The Portland City Council approved a $44 million spending plan on Wednesday to bolster the city’s police budget and address the homeless population.
The plan allocates $7 million toward recruiting new police officers and unarmed public safety officers, hiring 25 retired police officers, and buying body cameras. The funds come as Portland has recorded over 70 homicides this year, breaking the previous all-time record of 66 murders in 1987.
Portland police spent over $12 million to respond to near-nightly riots in the summer and fall of 2020.
Residents and local businesses have voiced frustration about the level of homelessness in the city.
“Our houseless community needs resources and access to sanitary and stable shelter,” Wheeler said. “Portlanders in crisis need the right responder to show up and assist them in a reasonable timeframe.