Leaders of the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force did a ride-along on the Springwater Corridor path on Saturday.
The ride was a spontaneous event that founder of the Task Force, PPB Officer Dave Sanders, posted to Twitter just a few hours before he set out. He was joined by fellow Officer Ben Labasan and the two of them were joined by a handful of citizens who showed up to ride with them. It was all part of the Bike Theft Task Force’s ongoing effort to involve the community in the work they are doing to prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes.
Why the Springwater? “I’ve been wanting to see the issues along the Springwater firsthand and have been wanting to address some of the ongoing tips and complaints that we have received regarding bike theft in this area,” Ofcr Sanders said via email this morning.
Here’s more from Sanders:
My hope was to allow the community to be involved in navigating some of their concerns/problems that present themselves along the corridor. I wanted to be able to listen to these concerns on a deeper level and to allow the community see first-hand how we follow up on these bike-theft related complaints and the challenges that we are sometimes faced with. Some folks who offer up these bike theft tips/complaints sometimes feel that these go into a black hole and are not addressed, so I wanted to encourage the public that we do take these seriously and address them as we are able. I believe that the community’s involvement in stopping bike theft is crucial and we are never going to get a handle on it if we can’t come together on this as a larger community.
Beyond the community-building, the ride led to results. Within a few hours the officers recovered a nice new Public road bike. Sanders and Labasan were excited to recover that bike, but wish they could have run serial numbers on the “hundreds” of other bikes that looked suspicious. “We weren’t able to address many of the bikes we saw,” he wrote, “but tried to follow up on the ones that we thought may be reported/registered and were in decent condition.” Sanders said there was one trove of bikes in particular that he wanted to check out but was unable to due to a “very aggressive dog” that was guarding the area.
While he was dismayed at the conditions he saw along the path, Sanders was encouraged to see so many people out riding. “We received dozens of positive comments on Saturday and many expressed appreciation for being out on the trail,” he wrote. “I wish we could be out there riding every day. I can say, after riding the trail, I understand more deeply the legitimate concerns that are presented by the community around the corridor, and hope that we can continue to address those better.”
Stay tuned for future opportunities to join Sanders and other Portland Police officers on a bike ride. Learn more about the Bike Theft Task Force by following them on Twitter @PPBBikeTheft and on the web at PortlandOregon.gov.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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