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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

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

Stay warm, stay safe this winter

Some crime prevention tips on staying safe during the winter months and good habbits to carry on throughout the year

Creating a safe environment for yourself, your family and your neighborhood requires effort and the participation of everyone. Security evaluations and community preparedness is something everyone can do to improve the environmental factors that could enhance the security of properties. This is one of the things you may do to see if you are prepared for the upcoming winter months.

 Practicing prevention habits may seem inconvenient, however it can save you time and money in the long run. As winter comes and the days get darker, it is important to remember how to keep yourself and your neighborhoods safer and prepared. While crime prevention starts with one individual it is most effective when the entire community is involved. For example, if you see that the walkway lights of a neighbor have burnt out try to notify them. Often in the winter months people remain inside and there is less social interaction between neighbors. Some will even take shortcuts in safety and prevention to avoid being out in the cold weather.

 Some simple things you can do to check your home or business for exterior security and crime prevention are:

  • Keep landscaping free of obstructions to be able to observe and report suspicious activity.
  • Make sure trash cans are in a locked and secured area to deter prowlers and identity theft “phishing.”
  • Provide adequate and consistent lighting around the property, especially parking areas, walkways and front doors.
  • Keep walkways and drains free of debris and ice.
  • Create clear designation to mark private property (gates, signage, fences and landscaping elements etc.) to deter unauthorized individuals.
  • Keep doors, windows and peepholes obstruction free for good visual access to the outside.

Preparing the inside of your homes and businesses is just as important as the outside. You may want to consider a few things before hosting a gathering, coming home from a vacation or leaving the house for general purposes. Some crime prevention tips include:

  • Check if the windows can be opened in the event of an emergency (e.g. fire) and that they can also be locked.
  • Make sure to lock the doors when entering or exiting.
  • Maintain smoke detectors and alarms.
  • Be mindful during social events of who is coming and going and secure private areas.

 One thing people might do particularly in the winter season is leave their vehicles running unattended to heat up. This is a risky habit; some car prowlers may use this as a crime opportunity. Keeping a spare jacket or a blanket in your car are options to consider when going to start your vehicle for the day. This way you can sit comfortably and warm inside your vehicle to prevent your risk of prowling and vehicle theft.

 Crime prevention habits is not just a seasonal practice. We encourage you to adopt those practices as part of your everyday life. A key to crime prevention success is to work with your neighbors to promote public safety. Take the time to get to know your neighbors and to look after one another! When neighbors take the responsibility to build cohesive neighborhoods, those neighborhoods are less vulnerable to crime.

To request a free training for your organization or community group on crime prevention topics, access our prevention handouts or find your Crime Prevention Coordinator, visit the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Program website at or call 503-823-4064

Take an inventory to improve chances of recovering stolen property

Improve chances of recovery by recording serial numbers, taking photos and videos

Collage of different photos with serial numbers

A Portland resident has been encouraging her neighbors to maintain photos and an inventory of assets on file in the event of a loss. Her house was recently burglarized and she could not readily provide photos, serial numbers and descriptions of the items stolen to the police. Unfortunately, this will make it more challenging to get her property back if it is recovered by the police or community. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) manages a warehouse-sized property room in Northwest Portland that is brimming with bicycles and other unclaimed property. Many of the items languish there because they have not been reported as stolen or the victim couldn’t provide serial numbers, photos or other unique identifiers that help link the items with the owner. Without that information, it also makes it difficult to prove that a suspect has stolen the property or at least is in possession of stolen items. 

Create a list and take photos or videos of electronics, bikes, jewelry, art or other items, which you can refer to if they are stolen or damaged due to a fire or other disaster. It is a good idea to scan and save sales receipts on more expensive items in case your insurance company needs them. Where there are no identifiers, you may engrave or etch information onto the property, such as a driver’s license number. Some property may be immediately recovered following a theft, so please report theft as soon as possible. Besides a photo or video, here are some identifiers to include on your list: 

  • Description 
  • Brand/Make 
  • Model/Style
  • Serial Number
  • Engravings/Markings
  • Size
  • Special features
  • Value 

Please store the list, photos and videos in a fireproof safe, safe deposit box, email account as an attached file, cloud and/or backup drive. 

You can refer to PPB’s brochure called Operation Recovery as a guide: 

Kenton Community Foot Patrol Kick-Off

Kenton Community Foot Patrol meets for their first walk

Kenton Community Foot Patrol meeting cafeKenton Community Foot Patrol near statueKenton Community Foot Patrol near statue with policeKenton Community Foot Patrol meeting park

This last week, members of the newly formed Kenton Community Foot Patrol held their first kick-off walk. We met at Poises café and headed to Kenton Park. Two Park Rangers reviewed the Ranger program and park rules and regulations. We discussed how the foot patrol can help keep tabs on Kenton Park.

We then met with three Portland Police Officers near the Village School. After introductions, Sgt. Hayes provided some basic information on how North Precinct and the Patrol Division operate. He and his Officers are looking forward to working more directly with the Kenton Community. Two of the Officers continued on our walk as we traveled down Denver Ave. and returned to Downtown Kenton.

Thanks to the members of the Kenton Community Foot Patrol for stepping up and making a difference in their neighborhood!

For more info on Community Foot Patrols:
A Foot Patrol is a trained group of non-confrontational volunteers
organized to increase the safety and livability of their neighborhood.They walk their neighborhood streets, parks or schools to build community and identify and report problem areas. They may also identify projects for the group to work on that enhance the livability and vitality of the neighborhood. To learn more about FPs, please visit

Online Shopping Safety for the Holidays

Take steps to secure personal and financial transactions online

Online shopping photo

For online purchases during the holidays, be cautious about the companies you do business with and take steps to secure your transactions: 

  • Immediately install updates to operating system, anti-virus/anti-malware and computer software as they become available. This will ensure that you have the latest patches needed to address security vulnerabilities and fix bugs.
  • Be careful about what you click on. Links to shopping websites included in emails, ads, texts and social media may contain malware.
  • Research the companies you are doing business with by checking the Better Business Bureau ( website as well as online reviews.
  • If you maintain an online account with a retail store, establish unique passwords and consider employing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication where possible. Only provide the information required to set up the account and no more.
  • Before entering any personal or financial information, check that the company’s website address begins with “https” and shows a padlock icon. This ensures your connection with the site is encrypted and secure. If your browser displays a green lock bar with the company name, this indicates that the authenticity and ownership of the website has been verified.
  • To be safe, do not enter into financial transactions using public Wi-Fi. If you must do so, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Use a credit card instead of debit card for online purchases. There are more protections for credit card transactions. You will be in a better position if you can identify and dispute fraud before funds are deducted from your bank account.
  • Review your credit card transactions on a regular basis.  

 For more information about online shopping safety, visit

Prevent Package Theft During the Holidays

Take steps to prevent your packages from being stolen during the holiday season

Shipment Locker for Package Theft Prevention

Package theft typically increases during the holidays. To prevent it, choose a safer delivery option:

  • Arrange to pick up packages at the carrier or retail establishment.
  • Require a signature on deliveries.
  • Opt for deliveries to lockers or other secured locations where possible.
  • Ship your package to a location where someone you trust will be available to receive it.

If it is offered, track the status of your delivery by email, text, or other alert. If you are going on vacation, make sure that no shipments will be delivered while you are away.

Although camera surveillance is beneficial to your home’s overall security, it will not deter package thieves.

Please be alert and report crime and suspicious activity in your neighborhood such as someone stealing a package or trailing a delivery truck by bike or car. For immediate threats to life or property or crimes in progress, call 9-1-1. For non-immediate threats occurring in Portland, call the police non-emergency number at 503-823-3333.

For more package theft prevention tips, click on our brochure: