PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Portland Police Bureau has hired its first-ever liaison officer for working with the city’s large homeless community.

The agency said Thursday that Stephanie Herro will be the primary contact between the police bureau, homeless advocacy groups, social service agencies and other government departments. She was hired after an eight-month search.

Herro previously worked in law enforcement in West Linn, Oregon and her native Wisconsin.

A homelessness count released earlier this month found 2,037 people sleeping outside in Multnomah County — Oregon’s largest county and home to Portland.

That’s number of people documented as sleeping outside on any given night in 2019 is the higher than any other count in the last decade.

The city has particularly struggled to house those with mental health and drug abuse issues.

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