A new survey of Portland voters shows residents are feeling less safe about the city, know more police are needed but want the police bureau to be reformed and well-trained, not defunded.

That’s the overview from the survey by the GS Strategy Group conducted for the group People of Portland. Between September 22-27, 2021, the survey polled 600 likely voters in the city of Portland.

Political consultants Dan Lavey and Kevin Looper co-founded People for Portland. And while Lavey and Looper typically oppose each other on political issues, the results of this poll show most people in the city, regardless of political view, want more police officers and they want them to wear body cameras, KOIN reports.

“Portland is the last major city without body cameras and the thing body cameras do is they hold people on both sides of the law accountable,” Looper said.

“We saw in a ton of other questions they want more community policing, cops that look like the city and that are located in their neighborhoods,” Lavey said. “Absolutely, that’s the direction to reform the police department, but first and foremost they need more officers on the street.”

The survey showed 76% of Portland residents know the city’s problems are real and not exaggerated by the media. A full 60% of those who were once opposed to police are now beginning to support more police being hired, and 71% say they support hiring more police officers even though they are concerned about social justice and racism in the bureau.

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