Public Safety Committee


7:00 pm

The Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Public Safety Committee usually meets monthly, on the first Thursday. Confirm scheduled meetings on the Southwest Neighborhoods Calendar.

All meetings are open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

Contact Kim Silverman, Chair

Committee members group email,

View Meeting Archives


Know Your Rights Bike Legal Clinic

The SWNI Public Safety Committee
October 1, 2020, presentation: "Rules of the Road"

Rules of the Road flyer

These clinics are hosted by personal injury lawyer Chris Thomas who shares his insights on Oregon laws, how to stay safe on the road, and what to do if you’re in a crash. Learn everything you need to know about local traffic laws and your rights as a pedestrian, bicyclist, or transit user. 


Safety Step,  A Survival Guide for Pedestrians-ODOT

Committee Member Resources

Access to the following resources is restricted to the SWNI Public Safety Committee Google Group members:

SWNI Public Safety Committee Google Group

Public Safety Committee Google Drive

Tell  the Multnomah County Commissioners to fund the DA's office

The County DA's office is projected to lose more than four million dollars in the next fiscal year. That amount of money pays for more than 18 Deputy DAs and 8 staff members. " Critical DA prosecution functions will, necessarily, be entirely eliminated if Deputy District Attorney positions are further reduced. This will negatively impact our public safety system.", states the Multnomah County DA office.

If the DA can't prosecute crimes, the same repeat offenders who break into our homes, cars, and steal our mail will keep on doing so. In SW Portland recently, a mom and her child returning home from an errand were chased by a stick-wielding repeat offender forcing them to wait, terrified, in their locked car for police to arrive. Our underfunded jail operates as a revolving door releasing perpetrators back into the community where they re-offend with impunity.

SW residents increasingly have repeated reported incidents of mail, home and car thefts. We are told most of the perpetrators are habitual criminals. We are told that there are not enough deputy DAs available to prosecute the cases and that there are no jail beds available to house these criminals.  This means they offend repeatedly... upon us, our homes, and property.

  1. The county should not cut funding for the DA's office and should increase funding for the jail.     Under the Oregon felony sentencing guidelines, a chart determines a defendant's presumptive sentence. For repeat property offenders, the law rightfully focuses on the number and nature of a person's prior property crime convictions.

2. The current inadequate funding of the DA's office hurts victims and cutting funding will make it even worse. One of the potential consequences of cuts to the DA's office could be an end to prosecution of misdemeanor crimes other than domestic violence or driving under the influence of intoxicants. Without reservation, we recognize the importance of those prosecutions, however, without prosecutions of misdemeanor assaults, menacing or property crimes, criminal histories aren't built. Stranger on stranger assaults aren't included in the "will prosecute" list. Neither are car prowls or trespass at our homes or thefts under $1,000. Further cuts have the practical effect of amounting to a license to pillage and further destroy the already compromised livability of our community. Additionally, and equally important, you must recognize that if cases are not prosecuted, victims are being deprived of access to justice. They never receive restitution awards while criminals would appear to be emboldened.

3. Inadequate jail funding hurts victims and defendants. The criminal justice system, albeit imperfect, does provide intervention opportunities for offenders and access to justice for victims. If repeat offenders can, with impunity, break enter, steal and damage property of others and further destroy the livability of Multnomah County without consequence, they are not going to be motivated enough to stop using drugs and committing crimes. This creates a vicious cycle in which offenders continue to violate the law, the number of victims continues to add up and public trust is lost. It may sound harsh, but for repeat offenders, landing back in the community through the catch and release systems at the jail is not the answer. While we are not suggesting that we can arrest our way out of all of the county's problems, will you recognize that for some law breakers crime is linked with illicit substance abuse and the threat that jail time will actually be served can provide them with enough motivation to follow through with treatment recommendations?  That without the ability to mandate treatment and enforce the requirement for follow through we are doing nothing more than wagging our fingers at the problem! That such hollow admonitions amount to being an enabler! Will you recognize that victims are having to fortify their homes to keep the trespassers and burguars out and to keep their families sage from violence here in SW Portland?

4. Without prioritizing public safety, it will get worse and destroy our community. We understand the legislature has added to the financial pressure on counties statewide by gutting repeat property offender sentencing laws in an attempt to reduce prison populations. It amounts to a shifting the cost burden from the state to the counties in the name of justice reform. We've seen Ballot Measure 57 gutted and justice reinvestment initiative bills drafted to coerce counties into releasing those repeat offenders and drug dealers presumptively bound for prison back into the communities they are destroying.

We need your help, some of the issues affecting public safety are happening at the state level, but that makes it more critical at our county level. We need you to act now with funding the DAs office. Cutting the DAs Office budget and failing to increase the number of usable jail beds is not going to make Portland more livable - it is a big part of what has created this mess in the first place.

5. People and businesses will continue leaving SW Portland. Public Safety should be a major concern of the Multnomah County Commission.

Multnomah County Commissions and Chair

Board of Commissioners 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, suite 600 Portland Oregon 97214

Deborah Kafoury, Chair, term ends Dec 2022. Phone 503-988-3308

Sharon Meieran, District 1, term ends Dec 2022 Phone 503-988-5220

Susheela Jayapal, District 2, term ends Dec 2022 Phone 503-988-5219

Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3, term ends 2022 Phone 503-988-5217

Lori Stegmann, District 4 , term  ends Dec 2020 Phone 503-988-5213

Multnomah County Budget office: 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 531 Portland Or 97214 , interoffice mail 503/501

Mike Jaspin Budget director,

 Please help keep Southwest Portland livable and safe.



Past Events

2020 Emergency Preparedness Fair

Our Emergency Preparedness Fair on March 8th inspired many neighbors to take steps to prepare for emergency and disaster situations.  We are especially grateful to our presenters: George Noble, from the Multnomah County Amateur Radio Emergency Services (McARES), who demonstrated how Ham radios can be used in emergencies;  William Burgel who discussed Neighborhood Geology and Earthquake Risk; and  Tim Collins, Senior Engineer at the Portland Water Bureau who spoke about Portland’s present water supply system and improving its vulnerability to a seismic event.  Participants enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches from the Franz Bakery food truck and a number of lucky folks took home emergency preparedness supplies as door prize winners! A big thank you to all our Neighborhood Emergency Teams who prepared informative and engaging preparedness demonstrations. Committee members did a great job working together to promote the event, set-up and take-down displays and ensure the success of this critical community call to action fair!


Fair attendees
View the Photos



2018 Community Policing Appreciation Night

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors to the 2018 Community Policing Appreciation Night on Oct 25th! We thank the generosity of Safeway and Costco. Thanks to our family and individual contributors. Thanks to the volunteers who helped with the event. Thanks to Bill Dant for providing music.

A BIG THANKS to all! A swell time was had by all.

Event photo
View the Photos.



2018 Emergency Preparedness Fair

What a swell event we had this year! It was an all time turn-out. Thanks to everyone, volunteers, NETS, exhibitors, ONI Small Grants, Vendors and Donors!

Thank You to our event contributors: Andy and Bax, Cascadia Quake Kits, Costco, Fred Meyer - Burlingame, Target, UU Yogurt - Raleigh Hills, WinCo, SWNI ONI Neighborhood Small Grant and SW NET Teams.

Grilled cheese truck
View the Photos.



Portland Fire & Rescue - Preventing Urban Wildfires


Many Thanks to Kim Kosmas, SR Public Education Officer of Portland Fire & Rescue for discussing summer fire safety tips with our committee in July. A lively discussion was had and very cool giveaways. Thanks! See Portland Fire & Rescue - Preventing Urban Wildfires video above.


Neighborhood Emergency Teams (NETs)

NETs are with the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, see links below

Do you know what to do in the event of a disaster?   They say the BIG ONE is coming.......
Learn what you should have on hand, what you can do and how to survive by speaking with your local Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET). Find your neighborhood NET team on the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) team list

PBEM offers free NET training classes. Sign up at

For information contact Jeremy VanKeuren, Program Manager,

Want help in talking to kids about emergencies and disasters?


Public Safety Links and Phone Numbers

(please tell if any link or contact info is out of date)

  • EMERGENCY report crimes in progress and immediate threats to life, property ..... 911 can also text to 911

  • Police Non-Emergency suspicious activity, crime that has already occurred ... 503-823-3333

  • Online Crime Reporting ...

Portland Parks & Recreation  
For threats to life or property or if a crime is in progress call 911
For non-emergency park-related security problems such as off-leash dogs, drug use or dumping trash call park rangers at (503) 823-1637 or police non-emergency at (503) 823-3333
For park maintenance such as graffiti or broken equipment call (503) 823-1600
For serious situations involving animals call Multnomah County Animal Control at (503) 248-3790
The main Portland Parks & Recreation number (503) 823-PLAY [7529]
City and county general information and referral number (503) 823-4000

Contact Information for Portland Parks & Recreation (pdf)


If you, family or friend are in crisis and/or need support  
Mental Health Crisis Line 24 hrs 503-988-4888
Call to Safety Crisis Line 24 hrs help for survivors of violence 503-235-5333
Drug and Alcohol Helpline 24 hrs 800-923-HELP
Domestic violence services
Multnomah County Aging, Disability and Veterans Helpline 24 hrs 503-988-3646
City/County Information and Referral for services 503-823-4000


  • PDX Reporter online reporting tool: Report graffiti, street light outages, debris in roadway, park maintenance issues, plugged storm drains, potholes,  campsites, sidewalk vegetation and trip hazards 

  • (503) 823-4094 Crime Prevention Team, Office of Community and Civic Life, Sarah Berkemeier email

  • Traffic Safety Line ( report traffic safety problem area).................503-823-SAFE

  • Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch..............503-823-4064

  • Oregon Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline ( scams) ..............503-229-5576

  • Identity Theft prevention and recovery info

  • Police Locks Program ( free locks and spport to seniors and people w/ disabilities .........503-823-0723

  • WomenStrength self defense

  • Stolen Bike        or

  • Graffiti Abatement..........503-823-ATAG

  • Housing and nuisance code violations

  • Park Rangers.................503-823-1637

  • One Point of Contact Campsite Online  Reporting

  • Portland United Against Hate. A partnership of community concerned people, groups and the city to track, respond to and prevent hateful acts.      503-823-2294.

  • Multnomah County Animal Control.............503-988-7387

  • Resolutions NW neighborhood mediation ( free to Portland residents)...........503-595...4890

  • City Liquor Establishment Complaint

  • City Cannabis Complaint/Info Line .

  • Public Alerts Registry for Emergency

  • Noise

  • Parking Enforcement illegal parking, abandoned autos, info ...............503-823-5195

  • for more public safety resources in Portland, see

  •                     please tell if any link or contact info is out of date