1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
January 23, 2006 00:00
Since October 2005, the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct, in cooperation of the Mayor’s Downtown Public Safety Action Committee, the Portland Parks Bureau, Downtown business leaders, and community members, changed the hours of closure in the South Park Blocks from Midnight to 9:00 p.m. and began a series of livability missions designed to decrease crime and the fear of crime in Downtown Portland. Since beginning the missions, many businesses and citizens have reported a substantial decrease in the number of drug and alcohol abusers and a decrease in property crimes in the South Park Blocks.
After meeting with community leaders, the Police Bureau and Portland Parks Bureau will now expand the mission to four additional downtown parks. As part of the expansion, the Portland Parks Bureau has implemented new closure hours in all four additional downtown parks, as well as, continuing the closure hours in the South Park Blocks. The new parks affected by this initiative are the North Park Blocks, O’Bryant Square, Ira Keller Fountain Park, and the 14th and Hall Park (an unnamed park located at SW 14th / SW Hall). These new rules will prohibit anyone from loitering in the parks after 9:00 pm; however, all five parks will still be open 24 hours a day to pedestrians who are traveling through the park.
In 2005, Central Precinct saw a 14% reduction in overall crime. The Portland Police Bureau hopes these new hours of closure will continue to suppress criminal activity in these parks. “I want to thank the members of the Downtown Business alliance, downtown merchants and community members who have really stepped up to assist police with this community policing effort,” said Chief Derrick Foxworth. “We are looking forward to expanding the effort, while also increasing police visibility to help reassure people about the safety of downtown.”
Beginning today, officers from Central Precinct will be patrolling these parks on foot to educate members of the public about the new hours of closure. Since October, officers have arrested several suspects on numerous charges, but no citizen has been arrested for trespassing related to the hours of closure in the South Park Blocks. Police anticipate the same result as the mission expands to the additional parks. ###PPB###
Sgt. Pete Simpson