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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

The Back Up Plan: Backing Up Your Data

The basics of backing up your data

Having a backup of your irreplaceable data is crucially important. Without a backup, you could lose photos, music, documents and anything else that you depend on in your digital life if your computer, tablet or phone is lost or damaged or becomes infected by malware.

You should back up your devices as often as you can. Once a day is a good interval.

Fortunately, automated backup is now easy and cheap. In some cases, it's free.

For a local backup, if you use a Mac, an automated backup service called Time Machine comes with your computer for free. Just plug an external hard drive into your Mac, and you will be asked if you want to use it for Time Machine. Say yes, and voila: you've got regular, automatic backup running as long as that external hard drive is plugged into your Mac. If you need to unplug it, Time Machine will resume backing up when you plug it back in.

There are many different cloud backup offerings. iOS devices automatically back up to iCloud when they are plugged in and on a Wi-Fi network. You may need to purchase more space to back up all of your data-iCloud gives you 5GB of free storage space.

Services like Dropbox and OneDrive can be good places to back up your data as well. There are dedicated, automated cloud backup solutions, like Backblaze and CrashPlan, that will back up your entire computer for a fee. Many of these services will let you recover individual files, including previous versions of a file and deleted files.

For more ideas about backup strategies, these experts have some deep thoughts to share:

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:

Rental Scam Awareness:

Car Prowl Prevention:

Street Safety:

Bicycle Theft Prevention:

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 .

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

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 and

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

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