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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

Friends of the Pearl Community Foot Patrol: A Positive Presence in the Neighborhood

These dedicated neighbors report issues, connect with neighbors and businesses and pick up trash on weekly walks

Friends of Pearl Walk Jan 2016Fremont BridgeFriends of Pearl walking

The Friends of the Pearl Community Foot Patrol met at Jamison Square Park, walked through the Pearl and checked on several areas by the Amtrak station for drug paraphernalia and trash. Foot Patrol teams have the flexibility to remove graffiti and pick up trash if they choose to do so. Members continued to the beautiful walkways along the Waterfront Pearl community and ended at the Fields Neighborhood Park. While concluding their walk, a couple walking their dogs asked them for assistance after being threatened by an unknown individual at the dog park enclosure. The dog walkers felt reassured by the presence of the members while they waited for the police and were happy to learn about this community group keeping an eye on the Pearl area.

This Foot Patrol holds multiple hour-long walks throughout the Pearl at different times each week. A completely non-confrontational group, they meet new neighbors and frequently check in with local businesses handing out resources and ensuring staff feel safe.

The Friends of the Pearl Foot Patrol is always looking for new members. Anyone interested may contact Mark Wells with the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Program at: or 503-823-2781.

Neighbors Work Together to Build Community and Reclaim their Neighborhood Space

Neighbors in Madison South work together to make their neighborhood safer

The following video is truly inspiring. Neighbors in Madison South (Portland) decided to build community and “reclaim” their neighborhood space. All of their efforts united them to work together and keep the area safe. Their neighborhood projects and community building efforts include:

• Community Garden

• Street Mural

• Neighborhood Watch and Foot Patrol group

• Emergency Preparedness

Quoting one of the neighbors Erin, residents wanted to create “places where people want to gather and be together, so there’s no room for anything negative to be happening in those spaces”. This is a one of the principles in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) called activity support where residents organize and encourage positive, pro-social activities on a property to increase a sense of community and ownership of the shared space.

We are always up for helping people get Neighborhood Watches going and can provide some ideas about connecting your neighbors.  Please see our website for more information at


50+ Neighborhood Watches Organized in 2015

Neighbors step up to improve the safety of their neighborhood

Neighborhood Watch Signs

Portland neighbors stepped up in 2015 and organized over 50+ Neighborhood Watches! These neighbors are now more connected and knowledgeable about crime prevention and how to respond if they see criminal activity. When neighbors get to know one another, they become more protective of what happens in their shared space and can more readily identify suspicious activity and report it. On most streets in Portland, the police will never be as familiar with your neighborhood as you or your neighbors.

We always encourage neighbors to call us to start a group as a proactive measure. The reality is that most neighbors contact us after learning about a car prowl, burglary or other crime that happened in their neighborhood.

If you want to organize a Neighborhood Watch in your Portland neighborhood, visit us at the following webpage for more info:

Dealing with door-to-door solicitors

What to do about door to door solicitors

Male knocking on a door

It’s not against the law to sell door-to-door. Sales people are not required by Multnomah County to apply for a permit or carry identification. However, there are certain behaviors or signs that cause residents to be concerned:

  • Aggressive sales tactics including trying to enter your home.
  • The solicitor won’t leave your premises.
  • The representative doesn't have company materials or identification.
  • An individual looks into home windows or checks the side of the house when no one answers the door. In some cases door handles may be checked.
  • Probing questions are asked that make you feel uncomfortable.

 Tips for dealing with solicitors:

  • When in doubt, you do not have to open your door. Do make it appear that someone is home. In some cases, burglars will case a neighborhood by knocking on doors to find unoccupied residences.
  • If you are not interested in the product, say no and end the conversation.
  • Don’t provide personal information such as social security numbers or birthdates. You don’t have to answer any question that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Never allow a solicitor to enter your home. This includes utility workers who come to your door stating that they need to fix a problem in your home. These kinds of visits should be arranged in advance and verified with the company.
  • Wait and do your research instead of purchasing at the door. Ask for information, check it out, and donate or buy later when you have time to think about it. If you decide to make a purchase, pay by credit card.
  • Post a "No Solicitors" sign. This sign will make it easy to reinforce that you are not doing business with solicitors.
  • Never pay for construction or paving services on the spot. There have been scammers who are not licensed by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board and offer below-market prices for paving and other projects. Typically, the outcomes include shoddy work and materials and in some cases workers don’t finish the job.
  • If you belong to a Neighborhood Watch, contact your neighbors and let them know to be cautious if you have encountered an aggressive or suspicious solicitor.
  • Contact the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline to report problems with a company in the Portland area (503) 229-5576.

Call 9-1-1 for immediate threats to life or property and crimes in progress. Otherwise contact the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333 to report suspicious activity. When in doubt, you can start with 9-1-1. 

Vacation Planning Checklist-Crime Prevention

Make it look like someone's home to prevent burglary


Many of us are rushing out the door when the time comes for our vacation. Before leaving, it’s important to create an appearance that someone is home and have your neighbors, family or friends help you out to reduce the risk of burglary. Burglars target homes that appear to be unoccupied. Below are some tips to mitigate vulnerability:

  • Don't post info about your vacation on social media until you return.
  • Hold your mail at
  • Stop newspaper delivery.
  • Make sure that packages are not sent to your residence while you are gone.
  • Arrange for a neighbor, friend or relative to put your garbage out on trash day. Also ask them to check and remove mail from unlocked mailboxes and take away newspapers in case your services aren’t properly canceled.
  • Ask neighbors to remove circulars or advertisements placed on your door.
  • Set indoor and outdoor lights that aren’t motion sensor activated on automatic timers. If you can remotely turn them on and off, that’s even better. Also, place television and radio on automatic timers.When people hear sound coming from inside a home, it seems as though someone is home. 
  • Provide your cell phone or a phone number to trusted neighbor(s) so that they can reach you if a problem arises.
  • Consider hiring a housesitter or having a relative stay in your home. If there are visitors to your home while you are out, let neighbors know so that they don’t mistake a guest for an burglar. If you have a Neighborhood Watch, let members know.
  • If no one is staying at your house, arrange for someone to park in your driveway to make it appear that there is activity at your home.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend to visit your house on occasion during your leave.
  • Maintain landscaping. This isn’t as problematic in winter months, but unkempt yards indicate that you are on vacation.
  • Consider storing valuable items, important documents and credit cards that you don't need to take with you in a place where no one will think to look. Safes are a good option if they are bolted to the floor and difficult to open and remove; they should also be placed in a location where a burglar won't think to look.  
  • If you have a monitored alarm system, make sure that your contact information is up-to-date in case there is an incident.
  • Ask neighbors to watch out for your home and call the police if there is suspicious activity. For incidents happening in Portland, they can contact 9-1-1 if there appears to be a crime in progress or an immediate threat to life or property. Otherwise they can contact the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.

When you return from your trip, return the favor and watch out for your neighbors while they are out.