Portland Police Bureau trying to keep up financially with ongoing protests
Posted June 6
PORTLAND, OR — According to Portland police, they have used money from their existing budget to pay cops overtime, but that has not been enough to get extra help.
Police came to Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland on Sunday wearing riot gear for a pro-Trump, free speech rally.
In turn, many who opposed the rally showed up as well.
"I live downtown and I had to run errands but I kept myself and my daughter inside because I was just not trying to deal with the craziness," said one woman who spoke to FOX 12.
Another woman said, "I really had a feeling like something major was gonna go down so I didn't feel safe."
Police said they arrested 14 people, seized a number of weapons, and fortunately no one was hurt. This was a major change in what people witnessed on May Day where people were restrained, cuffed, and some even walked away bleeding.
Many said the vast change this past weekend was due to a heavy police presence.
"I have respect for the people that are protecting our city," said Renee Barnett.
"The Portland police have handled it the best that they could," another person said.
But for police, spending money that can be used elsewhere had not been easy.
"There's kind of a fatigue in general about protests so we'll see how the rest of the summer goes," PPB Sergeant Pete Simpson said.
According to Simpson, the police force dipped into the salaries of open police positions and used it to pay officers overtime.
"We'd much rather prefer these events happen without us having to be there," said Simpson.
But for now, it is something he said that needs to be done.
"Things could have been worse [Sunday] based on the number of weapons and things we seized in the parks. Overall, we're happy with how things were. Our goal was to keep things separated and allow people to peacefully express their first amendment rights," said Simpson.
Many of course were upset when police set off chemical bombs to abate the crowd. This is something many said they could have done without.
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