How bad are things in ultra-liberal Portland? This bad: Rene Gonzalez, Portland’s commissioner of public safety, recently implored the city’s residents to refrain from calling 911 except for immediate “life/death” situations. Well, and maybe not even then. The commissioner also requested that citizens not call 911 if there is no chance of apprehending the suspect in any case.
Gonzalez took to X, formerly Twitter, to post: “Our 911 system is getting hammered this morning with a multiple person incident — multiple overdoses in northwest park blocks. Please do not call 911 except in event of life/death emergency or crime in progress (or chance of apprehending suspect). For non-emergency please use 503-823-3333.”
In addition to slashing the size of its police force, Portland has decriminalized possession and use of hard drugs, which—surprise!—has led to an increase in the number of overdose cases…and deaths, especially among the homeless. In response, Oregon lawmakers are attempting to make Narcan, an over-the-counter drug used to treat opioid overdoses, more widely available to the public. Better than trying to address the root of the problem!
But, hey, there are labor shortages everywhere, so cut Portland some slack.
If you do happen to witness—or experience-- a life-threatening emergency while in P-town, and you believe there’s a chance the perpetrator could be apprehended despite the general dearth of law enforcement, by all means go ahead and call 911. Just don’t be surprised if you receive one of the following messages:
“Please hold for the next available crisis manager…”
“Your call is very important to us…and is expected to be answered within 20 minutes.”
“We’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed.”
“If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and dial again.”
“Please enter your physical address, email address, social security number, date of birth, voting preference, annual income, and the nature of your emergency…followed by the pound sign…”
“We are currently experiencing greater than normal call volume…”