1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
What do I do if I see a crime in a park?
PP&R's Park Rangers serve as goodwill ambassadors and provide a positive presence in Portland parks and park facilities. Rangers serve multiple roles by providing information, helping solve park user conflicts, and enforcing City Code such as dog leash/scoop laws, proper use of park permits, prohibitions against camping, alcohol consumption, and other park rules.
We like to say the rangers are the eyes and ears of our parks. Portland Park Rangers work closely with our maintenance crews and other PP&R staff such as those in Customer Service. They maintain relationships and contacts with the Portland Police Bureau and other criminal justice agencies, Multnomah County Animal Control, neighborhood associations, youth services providers, and other social service agencies to identify, prevent, and address concerns within parks.
Rangers are unarmed and non-sworn (law enforcement) officials who are given the authority under City Code to enforce park rules and issue park exclusions, if necessary. All Rangers are trained to assess a given situation and use verbal persuasion and problem solving skills to gain voluntary compliance. If warranted, they call police or other responders to address the park concern.
In 2012, PP&R expanded the Park Ranger program to provide service in the central business district/downtown area year-round during the day and early evening shifts. The Rangers maintain security in 16 downtown/central city parks and work closely with other partners such as the Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, JOIN, and other social service providers to address needs and issues that arise in downtown parks.
Public Safety in Parks
Overall, Portland parks are very safe. Serious crimes against persons are relatively rare, but nuisance behavior, park user conflicts, and other livability issues do occur in our large, heavily used parks.