Portland, OR – Seventy-five percent of Portland residents said they do not support defunding the city’s police force, a new poll revealed.
The poll, which was conducted by The Oregonian, asked residents about their views on the downtown area, FOX News reported.
Many used words such as “unsafe,” “trash,” “dirty,” and “riots” to describe the once-vibrant business and tourist area, according to FOX News.
Tent encampments, boarded-up storefronts, busted windows, and graffiti are now commonplace downtown as a result of nearly a year of anti-police riots, vandalism, and looting.
Many of the poll’s 600 respondents said they plan to venture into the downtown area much less frequently than they had prior to the upheaval, FOX News reported.
Residents also expressed frustration with the apparent lack of arrests related to the destruction.
“There seems in the last year to be this permission to do violence,” said 75-year-old Laurie Lago, who lives in the downtown area and participated in the survey, according to FOX News.
Just 15 percent of respondents said they want to see less police in the Portland area, Newsweek reported.
In fact, a staggering 75 percent said they don’t want the number of city law enforcement officers to fall below current levels.
Half of respondents said they want to have even more officers out on the streets, and 25 percent said current staffing levels seem appropriate, Newsweek reported.
Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they believe downtown Portland is “much less safe” than it was just one year ago.
Conversely, 2 percent said they believe the area is “much safer,” according to Newsweek.
Seventy-four percent of participants said they disapprove of the way Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland City Council have handled the city’s growing homelessness problem, and 68 percent said they’re dissatisfied with how the city has handled protests and riots, according to FOX News.
After the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office refused to file charges against many of the rioters arrested for assaulting police and destroying property last year, federal prosecutors stepped up at the urging of then-President Donald Trump and filed charges against 97 suspects, FOX News reported.
But under President Joe Biden’s administration, 58 of those cases have been deferred or outright dismissed.
Felony assaults on federal officers were the nexus for 16 of the 31 deferred cases.
Seven suspects pleaded guilty, but only one will serve any prison time, FOX News reported.
“Its offensive to all the men and women who risked their lives in Portland for 90 to 120 days or even longer in some cases, being attacked night after night after night,” former acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told FOX News.
Another 32 cases are still pending, according to the news outlet.
Law enforcement officers are continuing to clash with antifa rioters in downtown Portland on a regular basis.
Wheeler and the Portland City Council responded to the “defund the police” rallying cries by axing $16 million from the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) budget in August of 2020, Newsweek reported.
The move did away with school resource officers, the Gun Violence Reduction Team, and the Transit Division Program.
The Gun Violence Reduction Team was later brought back, but without concurrent funding to help support it, Newsweek reported.
Meanwhile, city lawmakers dumped $6 million into adding 24 unarmed park rangers to patrol neighborhoods and parks, as well as to help fund community organizations seeking to address violence in the community.