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Portland struggles to cope as murder rate reaches record high

Portland is implementing novel solutions to try to improve safety 
Sara Cline, Associated Press

A US city experiencing a record crime surge has had 67 murders so far this year, surpassing its previous record of 66 set in 1987.

Police in Portland, Oregon are struggling to keep up amid an acute staffing shortage and budget cuts.

Now, the liberal Pacific Northwest city is implementing novel solutions to try to improve safety.

They include adding traffic barrels to prevent drive-by shootings and suspending minor traffic stops so officers can focus on immediate threats.

But critics say the city is failing.

Nationally, homicides increased by nearly 30% from 2019 to 2020, based on FBI data.

But in Portland, deadly violence is increasing at a faster rate than nearly all major cities, with an 83% jump in murders last year.

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