Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Urges Portland to Reconsider Decision to Leave FBI Terrorism Task Force

For the sake of Southwest Washington residents’ safety, Jaime formally requests Portland City Council reconsider withdrawing from FBI’s task force that works to thwart terrorist attacks

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Vancouver, February 20, 2019 | comments
U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler formally urged the Portland City Council today to reconsider its decision to leave the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), a move that weakens law enforcement’s ability to keep Southwest Washington residents who work, shop and travel in Portland safe. Portland City Council voted last week to withdraw from the JTTF.
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U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler formally urged the Portland City Council today to reconsider its decision to leave the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), a move that weakens law enforcement’s ability to keep Southwest Washington residents who work, shop and travel in Portland safe. Portland City Council voted last week to withdraw from the JTTF. 
 
Jaime sent members of the Portland City Council the following letter; a PDF version is available here. 
 
Dear Councilmembers,
 
I am writing to you to express my deep concern with the Portland City Council’s recent decision to withdraw the City of Portland from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
 
As a representative of tens of thousands of residents who must travel to Portland each day to support their families, to see their doctors, and to pursue their education, my constituents’ safety and well-being are my top priorities. Since your vote on this matter, countless individuals have expressed alarm upon learning that the city of Portland will no longer participate in the FBI’s task force dedicated to thwarting and investigating terrorist threats, including those to schools, businesses and individuals.
 
Unfortunately, in recent years the Portland metropolitan area has witnessed multiple active shooters, domestic terrorist attacks, and has even served as a residence to dangerous individuals linked to international terror organizations.  
 
I have no interest in demanding that you agree with every federal agency’s procedure or policy. Yet however legitimate some Portland residents’ grievances with these policies and procedures may be, there’s no disputing that the time between a law enforcement agency receiving intelligence regarding a terrorist threat and an actual attack can be mere hours, or even minutes. Now, with the city council’s decision to withdraw, the special agent in charge of the Portland Division of the FBI asserts, “[The FBI’s] investigation is going to be slowed down by not having access to information.” In other words, those I represent who must travel to Portland are now less safe – and all because of an apparent disagreement over politics.
 
I strongly urge you to reconsider your withdrawal from the task force. Surely there is a way to work with members of the JTTF to address your concerns, while still cooperating as an active partner to ensure law enforcement has all the tools available to respond as quickly as possible to thwart or minimize physical threats to citizens’ lives. 
 

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