Portland — like many cities — is navigating a host of complex issues, from the COVID-19 pandemic to police reform to social justice. Amid it all, Portland is a safe place to visit. Read on for detailed answers surrounding safety and the visitor experience.
Is It Safe in Portland? Answers to Your Questions
Is Portland, Oregon, safe to visit?
Portland, like other major cities, has witnessed a decline in the number of sworn officers due to retirement and resignations during the pandemic. Increasing the police force is a primary objective for city and law enforcement leaders. On Sept. 22, 2022, the Portland Police Bureau hired an additional 20 community police officers and followed up a week later with an announcement of bringing four fully trained officers on board. The additional 20 officers must undergo an 18-month training program before joining 87 other officers currently enrolled.
What’s it like in downtown Portland right now? Is downtown Portland safe?
Is violence on the rise in Portland? How dangerous is Portland?
Gun violence is unpredictable, and incidents have occurred in various areas around the city, as indicated in the Portland Police Bureau’s dashboard. However, the majority of incidents tend to occur in neighborhoods in the outer North and East sections of Portland. These areas have faced greater economic and social hardship historically and because of the pandemic. The city and the Portland Police Bureau are focusing resources on these areas and forging stronger community partnerships to improve the current climate, with an emphasis on providing necessary resources for future improvements as well. In addition, partnerships are developing across city, county, state, federal, community and nonprofit entities to explore and implement viable, sustainable solutions citywide.
How is Portland addressing police reform?
The council may redirect funds from specific police programs to initiatives that provide resources to underserved populations. As an example, in June 2020, the Portland City Council approved a budget diverting $15 million from the police bureau to social services. Nearly $5 million from the police bureau was redirected to Portland Street Response, a program that dispatches unarmed first responders to calls for people experiencing homelessness. The program has expanded twice and, as of March 28, 2022, provides citywide coverage from 8 a.m.–10 p.m., with plans to provide round-the-clock service by October 2022.
Additionally, in January 2022, the Portland Police Bureau launched its Focused Intervention Team (FIT), which zeroes in on gun violence and is supported by a community oversight group to ensure transparency and accountability. Going forward, additional efforts to enhance the city’s public safety measures and accountability include a $2.65 million investment in body-worn cameras for police officers and enlisting the expertise of an independent consultant to review police procedures on crowd control.
What is the status of protests in Portland?
What COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Portland?
Homelessness is a real and visible problem in Portland. Learn about the causes, responses and what's being done to help.
Our round-up of Portland public safety resources will help you stay informed and safe in case of snow, ice, or other incidents.
Portland loves bikes, but it's still important to be armed with knowledge and cycle safely.
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