Portland, Ore. – Various leaders from across Portland met this afternoon to work on stopping gun violence. They laid out a list of immediate, specific actions they want the city and community to take. Today’s meeting included Mayor Ted Wheeler and members of IPAC the Inter-Faith Peace & Action Collaborative. The group of faith leaders, police officers, and residents has been around for five years and is chaired by local pastor Matt Hennessee. They’ve been meeting since December about what specifically can be done, to recognize the lives lost, injured, and traumatized, and stop the increasing gun violence in our community which Hennessee called a public health matter. They called for several things. Short term – immediately – they are asking city council to invest in the Office of Violence Prevention for more expended street level outreach workers. They are asking for investments in the Portland Police Bureau because they say it’s important to increase the number and speed of gun crime investigations, and increase number of detectives to follow up on homicides and shootings. They also are calling for investments to be married with a specific community oversight committee – that should be part of IPAC and work with number of different involved people. They want collaboration – people continuously working together to determine what more can be done to help solve the problem of rising gun violence.
Listen to the meeting’s opening statement from Pastor Hennessee here: