"Operation Cool Down" begins this weekend

"Operation Cool Down" begins this weekend

GRESHAM, Ore. - Reports of an Thursday evening street fight on this part of southeast 190th brings out gang enforcement officers.

In this case one person is taken into custody.

That follows an overnight shooting on this very same block, the third shooting on this block this year.

Neighbors say shootings are happening more and more often.

“So I’m walking down this street,” says neighbor Sabrina Bucklin, “What would have happened if I was walking home somewhere and the gunshots went off?  I would have actually been shot probably.”

“It’s pretty crappy,” says neighbor Paula Likes, “that people come in and just like take over your neighborhood and you have NO say in the matter.”

This weekend,  Portland and Gresham police will start the latest round of ‘operation cool down.’

It includes extra patrols and probation checks.

The goal - stemming gang violence tied to many of the latest shootings.

It’s been done before.

Officers swept through northeast Portland’s Holladay park for operation cool down in 2011 following a string of gang-related shootings.

There were also ‘cool down’ sweeps in 2009 and 2005.

There is some evidence those sweeps work.

According to Portland’s budget office starting in 2002, gang-related homicides were on the rise.

After cool down efforts started – the numbers dropped to zero gang homicides in 2006.

Since then, the gang killing numbers have gone back up

“It’s not safe anymore," says Sabrina Bucklin, "We’ve just been really lucky since I’ve been here, not once has somebody actually been shot in our apartment complex.”