Budget cuts begin; fewer police, fire on staff

Portland City Hall (file)
Portland City Hall (file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The new fiscal year began Monday, and with it cuts to the Portland city budget that affect police and fire staffing.

There are now 50 fewer police officers and 26 fewer firefighters on staff in Portland, and police officials said they will have to do more with less.

Officers from specialty units were shifted to patrol, keeping the number of officers on the street responding to emergenices at the same level.

“We have to be responsible to 911 first and foremost and violent crime first and foremost,” said PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson. “Everything after that will suffer a little bit.”

Some investigations may take longer and detectives will have to put priority on cases with more evidence that are easier to solve.

On the fire side, the Kenton and Parkrose neighborhood fire stations have half as many firefighters on duty. The PF&R Dive Team was eliminated.

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