The Portland Police Bureau is dedicated to protecting and serving the people of Portland. We will continue to do so during this public health emergency. Due to the ever-changing situation, PPB continues to adapt and modify our procedures to limit exposure without interrupting the high level of service provided to our community.
Welcome to the Portland Police Bureau’s News Beat for April, 2020. This month’s news beat is focusing on the current COVID-19 crisis. The Portland Police Bureau is dedicated to protecting and serving the people of Portland. We will continue to do so during this public health emergency.
Due to the ever-changing situation, PPB continues to adapt and modify our procedures to limit exposure without interrupting the high level of service provided to our community. While we are including the best information here that we have, we are providing comprehensive updates on our special COVID-19 webpage. You can find it at portlandpolice.com. We placed a banner on the top of the page that links you to the latest response and public safety information.
PPB is still answering all calls for service. If you have an emergency, you can still call 9-1-1 and officers will respond. For non-emergencies, you can report many incidents on our website, Portlandpolice.com, or call the non emergency line at (503) 823-3333. If you just have a question about the COVID-19 situation, the information line can be reached at 2-1-1.
Our number one goal is to respond as quickly as possible to life-threatening emergencies. PPB members will continue to respond in-person to calls where there is a life safety issue or if it is a call that cannot be taken online or over the phone due to the nature of the call. When possible, and if there is not a life-safety issue, PPB officers are taking reports over the telephone. This will reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus to our members… or to the public from Bureau members, as health authorities tell us that carriers may not even know they have the virus and are inadvertently transmitting it.
Here are some frequently asked questions… and answers …related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does the Governor’s Stay at Home order mean?
Governor Brown's new state-wide stay at home order leads to questions about how the order will be enforced. The Portland Police Bureau is following an education-first approach.
Officers will try to educate violators of the order first, from a distance, in accordance with the six-foot social distancing guidelines. Every effort will be made to gain voluntary compliance with the Governor's order and provide a warning.
If community members do not adhere to the officer's direction, they are subject to criminal citation for the crime of Interfering with a Police Officer
and violation of the executive order - both are misdemeanor crimes. Criminal citation is a last resort measure and the public is highly encouraged to be aware of the order and voluntarily comply.
What is PPB’s plan for enforcement related to those who are houseless?
The Governor’s Order does not exclude any particular group based upon housing status from being subject to enforcement, however the Governor has made clear that Oregon's stay-at-home directives do not apply to shelters and social services. People experiencing unsheltered homelessness are NOT subject to enforcement of the Executive Order simply due to the fact that they are in public and unable to stay at home. If PPB members encounter a situation involving a houseless community member, they will make every effort to educate first and will provide resource options, such as where shelters can be accessed. Again, criminal citation is not the goal and would be used as a very last resort.
If I need to report a violation of the Governor’s Executive order, who do I call?
Do not call 9-1-1…that should be reserved for true emergencies. If there is an identified safety issue related to the Governor's order, the non-emergency dispatch line at (503) 823-3333 can be utilized to report order compliance.
Will the police be doing focused enforcement to stop people while driving to see if they are in violation of the orders?
No. Officers are limiting self-initiated activities at this time and there are no planned enforcement missions to see if community members are in compliance. However, traffic safety remains a priority and officers are still stopping drivers for violations. If you’re driving, please do so safely and follow traffic laws.
What is PPB’s plan to enforce the orders equitably?
PPB is concerned about the well-being of all members of Portland’s diverse community which varies in age, race, housing status, and social class. As such, our educate-first approach is designed to reach a broad range of audiences. Officers are trained to interact with a variety of community members and will adapt their approach depending upon the situation. For example, if they are called for a group of children playing too closely in a park, they would use different language to explain the situation than they would for adults. The overarching goal is to make all members of the public aware of the orders and to reinforce the importance of limiting public contact to protect our most vulnerable.
Be Careful of Scams
Be aware there are still people trying to scam others during this public health crisis. This can include scammers soliciting donations for those affected by COVID-19. Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19.
Be aware of reports of scammers posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Don’t click on unknown links which could download malware to your computer or smartphone. Also, be skeptical and verify before you provide any personal information.
At this time there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19. Be aware of scams that offer fake cures treatments or supplies.
Also be aware of people who say they need to check your identification for federal aid dollars and claim they will deposit your money from the stimulus package for you. This is a scam.
Food Boxes Available
The Sunshine Division is experiencing a historically high demand in the number of individuals and families seeking help through their emergency food boxes. The need continues to grow daily.
The best way to request a food box is online at sunshinedivision.org. There you can get information on how to pick one up from the Sunshine Division’s warehouses in North Portland and Southeast Portland.
If you … or someone you know …is home-bound or medically fragile, Portland Police Precincts maintain a small supply of emergency boxes at each of their facilities. They are available to be dispatched and delivered by an officer or Public Safety Support Specialist directly to your home.
To request this service, you can call the Portland Police non-emergency line at 503.823.3333. Delivery arrival time is subject to call-load and time of day.
Please do not call 911 for a food box.
Take Care of Yourself
This is a difficult time. If you are thinking of suicide, know there is help a phone call away. Call the Multnomah County Mental Health Crisis Intervention Line at 503-988-4888 or Lines for Life at: 800-273-8255
The men and women of the Portland Police Bureau are here during this difficult time and remain committed to helping our community. Thank you to all who have reached out and supported us! We have had many people ask if we need anything, including Lowe’s Home Improvement, which provided some sanitation equipment and Rose City Distillery, which provided hand sanitizer.
Others have offered up donations which we have had to respectfully decline as they were either not feasible or we didn’t need it. Possible donations or questions can be emailed to us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
They will then be passed on to our Incident Management Team that can determine if the donation offer is something we can use or is appropriate.
We feel the support of the community. We’ll get through this together!