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Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Neighbors Form a Foot Patrol to Tackle Crime and Livability Issues

How Foot Patrols can make a difference

Foot PatrolNeighbors walking

Wanting to feel safe walking the docks at night, neighbors and businesses of the Riverplace Esplanade contacted the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Program for assistance. Based on neighbor concerns about trash, drug dealing, thefts, harassment, and livability issues on the City-owned docks, Mark Wells, Community Organizing Specialist, offered to help them organize a Foot Patrol. Fifteen trained residents joined Crime Prevention, Multnomah County Sheriff’s River Patrol, a Portland Police Sergeant, and Portland Park Rangers for their first walk yesterday. Serving as a positive presence and active reporters of problems in their neighborhood, these involved residents are sure to make an impact.

Neighbors typically contact Crime Prevention to get a Foot Patrol going in response to crime and livability concerns at a park, school, or other area. Neighbors can also form one proactively and are advised to do so for vulnerable areas. The goal of a Community Foot Patrol is to engage in a long-term sustained effort that is as much about building community as it is about addressing the particular crime and livability issues. To initiate one, there should be approximately 10-15 people willing to attend a two hour training. Says Wells, “With Foot Patrols, people walk a geographic area and work very closely with law enforcement. They are trained to be good witnesses and callers, and to be a visible presence. It’s not just helpful to deter criminal activity, but it’s equally important for the positive users of the property to see the Foot Patrollers walking, to know that there are community members who really care and keep tabs on things”. Wells emphasizes that patrols are non-confrontational and not about vigilantism. “It’s being trained on how to observe suspicious activity, how to keep a safe distance, how to avoid confrontation at all costs.”

The reality is that law enforcement agencies are not able to be everywhere and will not know the community as well as the people living there. The visible presence of the patrols communicates to the criminal element that their activities will be observed and the immediate reporting of issues will translate into problems being addressed more readily. Lieutenant Travis Gullberg of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s River Patrol says this about patrols, “They enhance our ability to know what’s going on in the community. We can’t be everywhere. If you can partner with private citizens to help do the Foot Patrols, it adds to the services we provide and benefits the community, keeping them safe.”

If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch or Foot Patrol in your Portland neighborhood, contact Mark Wells at Mark.Wells@portlandoregon.gov, 503-823-2781. See our brochure Establishing Your Community Foot Patrol at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/320556

Record Your Serial Number and Get Your Bike Back

How documenting your bike can faciliate recovery if it's lost or stolen

Unclaimed Bikes in the Police Property Room

Over 400 bicycles are currently languishing in the Portland Police Bureau’s property room waiting to be claimed, and this is the slow season. When the weather improves and more Portlanders start biking, Jacob Gittlen, Police Property Evidence Division, expects that number to significantly increase. If the owners of these bikes had reported the theft to the police, using a serial number or other identifier, we might see more empty racks in this warehouse. Be proactive and record your serial number now to improve the chances that you’ll be reunited with your bike if it’s lost or stolen.

"I can safely say that in the last five years, I have seen hundreds of bicycles that were probably stolen and weren’t reported", says Neighborhood Response Team Officer Robert Brown who serves the East Portland community. He described a drug investigation at an apartment unit where dozens of bicycles were found in various states of disrepair. Given the criminal history of the suspects and the number of bikes stored in a small space, he was certain that all of them were stolen. However, none of the serial numbers that he checked against a State and National law enforcement database were reported missing. Since he couldn’t prove the bikes were stolen, the suspects were not charged with a crime, nor could he return the bikes to their rightful owner.

When bicycles are transferred to the Portland Police property room or recovered by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Abandoned Bike Program, staff scour State and National databases, Craigslist and independent bike registries to find an owner. To make it easier for them to discover who a bike belongs to, the owner needs to know some important information about their property, mainly the serial number.

Officer Sanders of Central Precinct advises bike owners to collect the following information and keep it on file:

  • Serial Number, which is typically located on the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet
  • Color, make and model
  • Photos
  • Engraved markings on your bike such as your Driver’s License Number if there is no serial number. Drivers’ licenses are easily identifiable and researched by the police, especially if you include the state code i.e. OR for Oregon.
  • Any peculiarities about your bike that make it unique such as custom pedals or taped handlebars.

Ideally if your bike is lost or stolen, you can readily access this information and report it to the police. You can choose to write it down, create a spreadsheet, or email the details along with a photo to yourself. Just be sure to store it in safe place at home or online.

Another great option is to record your bike serial number now at www.EndBikeTheft.org. This quick and simple action substantially increases the chances that you’ll recover your bike if it’s lost or stolen. You input your serial number along with the make and model of your bike and the automatic email generator on PBOT’s webpage will send these details to you for your records. Additionally, there are a number of independent registries such as Bikeindex.org or Project529.com that make it easy to proactively register your bike and send out alerts if it’s stolen. The police, pawn shops, and others may be able to access the data on the registries to check if a bike is stolen. 

By taking these measures, you’ll have quick access to the serial number and can swiftly file a police report if your bike is lost or stolen. To report an incident in Portland, call the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333 or file online at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/cor/

Danielle Booth, of PBOT’s Abandoned Bicycle Program, sums it up, "Often the bikes I impound are well maintained and I’m certain that someone in our city is missing their bike, but without a serial number, police report or web listing, I’m unable to connect the bike to owner". Take action today and make the connection possible so that you can get your bike back where it belongs.

New location for popular Landlord Forum

Starting in March '14, the Landlord Forum will move to East Precinct

Landlord Forum logo

For almost two years, our monthly Landlord Forum has been held in the community room at Southeast Precinct at 47th and E. Burnside. The Forum has gained attendance to the point that the room was becoming uncomfortable. Starting with the March forum, on March 20th 2014, the Landlord Forum will now be held at East Precinct's community room.  East Precinct is located at 737 SE 106th Avenue, just south of SE Washington. East Precinct has free parking at the East Portland Community Center lot across the street, as well as on-street parking, and is conveniently located off of I-205's Stark/Washington exit.

Community Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Ongoing Vehicle Vandalism Investigation

The Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), in partnership with the Portland Police Bureau has scheduled four community meetings to discuss the ongoing police investigation into hundreds of vehicle vandalism occurring in Southeast and Northeast Portland.

The meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

 Sunnyside/Buckman/Kerns/Laurelhurst/Hosford-Abernethy/Richmond Neighborhoods

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Southeast Uplift, Fireside Room

3534 Southeast Main Street

 

Brooklyn/Sellwood-Moreland/Neighborhoods

Thursday, November 14, 2013

7:00-8:30 p.m.

Aladdin Theater

3017 Southeast Milwaukie Avenue

 

Grant Park/Rose City Park/Beaumont-Wilshire/Hollywood Neighborhoods

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Grant Park Church

2728 Northeast 34th Avenue

 

Alameda/Irvington/Sabin Neighborhoods

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

6:30-8:00 p.m.

Alameda School, Cafeteria

2732 Northeast Fremont Street

 

Members of the Police Bureau and ONI’s Crime Prevention Coordinators will discuss what is happening with the investigation, what community members can do to protect their property, and how to report incidents.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon, is continuing to ask for the public's help in solving hundreds of incidents of vehicular vandalism

Since late May 2013, the Portland Police Bureau has received hundreds of reports of vehicle vandalisms in several Portland neighborhoods. The Alameda, Irvington, Rose City, and Grant Park neighborhoods in Northeast Portland have received the bulk of the vandalisms but reports also indicate that the crime has spread into Southeast Portland's Brooklyn, Laurelhurst, Hosford-Abernethy, Richmond, Sunnyside, Sellwood-Moreland, and Kerns neighborhoods.

The vandal or vandals appear to be primarily targeting SUV's (both large and small crossover-style), trucks and vans parked in the street and are puncturing a tire. Some victims have been hit multiple times. Additionally, the vandal or vandals have targeted convertible tops and motorcycle seats. Investigators have not yet been able to determine if all of these cases are related.

The Crime Analysis Unit has found more than 500 reports have been filed and, on average, 20-25 new reports are filed each week. The cost estimate to victims of this damage is estimated at more than $300,000 and perhaps as high as $500,000. Reports indicate that the damage is generally occurring during nighttime hours, every day of the week.

At this point there is no suspect information and most victims are discovering the damage in the morning, well after the crime occurred.

The Portland Police Bureau has an active investigation into these incidents and has assigned a detective to lead the investigation. Patrol officers from all three precincts are keeping an eye out for suspicious activity consistent with vehicle vandalism.

If you suspicious activity consistent with these reports, please immediately call 9-1-1.

Victims discovering damage to vehicles are asked to file reports by calling the non-emergency number at (503) 823-3333.

The Portland Police Bureau and Crime Prevention want to help you and catch the person(s) responsible for these crimes.

We offer the following suggestions and tips:

  • Park your vehicle off the street and in a garage, if possible.
  • Enhance your exterior lighting: leave porch lights on at night, add motion sensor lighting to the garage and add pathway or sidewalk solar lighting. Prune trees or bushes that obstruct light.
  • If you have exterior video cameras, turn them toward the street to capture activity and people near vehicles parked on the street.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to an arrest in this case, or any unsolved felony, and you can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.

Visit http://www.tipsoft.com to download the Crime Stoppers App for the iPhone or Droid.

For more information about vehicle and home safety and security, contact your Crime Prevention Coordinator. Call (503) 823-4064 to locate your coordinator or visit http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/cp to learn more about Crime Prevention.

Utility bill-Green Dot Money Card scam alert

A restaurant owner was willing to share the details of a recent utility scam:

A man called a restaurant on SE Hawthorne and told the manager who answered the phone that their power bill was unpaid and the electricity would be cut off in 20 minutes unless payment was rendered immediately. Aware that this was a scam, the owner called back the scammer whose number presented a 503 area code on caller ID. The owner called that number and a man with a thick accent answered. He told the scammer that he was very concerned and didn't want the power cut off. The scammer then asked for the name of the restaurant as well as the last four digits of the restaurant's phone number. Then he spent a few seconds typing and said, "You have not paid your bill, you must pay $1496.42 in the next 20 minutes or your electricity will be cut off. No checks, no credit cards, it must be cash." The owner noticed at this time that the background noise sounded like a call center, with multiple voices speaking. The owner asked how to get him the money. The scammer instructed him to go to a CVS or Rite Aid and purchase a Green Dot Money Pak Card within the next 10 minutes. After the purchase, the owner was supposed to scratch off the back of the card and phone him with the 14 digit serial number. Ten minutes later he called the owner and asked, " Did you purchase the card?" The owner revealed that he was aware that this was a scam and hung up.

Here's what the Federal Trade Commission recommends:

Scammers can use computers to make it look like they’re calling from one place – when, in fact, they’re someplace else. If you get a call, email, text, or even a visit from someone telling you to make a payment via PayPal, or to buy a GreenDot card or a gift card, it’s probably a scam. Call your utility company on the phone number that appears on your bill, describe what happened, and report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission, online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.