The City of Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force has received a financial boost from the largest bike club in town.
The Portland Wheelmen Touring Club was established in 1971 and currently has 600 members. It’s largest annual event is the Pioneer Century. The club’s current and former presidents, Ann Morrow and Kathleen Hellem, presented a check for $4,000 to the Portland Police Bureau in the lobby of Central Precinct headquarters on Friday. There to receive the check was Police Chief Larry O’Dea and the two officers who lead the bureau’s bike theft prevention and enforcement efforts; Officers Dave Sanders and Dave Bryant. The money will go toward a number of efforts including the development of a bait bike program and ongoing public outreach and education programs. Morrow and Hellem said the PWTC plans to make this donation an annual tradition.
The Bike Theft Task Force was launched last March and has been crucial in raising the awareness of bike theft in the police bureau and the community at large. Last summer Officers Sanders and Bryant attended several major events where they worked closely with Task Force members J. Allard of Project 529, Bryan Hance of Bike Index and volunteers to register hundreds of bikes. The officers say they’ve made twice the amount of recoveries thanks to internal training and education efforts and a flood of tips coming in from the public via email and the @PPBBikeTheft Twitter account.
Officers Sanders and Bryant have also recently hired a college intern to help add capacity to their efforts.
The Task Force, which also includes myself and a staff member from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, had been meeting regularly until last fall. Now we’re regrouping and planning the second annual Portland Bike Theft Summit which will take place in April. Stay tuned for more as we confirm our 2016 plan of attack.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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