(NewsReady.com) – Portland, Oregon, was once known for its laidback vibe, mountain views, and beautiful landscape. Now, it’s known for its crime. The crime is so bad a retail giant had to close a store, and now the company is asking city leaders for help.
On February 11, Oregon Live reported Nike sent a letter to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) and other officials. The company reportedly asked officials to provide security for its Northeast Portland store, which has been closed for months because of retail theft.
The newspaper didn’t see the letter, but civil rights activist Ron Herndon did. He said it laid out what the company needed from the city to ensure its staff and the public were protected. Nike reportedly indicated its executives were sad to see the store was closed and wanted to reopen it.
News: Nike had a letter hand-delivered to the mayor's office this week asking the city to detail off-duty Portland officers to provide security at the company’s shuttered NE community store.
Small twist: Nike says it will cover the cost of the cops.https://t.co/4irPB5OPkI
— Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) February 11, 2023
The company proposed paying for the off-duty, uniformed officers to work at the store. They would have the authority to arrest bad actors who break the law. Or, they reportedly said they could form an intergovernmental arrangement where Portland would pay a number of on-duty officers to work at the store.
A spokesperson spoke to Newsweek, telling them its store opened in 1984. They said the safety of their employees and customers is very important to them, and the company regularly gets involved and invests in local communities, including schools.
According to statistics by the Portland Police Bureau, crime offenses rose from 5,468 in December to 5,883 in January. There were 97 homicides in the city in 2022, an increase from 88 murders in 2021. While the city isn’t one of the most dangerous in the country, it’s clearly experiencing a crime wave that is a cause for concern.
It’s unclear whether city officials intend to meet Nike halfway so they can reopen the store they were forced to close. Emails between city officials reportedly show it’s unlikely they will be able to staff the store with police officers, even if the retailer pays.
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