Portland Police to stop labeling people as gang members

The decision was announced Friday

PPB seal, file. (KOIN)
PPB seal, file. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Beginning in October, the Portland Police Bureau will stop documenting people as gang members.

The bureau announced the decision Friday during the Community Peace Collaborative meeting.

The Gang Designation Policy was implemented more than 20 years ago when the gun and gang violence rates had dramatically escalated in the city. It was created to help police decrease gun violence.

In recent years, the bureau — while working with community members — realized being labeled a “gang member” can negatively impact a person trying to overcome challenges in their life.

The names of 300 people who are currently on the list will be removed from the database when the policy is rescinded Oct. 15. The bureau is also working to create services for those who may be involved in gangs or violent gang-related behaviors.

The bureau will continue to focus their efforts on people who engage in any violent crime and those who do so on behalf of a criminal organization.