June 22nd, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts

Adams Vows (Another) Crackdown on Gang Violence


A year and a half ago, it was then-Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman's "Operation Cool Down."

Today, Mayor Sam Adams didn't borrow Saltzman's operational title for his own effort to crack down on gang violence. But he might have. After the dreariest June on record, the mayor linked gang violence to hot weather.

"Law enforcement data shows an increase in gang activity in the Portland area. When you combine that with the summertime temperatures and high levels of unemployment and youth unemployment ... We have work cut out for us to keep the city safe and peaceful this summer," Adams said at a press conference outside North Precinct.

The news conference — on one of the only sunny weekdays in recent memory — came in response to three North Portland shootings in the past week that police said were gang-related. Two of the shootings were fatal.

• On June 15, a man was shot in McCoy Park. His injuries are not life-threatening, police say. No arrests have been made.

• On June 18, 41-year-old Shawn Crawford was fatally shot on the corner of North Albina Avenue and Jessup Street. No arrests have been made.

• On Monday, 17-year-old Billy Moore was fatally shot on the 8900 block of North Woolsey Avenue. Police say Moore had just exited a TriMet bus after visiting his mother at OHSU Hospital. His mother was taken off life support and died several hours later. A 17-year-old suspect has been arrested.

"This is always a tragedy, but the fact that the deceased's mother was removed from life support and died after the deceased just makes this a double, double horrible tragedy," Adams said today.

Adams put out a call for Portlanders to volunteer for neighborhood watch programs and help with youth activities this summer. Call 823-4000 for more information. He also said Regence Boys & Girls Club in New Columbia Villa needs volunteers. Call 853-8678.

North Precinct Commander Jim Ferraris said police will work more closely with gang-outreach volunteers and probation officers. He said those efforts will "bring a positive presence to the streets in our neighborhoods."

Lt. Kevin Modica, head of tactical operations at the Police Bureau, said anti-gang policing will not result in racial profiling. After police fatally shot 25-year-old Keaton Otis this spring, some African-American community leaders raised concerns about profiling based on race and attire.

"Are people going to be targeted because of what they look like?" Modica said. "I will tell you no."

(Photo from left: Modica, Ferraris and Adams)
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