Oregon officials have declared a 90-day state of emergency in Portland due to the ongoing fentanyl crisis.
The emergency comes three years after Oregon became the first state to decriminalize all drugs.
Oregon’s experience in drug decriminalization is a warning to other cities that think it’s compassionate to let drug users populate the streets with impunity.https://t.co/CuGss8lBd1
— Wall Street Journal Opinion (@WSJopinion) January 31, 2024
“State, County and City officials declared the ‘tri-government’ fentanyl emergency following recommendations by the governor-established Portland Central City Task Force late last year,” Zero Hedge reports.
Officials will establish a ‘command center’ in Portland’s central city to utilize current resources.
Portland Declares Emergency Over Fentanyl Crisis Three Years After Decriminalizing Drug Possession https://t.co/hcqa74FILh
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) February 1, 2024
Per Zero Hedge:
Fentanyl addicts who interact with first responders in downtown Portland over the next 90 days will be triaged in this new command center.Advertisement
“Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,” said Gov. Tina Kotek (D).
According to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, “We cannot underestimate the tremendous value of bringing leaders from different disciplines in a room on a daily basis who all account for a different part of the solution.”
Mike Meyers, director of Portland’s Community Safety Division will head up the command team, while deputy police chief Nathan Reynolds of the state’s Office of Resilience and Emergency Management will be the state’s incident commander.
Portland Police will also work with Oregon State Police to jointly patrol downtown streets for fentanyl sales.
As the Epoch Times notes further, the emergency declarations do not provide extra funding for the joint actions, and government agencies will instead rearrange current budgets to cover the costs.
Oregon leaders declare 90-day state of emergency to address Portland fentanyl crisis https://t.co/PuzTpa3hBh
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) January 31, 2024
— New York Post (@nypost) January 31, 2024
More from the New York Post:
The center will serve as an immediate care access site, where those addicted to synthetic opioids will be connected with resources from a bed in a drug treatment center to meeting with a behavioral health clinician to help with registering for food stamps.
Health department officials will also collect data on the impacts of fentanyl in Portland’s downtown area to strategically address gaps in the government’s approach to quelling the city’s growing drug problem.
The effort also extends the Portland Police Bureau’s partnership with Oregon State Police to crack down on those pushing the deadly drugs, while health representatives will conduct outreach with civilians, including distributing and training on the use of Narcan.
“Today, we move forward with urgency to address these challenges together under the authority of emergency declarations. This is exactly the type of coordinated action needed to make a direct impact and a lasting difference,” Mayor Wheeler said.
The declaration is a recommendation from a governor-established task force that met for several months last year to determine ways to rejuvenate downtown Portland.
The major announcement also comes just six months after data was released showing that overdose deaths from synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, jumped 533% between 2018 and 2022 in Multnomah County, where Portland is located.