Portland 911 System Overloaded after Overdose Crisis

(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Portland’s commissioner of public safety, Rene Gonzalez, has pleaded to locals to refrain from calling 911 unless there is an emergency. The system is now clogged with calls regarding overdoses.

In a posting to social media, Gonzalez gave an update on the situation and appealed to city residents for assistance in keeping the telephone lines operational for life-threatening situations only. Gonzalez told “On Balance” presenter Leland Vittert that Portland’s 911 system is at breaking point and that action is needed to keep it operational and assist people in need.

Reports show voters in Oregon approved Measure 110, a referendum that ended criminal penalties for drug possession, in 2020. Possession of illegal drugs is now just a Class E infraction, punishable by a fine of only $100, rather than a felony or misdemeanor.

The statute sent nonviolent offenders to treatment facilities and established a statewide addiction program for drug abusers seeking alternatives to jail to lower the prison population.

Due to the “pandemic” of COVID-19, Measure 110’s addiction treatment rollout was halted. Drug overdose deaths have soared while jail rates have dropped.

Gonzalez said addiction treatment was crucial to attracting votes, and that Oregon promised state-level addiction services that never materialized.

Gonzalez explained to Vittert that individuals engaged in that “drug lifestyle” would seek therapy in local communities if drugs were decriminalized nationally. Many individuals who seek to escape drug laws migrate to Oregon.

He said Portland is probably too tolerant of behaviors that impair livability for others. They’ve promoted state and county judicial reform for a decade and are now paying the price, he claimed, and that some well-intentioned actions have been harmful.

A report shows residents have deserted Multnomah County, where Portland resides, costing over a billion dollars, according to recent data.

New polling shows that most Oregonians want to overturn the hard drug decriminalization legislation.

Open-air drug sales and homeless camps have grown in recent years. Drug abusers often steal to sustain their habit. Repealing this legislation would help fix some of these issues.
Voters also backed removing a portion of the bill to reinstate penalties for petty drug possession.

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