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Portland To Deploy Unarmed Park Rangers To Combat Historic Crime Surge

Portland To Deploy Unarmed Park Rangers To Combat Historic Crime Surge

Union representing the city’s park rangers demands city provide Level II-A body armor

Portland, OR has been the site of antifa violence for well over a year and is already on track to shatter its 2020 murder toll—the highest the city had seen in 26 years.  Despite this, Portland’s leadership embraces the counter-intuitive, hugely unpopular, dangerous and destructive “defund the police” mantra of BLM and assorted leftist Marxist and anarchist groups.

The shocking lack of support for the city’s police has resulted in officers leaving the force in droves.  Attempting to look like they care about the violence that has infested their city, the city council approved $6 million to combat gun violence . . . and not one dime of it goes to the police.

KGW8 reports:

There have been more than 250 shootings in Portland since the start of 2021, a major spike compared to the 111 shootings in the first few months of 2020. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell knows how crucial it is to stop the violence.

“We know this work is important,” he said. “It’s some of the most important work we do ’cause it really impacts people’s lives and safety every day.”

Portland’s city council agrees. On Wednesday, it unanimously approved a $6 million plan aimed at tackling the spike in gun violence.

Not a penny of the $6 million will go to the Portland Police Bureau.

If you think that’s bad, just wait.

Part of that allocation goes to replace the Gun Violence Prevention team the city eliminated in the midst of ongoing riots and chaos with a new and improved (if smaller and civilian-led) gun violence prevention team. This toothless and expensive new version sounds like it will be about as effective in preventing gun violence as one might think.

The New York Post reports:

The deal gives police no money but calls for the Portland Police Bureau to assemble a new gun violence team to replace the one eliminated last June, when the city defunded its police by $15 million in the midst of nightly social justice protests.

The new group will be called the Focus Intervention Team. It will be smaller than the former Gun Violence Reduction Team and will have civilian oversight. Police Chief Chuck Lovell said it might be tough to find officers who want to work on the FIT and it will create more staffing shortages elsewhere in the department.

“We’re so lean right now, it’s really hard to find a place where there’s a dozen officers to pull from,” Lovell said.

But wait, the mental giants on the city council have a plan for that! Instead of having actual police officers, armed and trained to deal with a variety of potentially dangerous and deadly circumstances, Portland is going to hire 24 unarmed park rangers to roam around writing tickets and being a discouraging presence for violent, armed criminals. I say, “unarmed,” but they will be fully equipped . . . with pepper spray and a radio.

No, this is not the Bee. It’s real, and it’s insane.

Fox News reports:

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler flinched. In the midst of an unprecedented monthslong surge in gun violence and homicides, Wheeler compromised with the Portland City Council and backed off from his request that the Portland Police Bureau be appropriated $2 million in emergency funding. Instead, Wheeler and the commissioners voted to spend $6 million on grants to community groups already receiving funding and hire 24 park rangers.

“What we’re doing today is starting a pathway towards making sure that we’re investing dollars where they make the most good,” said Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “We’re also at the front end of transforming our police department.”

. . . . The city’s decision to hire unarmed park rangers instead of more police is being widely criticized by those in law enforcement. Several rangers said they are not trained or equipped to intervene during armed conflicts. Jim Ferraris, president of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, served as a longtime officer in Portland and as a chief in a suburban police department. He says the Portland Police Bureau is one of the most understaffed department’s in the country and hiring park rangers won’t reduce gun violence.

“Park rangers aren’t really going to have an impact,” said Ferraris. “That’s not what they’re trained for, that’s not what they’re hired for, that’s not what they signed up for. They don’t even have ballistic vests for protection.”

Park rangers are equipped only with pepper spray and a radio. On April 3, two rangers were patrolling Chapman Square Park in downtown Portland where a man on a bike had just been hit with a round fired from a paint ball gun. The rangers were confronted by the suspect and chased out of the park. The man carried a machete and threatened to kill the rangers. Once they fled to safety, the rangers called police who came and arrested the suspect.

It doesn’t sound like they’ve found 24 willing park rangers to take on this impossible task because their union is demanding the city provide the prospective sitting ducks with body armor.

The union itself supports the city’s depolicing efforts but notes that uniformed city employees wandering around looking for trouble will find it and be mistaken for police officers.

Willemette Week reports:

The union representing Portland park rangers has responded to a City Hall plan to deploy rangers as “eyes on the ground” to discourage gun violence—by demanding body armor.

“In the last year, there has been an increased sense of hostility toward city employees,” writes LIUNA Local 483 organizer Ted Bryan. “We are worried by the number of assaults, attempted assaults, threats and harassment toward parks staff, including rangers.”

Bryan asks the Portland City Council to provide rangers with “Level II-A body armor to protect them from projectiles and stab threats.”

. . . . The union representing those rangers, LIUNA Local 483, had not weighed in until Wednesday, when it sent written testimony to the City Council. In the letter, Bryan says the union supports the city adding ranger jobs, but is concerned that the public will think rangers are now police officers.

Bryan reminds commissioners that rangers can only issue citations to people breaking park rules, and need police help to kick people out of parks.

“Our presence in uniform may act as a deterrent for behavior that is inappropriate in parks—however, for some members of the public, the presence of uniformed city employees inspires a hostile reaction,” Bryan writes. “We are not authorized, trained or equipped to intervene in violent situations, and certainly not in situations involving gun violence. We ask you to take this into account when considering the kinds of situations to which rangers may be safely and appropriately deployed.”

LIUNA Local 483 declined to comment further on the proposal or its letter. Rubio, who oversees Portland Parks & Recreation, says she is pleased the union supports the plan.

Well, as long as the union and the rangers themselves know that these unarmed park rangers can only issue citations . . . and call for police backup on their radios, all will be well. Right?


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Unarmed? I’ll call in sick

What, no social workers available?

    FiftycalTX2 in reply to gonzotx. | April 10, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Oh, I’m sure the show of authoriti will send those burn loot murder brownshirts straight.. Just what they need, a Monty Python level “peace force”. Stop! or I shall say Stop again! Who dresses these people in the morning, they don’t have the sense to not wander around naked.

This is so farcical and Orwellian. It would be comical, if people’s lives weren’t at stake. “Gun Violence Prevention Team” — you just can’t make this stuff up, the manifest, infantile stupidity of the entire exercise.

Imagine being a law-abiding, tax-paying resident or business owner living in this Dhimmi-crat hellhole. You work hard and pay your taxes, and, all that you ask the local government to do is preserve public safety and keep the peace. But, the Dhimmi-crat apparatchiks in charge don’t give a damn about keeping the public safe; only in kowtowing to the racist, neo-communist black supremacists and the goose-stepping “Anti-fa” jackboots.

Moving out of state would seem to be the only recourse left to deal with this craziness, but, obviously, not everyone has that choice.

2smartforlibs | April 10, 2021 at 6:37 pm

Mister Rangers not going to like that Yogi.

I predict that a significant portion of those who are assigned to this (and survive) will suddenly develop disabilities that require the city or state to pay them lots of money for the rest of their lives, while exempting them from having to work.

PTSD anyone?

    CommoChief in reply to irv. | April 10, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    In fairness to these Park Rangers, the foreseeable consequence of having a mob take ones can of mace and insert in violently into ones anus is likely to induce physical and psychological trauma.

      henrybowman in reply to CommoChief. | April 10, 2021 at 8:28 pm

      Which raises a cogent question. Do these guys get issued actual mace, or do they have to use their own departmental bear spray?

      It’s a good thing all the city council members still get unqualified immunity, from all the malfeasance lawsuits that will be brought by the estates of dead park rangers.

LeftWingLock | April 10, 2021 at 6:49 pm

It is both racist and sexist to assume a priori that body armor will be needed. In addition, wearing body armor is aggressive and will make any situation escalate. The correct approach is to have all these park rangers dress like Mr. Rogers.

Hopefully this stupidity will be stopped before actually implemented. If not one or more of these Park Rangers is likely to be hospitalized. To place unarmed, untrained personal who have no authority to arrest in this situation is beyond stupid.

    LeftWingLock in reply to CommoChief. | April 10, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Remember the D party’s first slogan — “There is no sacrifice too great for you to make for me.” Remember the D party’s second slogan — “It is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven.”

    henrybowman in reply to CommoChief. | April 10, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    I honestly wonder if there is any chance of any of these Rangers (or whatever union may represent them) filing a “hell, no” lawsuit on the basis of “not in my job description?”

    RichieD. in reply to CommoChief. | April 10, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    Park Rangers turning in retirement papers in 3… 2… 1….

    Ghostrider in reply to CommoChief. | April 11, 2021 at 1:59 am

    Sending unarmed park rangers into the dangerous autonomous zone unarmed and untrained to confront a deadly opposing force is predictably as futile as Pickett’ Charge at Gettysburg.

Subotai Bahadur | April 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Everybody in Portland wearing any sort of city badge needs to turn it in and walk away, There is no reason to try to protect the city, its government, and people when they do not want to be protected. They voted for what they have, let them have it. The only sad thing about Portland is that it rains too much. Makes it impossible to just let the Left burn the place down completely.

Subotai Bahadur

    Dathurtz in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | April 11, 2021 at 7:33 am

    I think the goal is to get rid of the real cops and hire commie thugs. Cops think they are doing right to stay, but they are going to end up in prison once a threshold of commies is reached

      TX-rifraph in reply to Dathurtz. | April 11, 2021 at 10:18 am

      I think the plan is as you say – the replacement “cops” are ready to be hired. They are currently be trained by Antifa. This “nonsense” is the implementation of the plan. It has phases.

    The Packetman in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | April 11, 2021 at 7:58 am

    “Everybody in Portland wearing any sort of city badge needs to turn it in and walk away”

    Yep, pull the band-aid off quick … get it over with.

The left’s goal is chaos and panic, with the left offering to step in and stop it. And all we have side from Trump, Cruz etc – is the likes of that rat McConnell.

Memo for Park Rangers: Pay up the premiums for your health care and life insurance. You’re going to need both very soon.

If the park rangers won’t go then maybe you get some volunteers from the department of public works or meter maids. Pay some overtime and bonus for helping to maintain municipal order and dignity.

Hmmm…I’d be rethinking my employment as a park ranger there. I know it is incredibly hard to get into a park ranger job. I had a friend try. Takes a lot of politicking and knowing people to get ‘qualified’ applicated even looked at.

I somehow don’t think any of them signed up for being a stand in for the police though.

Stupidity is only bringing a knife to a gunfight. Madness is participating unarmed. Trying to reason with criminal sociopaths has proven to be ineffective. This has a 100% chance of failure.

I hope they’ll come complete with the great big hats:
“Only YOU… can prevent Marxist fires!”
So stirring!

And why not park rangers? When they run out of those, there are plenty of DMV clerks, special-needs instructors, road maintenance crews, zoning inspectors, and water reclamation workers they can impress to do the job of all those police officers they don’t dare fund. I’m sure they’ll do a fine job, and a much, much more sympathetic and less systemically racist one. While they last.

Wheeler plans to spend $6 million of grant money to community groups already receiving funding (pay to play) and then hire 24 park discourage civil unrest by writing citations?

This is their plan to solve gun violence, crime, burning and looting after defunding the police? Where and how do they think are going fill these positions?

On Facebook? LOL

of course this will fail but leftists learn nothing from failures so the same nonsense will be repeated ad nauseum.

I assume these rangers will have a stack of “angry letters” at their disposal for use when needed?

I don’t think it’s too much of a generalization to say that most park rangers are solitary, pacifist, tree huggers who pretty much want to hang out in nature. They are more equipped to respond to an arrant bear or racoon getting in the garbage than an Antifa or gang member. If they ask for volunteers for Portland duty, I can’t see anyone stepping up.

Doctor-Elect Disco Stu_ | April 11, 2021 at 9:11 am

Isn’t it true that the City of Ithaca also now has a similar concept in mind?

One that the wonderfully-progressive genious mayor disclosed in some glowing fashion magazine interview before consulting with the police chief?

“When seconds count, your sensitive neighborhood social worker is only minutes away.”

This was dealt with in an episode of Netflix’s Lillehammer with Stevie Van Zandt resurrecting his Soprano mob fixer role in Nordic Lillehammer. He joins a group of citizens who do exactly this. When an encounter with a group of thugs goes terribly wrong, Stevie “fixes” it. While he saved the group’s lives, he was fired for using violence.

I highly recommend watching at least that episode. BTW, the series is totally, I mean TOTALLY, politically incorrect. Refreshing and hilarious, if you ask me.

    Brave Sir Robbin in reply to DanJ1. | April 11, 2021 at 10:22 am

    This is actually a good point. At some point, and alternative control mechanism will form. It could be a mafia type control mechanism where residents are forced to pay for protection OR suffer dire consequences unlike today’s situation in which they are forced to pay for protection via taxes AND suffer dire consequences.

How about using *real* Rangers, like the ones from Texas. Things would certainly calm down in a hurry, although some snowflakes would be injured in the process. One riot, one Ranger

blacksburger | April 11, 2021 at 6:01 pm

What percentage of these homicides involve guns? I know that in general more murders are committed with knives.