Portland Gun Violence Reduction Team Makes Progress

The Portland Police Bureau's Tactical Operations Division's Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) continues to work diligently to prevent gun violence city-wide by proactively seizing illegally possessed and used firearms, working with community partners to break the cycle of violence through appropriate community referrals and coordination of resources, and investigation of gun-related violence that has occurred with the goal of identifying those responsible.

The Gun Violence Reduction Team is providing the following information about the unit's work and current statistics on gun violence in the City of Portland:

  • The Gun Violence Reduction Team transitioned from a gang-related gun crimes focus to triaging all shooting cases as of October 2018. Calls to 911 reporting shots fired between October 2018 to March 2019 are down 28%, since this change was made.
  • So far this year, the unit has triaged 135 shootings. Of these, the team responded to 99 shooting scenes, and assigned 76 felony level shooting cases to the team's Detectives.
  • In these 135 shootings, 34 individuals were struck and injured by gunfire, 13 community members lives were taken, and 655 casings have been recovered so far.
  • Since instituting the new model in October, the number of shootings per month has been trending downward (November-34; December-35, January-34, February-31, March-32, and April-29 shootings).
  • The NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network) program continues to provide critical investigative leads on shootings in a quick time frame. The unit has experienced a 27% success rate in linking cases for serial shooters. This program is made possible through a collaborative effort with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Portland Area Crime Gun Initiative. These efforts are all components of the 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. For more information about CGICs, visit https://crimegunintelcenters.org/

Illegal firearm recoveries in the City of Portland were as follows:

  • 2017- 759 guns recovered
  • 2018 -1034 guns recovered
  • 2019 year to date -322 guns recovered (If the current pace continues, an estimated 1300 firearms will likely be seized for 2019)

While some of the work can be measured in statistics, the positive relationships the team members have built both in the community and with outside agency partners are critical and beyond measure.

"Portland has not been immune to gun violence for quite some time. It negatively impacts all of us who live in, work in, or visit the city," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "The work being done by the Gun Violence Reduction Team is cutting edge because of the collaborative approach and investigative response. We rely upon them to continue the collaboration with community partners to reduce gun violence city-wide using nationally recognized best practices."

"As a native of Portland, and someone who has been part of it's gang culture since 1988, I firmly believe the termination of the Gang Violence Reduction Team would have a negative impact on community safety," said Royal Harris, community member, "GVRT Officers are the boots on the ground relationship that we need to replicate to embed police as part of the community."

Source: Portland Police Bureau

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