Bureau's open data at portlandoregon.gov/police.