The Portland Police Bureau’s effort to set up a new uniformed team of officers to address gun violence remains a challenge.
Police have had little success finding two sergeants and 12 officers to sign up for the duty.
So far, about three officers have volunteered for the positions, Oregon Live reports.
The bureau has put out a job description but many officers haven’t shown any interest because they’re unsure of what will be expected of them, said Assistant Police Chief Jami Resch, who oversees the investigations branch.
The uniformed squad, dubbed the Focused Intervention Team, is designed to fight gun violence proactively with a patrol presence on Portland streets. The plan has been to have the team cover seven days a week to get guns off the street directed by police intelligence, identify people involved in recent shootings and “interrupt the cycle of violence,” according to a bureau memo. In April, the bureau estimated it would take 30 to 45 days to set up.
A key component is to have a 12-member community oversight group to monitor the team’s actions. The city has moved forward and selected 12 people to serve as members of the community oversight group.
Resch said officers have “a lot of questions” about the community group’s role in their work.
The city disbanded it existing Gun Violence Reduction Team last year as part of a $15 million cut to the police budget, citing concerns about its disproportionate stops of people of color.