Sheriff's Office Progress To End Gun Violence

Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese updated the agencies efforts to reduce gun violence. He released the following statement:

A month ago, I shared my deep concerns over the dramatic rise in violent crime and murder-related jail bookings across Multnomah County. In my open letter to the community, I included several law enforcement strategies that could be employed to tackle gun violence and traffic violence, particularly in areas where these occur at higher rates.

Knowing violence has no borders, at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office we are doing all we can to reduce violence in the communities we serve, and throughout the county. In alignment with our public safety partners and community organizations, we developed a violence reduction strategy, called the Enhanced Public Safety Initiative, or EPSI.

EPSI is a combination of individual, data-driven solutions that all work toward the goals of reducing: gun violence, traffic violence and drug overdose deaths. Our Planning and Research team examined data from various road departments and public safety agencies and created maps, showing where traffic-related fatalities and gun violence intersect, in Multnomah County, since January 2020. This data focused our efforts to help communities most impacted by violence.

Some of the solutions include:

  • Traffic enforcement to reduce reckless and impaired driving.
  • Locating and recovering stolen vehicles and firearms.
  • Increasing gun dispossession efforts by removing firearms from individuals prohibited by law from possessing them.
  • Increasing presence on transit lines and stations most impacted by crime.
  • Meeting with community organizations to strengthen relationships.

Since these efforts began, MCSO has led and will continue to lead missions focused on locating stolen vehicles and seizing illegal firearms in hot spot locations in East Multnomah County. So far, the missions have resulted in 65 traffic stops, 25 arrests, and 5 recovered stolen vehicles. Of those arrested, charges included warrants, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and reckless endangering. We want to thank the Portland Police Bureau Air Support Unit and the Gresham Police Department for their assistance in these missions.

The Gun Dispossession Unit continues its work to remove firearms from individuals prohibited by a court order from possessing them because they may pose a risk to themselves or others. In fact, deputies assigned to this unit have removed 86 firearms, between January 1 and May 17, 2022, nearly doubling last year’s rate. So far, in 2022, 285 firearms have been seized or recovered by the Sheriff’s Office.

Our work does not stop here. At the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, we are committed to reducing gun and traffic violence. Safety for all is the foundation of a healthy and thriving community. 

Additional traffic enforcement missions and focused-intervention efforts are scheduled over the next several weeks. I look forward to sharing with you more next month on our continued efforts.

Sheriff Mike Reese

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