PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — Commissioners have heard from Portland residents who are fed up with crime in the city, saying their employees aren’t safe working downtown.
A recent survey among Portland voters found that pessimism and frustration are reaching unprecedented heights.
The comments come just days after the Portland Business Alliance released the results of a new poll of Portland voters. Voters said the city was getting worse and heading in the wrong direction.
The survey revealed three main areas of concern: crime, safety and the homelessness crisis.
On Wednesday, the commissioners heard from employees who work for the federal government. One person who spoke works for the US Geological Survey, which is located on the south end of the Portland State University campus.
“We are forced to begin a move to a safer location outside of Portland,” Dar Crammond said.
Crammond said they sometimes dealt with the tragedy of homelessness before, and sometimes with crime. But things have changed.
“Over the past two years, these sad realities have become intolerable conditions. We have had two burglaries in our offices. We have had at least two rounds of camps in our offices and in our secure parking lot. When finally they were evacuated , dozens have returned and relocated Last year, a propane heater explosion on our sidewalk blew out office windows A person was seen shooting into traffic on I-205 Drug trafficking is rampant, and we often have to step over discarded needles and people sleeping outside our doors to get to work,” Crammond told commissioners. “Our employees have had many dangerous and threatening encounters with unbalanced residents of these camps. Garbage and human waste is everywhere.”
As a result, Crammond said his employees suffered from traumatic stress. To try to help, they instituted a buddy system, held safety training, and spent $300,000 on safety.
Certainly not the work the US Geological Survey technicians and scientists signed up for, but Crammond said that was the reality of the situation.
Portland city commissioners listened and sympathized, and said they would like to work with Crammond on the complex issues.
Another finding from the recent Portland Business Alliance poll, 81% of Portland voters said they did not trust elected leaders to effectively deliver public services.