Defunding the police is continuing to backfire in Democrat-run areas, with one radical city ordering ballistic vests for its firefighters as violence surges.
Just as conservatives predicted, the “Defund the Police” movement is having serious consequences in radical leftist cities around the country, especially Portland, Oregon.
As violence surges, Portland firefighters will soon be wearing ballistic vests in addition to their other gear.
Terry Foster, a spokesperson for Portland Fire and Rescue (PFR), announced that the city’s decision to order ballistic vests for their firefighters was made due to the “changing landscape” and an increase in incidents where firefighters have had to deal with violent patients and bystanders.
Alan Ferschweiler, president of the Portland Firefighters’ Association (PFA), also spoke out about the decision.
“First responders, as they go in, we can become targets,” Ferschweiler said. “Even if you look at the totality of the city, it’s definitely become a less safe place to work for their firefighters. There’s no way to mince any words.”
The PFA has also agreed that the vests need to be stab-resistant.
Isaac McLennan, the PFA’s vice president, stated: “We always will do anything and everything to keep firefighters safe because that’s what keeps people in Portland safe.”
The city will be ordering approximately 200 of the ballistic vests in the near future. They will be designed specifically for the firefighters: red, with the word “medic” emblazoned on them.
According to McLennan, the push for ballistic vests has been growing steadily as the city has seen an increase in instances of people attacking or stabbing first responders.
“This is just another tool… to keep firefighters safe,” the union vice president said.
Ferschweiler also noted that he has personally been assaulted twice while on duty.
“It’s just become more of a dangerous time for first responders throughout the country,” he stated.
Violence in Democrat-run Portland has surged to record-breaking levels in the past year. According to reporting from The Oregonian, “The Portland Police Bureau reported 837 shootings through August [of 2021], with the largest year-over-year increase in the North Precinct, where 383 shootings were reported by Aug. 31 — a more than 100% increase from the same period in 2020.”
Of course, the left refuses to report on the causes of the increased violence, especially the “Defund the Police” movement. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler supported cutting $16 million from the police budget in June of 2020, which was immediately followed by 100 consecutive days of rioting. Some reports indicate that, since the police budget was reduced, the city saw a 1900% increase in murders.