Portland police expands bike patrol during heightened anti-Israel protests on PSU campus

The City of Portland has added an extra police bicycling crew to its bureau, and Mayor Ted Wheeler said it's a welcome addition to a crew that's already made an impact.

"The @PortlandPolice Central Bike Squad has made a tremendous impact downtown - and we're excited to announce they are expanding. A new team of 4 officers and 1 sergeant will now work evenings and weekends," the mayor tweeted.

The new force adds four officers and one sergeant to its existing five members, of which the team already works Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new team of five will work shifts Wednesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight. That schedule could be adjusted for special missions, officials said.

“I am thrilled to be in a position to expand the Central Bike Squad,” Portland Police Bureau Chief Bob Day said. “Our Bike Squad does incredible work Downtown and growing the team will only improve upon that work. In addition, adding resources to our Bike Squad furthers my goals of transforming the dynamic between police and the public and reducing crime and the fear of crime.”

Although the police department said its bike crew "will strategically address crime and livability issues, including drug dealing, unlawful weapons possession, stolen vehicles, graffiti, and other vandalism," it will focus on downtown and the entertainment district.

Portland State University has been a hotspot for anti-Israel protesters in the last two weeks. One week ago, PPB arrested 30 protesters who took over the PSU library twice in one day.

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