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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

Safety Resources for College Students

New students can take steps to enhance their overall safety while away at college

Public Safety Talk at PCNA

Today Crime Prevention Coordinator Jacob Brostoff, Portland Police Bureau Officer McCormick and representatives from other organizations led a safety discussion with new students at PCNA.

It’s that time of year when many students are going off to college to live on their own for the first time. Now is a good time to talk about steps that they can take to protect their property and enhance their personal safety. This area is often overlooked in the midst of such a significant transition.

Here are a few resources that college students can check out to raise their awareness:

Apartment Safety: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/432415

Rental Scam Awareness: http://www.bbb.org/council/news-events/bbb-scam-alerts/2016/03/craigslist-abounds-with-rental-scams/

Car Prowl Prevention: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/320547

Street Safety: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/61863

Bicycle Theft Prevention: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/512021

North Portland Residents Step Up to Form Neighborhood Watches on their Blocks

North Portland residents are trained and ready to organize Neighborhood Watches on their blocks

Neighborhood Watch Meeting at Peninsula Odd Fellows

Last Sunday, twenty-five North Portland residents met at the Peninsula Odd Fellows Lodge for a Neighborhood Watch Organizer training led by Mark Wells, the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Coordinator. Due to the high demand for Neighborhood Watch trainings throughout the City resulting in meetings scheduled two months out, we now also offer Watch Organizer trainings. One to two neighbors from each street attend and take the information and materials back to their respective blocks. Organizers then hold a block meeting and disseminate this information to their neighbors. This format allows for more Watch groups to form immediately, which is important to neighbors who have recently experienced criminal activity in their neighborhood. Involvement doesn't take much time and allows you to get to know your neighbors and a build stronger community. If you are interested in learning more about Neighborhood Watch, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/neighborhoodwatch .

A huge thank you to the Odd Fellows and all of the community members who dedicated their valuable time on a sunny Sunday to keeping their neighborhoods safe. The Odd Fellows have demonstrated a commitment to public safety and community involvement by hosting this event and donating space in their building to the North Police Precinct for Officers to utilize as a break and meeting room. 

Neighborhood Watch in East Portland

East neighbors form a Neighborhood Watch to tackle issues in their area

Neighborhood Watch meeting

Last night, twenty people from the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood met for a Neighborhood Watch (NW) meeting led by Mark Wells, City of Portland Crime Prevention Crime Prevention Coordinator. They were motivated to form a Watch after experiencing an increase in drug activity and larceny in their area. Even though these issues are the reason they came together, residents were happy to meet and reconnect with new neighbors and ones who lived on the block for over 30 years. The organizer created an impressive block map so that neighbors could easily add their contact information. Connection, communication and crime prevention are the foundation of Neighborhood Watches.

If you live in Portland and are interested in our Neighborhood Watch Program, visit us at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/neighborhoodwatch

Summer Crime Trends

Protect Your Property from Theft this Summer

Bicycle Locked to Bike Rack

“Security isn’t always convenient. This is especially true when it comes to summer crime prevention and the opportunistic theft that we see each year,” says Meg Juarez, Crime Prevention Coordinator. With awareness and preparation, residents can curb the trends that are prevalent during the warmer months including increases in bicycle thefts and theft from yards. It will require them to lock up and put things away, but their actions are an effective crime prevention strategy during this time of year.

Although crimes of opportunity consistently occur throughout the year, we do see trends emerge during summer months. A crime-of-opportunity theft happens when an offender passes by a property, sees something that can be stolen with little risk of being observed or arrested and takes advantage of that opportunity. Each summer, we hear about tools, bicycles, strollers, art, outdoor furniture, alcohol and other items being stolen from front or side yards, porches, accessible balconies and open garages.Incidents typically occur when property is left unattended while a resident gardens in the backyard or takes a break inside of the home.

Summer is also a time of year when doors, windows and gates are left unsecured and become easy access for burglars. Some examples of what we hear about:

  • Windows are left open for ventilation and unsecured while the resident is out and a burglar enters the residence. This is especially problematic when the open window is accessible and visible from the street.
  • Doors to homes are left unlocked, including ones in attached garages, and something is quickly stolen from the house such as a purse.
  • Tools and climbing devices, such as ladders, are left out in the yard and used to access vulnerable doors and windows to homes. For example, a thief may gain entry through a second floor window that is not secured.
  • Window air conditioning units on first-floor-accessible windows are not properly secured and can be pushed from the window.

The best ways to prevent crimes of opportunity and secure entry points during the hot summer months:

  • Lock garages, windows and doors when you are out or aren’t able to observe these areas.
  • If you want to leave windows open for ventilation, use a track lock, slide bolt or other secondary locking mechanism to control access.
  • Secure climbing devices and tools so they can’t be used to access your home.
  • Install locks on the gates to your backyard.
  • Take valuables from publicly accessible spaces into your home when you can’t monitor them.
  • Look out for your neighbors and report suspicious activity to the police.

When it’s warm outside, bicycle theft ramps up as more people ride to work and other activities. A 2015 survey of over 500 bicycles parked in Portland conducted by Project 529, a bike registration and recovery service, revealed that owners were not locking their bicycles properly and many were using worn down U-Locks. Best practices include:

  • Locking a sturdy U-Lock to the bike frame, a wheel and the bike rack. Many cable locks are easily cut and should not be used as primary security.
  • Securing your bicycle to a strong and immovable rack that is located in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Make sure that your bike can’t be lifted from the rack.
  • Bringing all removable parts including the seat with you or locking them up.
  • If you are storing your bicycle in a gated parking garage, lock it to a bike rack.
  • Taking a picture of your bike and keeping its serial number on file. A lot of bicycles are recovered, but can’t be linked to the owner because the serial number is not reported to the police. Consequently, the suspect may not be charged with a crime. You can register your bike online at bikeindex.org and project529.com.

If you are a victim of theft, please report it to the police by contacting 503-823-3333. Many thefts can be reported online at wwww.portlandoregon.gov/police/cor.

Crime prevention isn’t always convenient, but it’s worth the extra effort. When you are aware of the trends that occur throughout the year, you can employ the most effective strategies to reduce risk.

This article was first published in El Hispanic News

National Night Out: Building Community

Host or attend a National Night Out party to strengthen neighbor relationships in the spirit of creating safer neighborhoods.

National Nigth Out Party in a ParkNational Night Out Party Community EventNational Night Out Block PartyNational Night Out Apartment

A National Night Out party host advises us, “Get to know your neighbors. Community doesn't just happen, it takes everyone to make it.” The first National Night Out (NNO) event, organized decades ago, had a simple premise. Neighbors would sit on their porches and turn on their porch lights because crime was less likely to happen on a street where neighbors were out, connected and observant. NNO has become an annual event celebrated across the country on the first Tuesday in August. On this day, neighbors host and attend small block parties or neighborhood events to strengthen their relationships with one another in the spirit of creating safer neighborhoods.

Neighborhood cohesion helps deter crime. “Criminals want to be anonymous, to go unnoticed,” says Stephanie Reynolds, Crime Prevention Program Manager. “When neighbors know and look out for one another, pay attention to what is happening on their street and report crime, it goes a long way towards creating a safe neighborhood.” Connected neighbors are also more likely to be invested in what happens in their neighborhood and work together to solve problems and make the neighborhood a better place. That connection also lays the foundation for cooperation that is vital in the event of a major disaster where emergency services may be unavailable for days and weeks. We encourage you and your neighbors to host a National Night Out party in your neighborhood to get acquainted with neighbors and reinforce existing relationships. A party can be as simple as inviting neighbors to bring over a chair and a potluck dish and sit in the front yard. It may be a more elaborate one with a street closure, organized activities or an event in a park.To find out information about hosting a party, please see our website at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno.

To make your Portland party official, you will need to register with the City at portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno. The benefits of registration include the ability to request police or fire fighters to attend your event, noise variances, party ideas and more. Although it is beneficial for safety officials to meet neighbors at this event, there are no guarantees that police and fire will be able to attend all registered parties despite their best efforts to do so.

National Night Out Details:

NNO Date: Tuesday, August 2nd 

Registration: www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno

Registration Dates: June 7th-July 19th.

Find a party in your neighborhood: Toward the end of July, find an event near you at www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/nno

When neighbors take responsibility to build and maintain livable and cohesive neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are less vulnerable to crime and neighbors feel more assured. A NNO party is a great way to foster those relationships and create a safer neighborhood.