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Portland Boosts Hate-Crime Response

Portland Boosts Hate-Crime Response


Portland, Ore., city officials are stepping up their response to hate crimes after an antigay attack over Memorial Day weekend.

James Campbell (pictured) and his friends were assaulted by a group yelling homophobic epithets, and Campbell was knocked into the street. Police officers who were across the street responded quickly to end the fracas, but at a subsequent community forum, Campbell learned that many victims of bias crimes don't report the attacks, he told television station KATU.

To address the problem, the city is providing enhanced training to police in Portland's Central Precinct, which appears to have the highest incidence of hate crimes. It is also assigning a liaison officer to the Q Center, the city's LGBT community center. Other steps include training volunteers to work as advocates for hate-crime victims and setting up a citizens' crime watch, "Q patrol," to monitor the area. Additional officers will be assigned to the Central Precinct during the city's gay pride celebration this weekend.

Mayor Sam Adams, who is gay, told KATU he wants to ensure that Portlanders "have a sense of safety and trust in city government and the police bureau."

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