Sgt. Dave Jackson, Northeast neighborhoods’ crime prevention coordinator Mary Tompkins and Haley Rayburn, Multnomah County’s assistant district attorney for North and Northeast neighborhoods, joined King in a panel at the September meeting of the Irvington Community Association.
Several residents questioned police response to calls about a man they described as mentally ill who allegedly attacked two residents and had been engaged in nuisance activities for a couple of years.
King expressed understanding about the residents’ frustration, commenting that Oregon’s system for dealing with the mentally ill often seems ineffective. “There is no easy or simple answer to that,” he said.
Another resident said he was upset by people sleeping on the street and strewing garbage about.
“Thank you for being frosty,” King said, adding that he welcomes ideas for how to deal with those situations. “You have to stay frosty. You have to lean into it. You are going to have to work with us on it.”
Asked whether Irvington has an increase in crime or whether social media are exaggerating the perception, Jackson said the media have amplified concerns. A major problem in Irvington is property crimes, including thefts from cars and packages from porches, he said. While that is alarming to the victims, it is unlike neighborhoods dealing with gunshots fired into homes or commercial districts plagued with robberies, the police officers said.
The crime-prevention ideas the panel suggested: get to know your neighbors and exchange contact information, keep garage doors locked, remove backpacks and valuables from cars which also should be locked, and check outside lighting and shrubbery for exterior safety.
Online reporting to portlandoregon.gov helps police track crime patterns, Jackson said. The campsite online reporting form is at portlandoregon.gov/campsite. Information on crime prevention and organizing Neighborhood Watch programs is at 503-823-4064 or www.portlandoregon.gov/oni.