Police, TriMet team up for enforcement action on SE 122nd Avenue

E Burnside at 122nd.

A multi-agency effort netted 15 arrests, including gun and drug seizures in just four hours last Thursday, September 8th.

The location is likely familiar to many of you: the busy intersection of SE 122nd and Burnside, where a light rail line, bike lanes, and many other traffic lanes come together. Statistically, this intersection is a hotspot for all types of crimes, crashes, and traffic violations. It likely made the list for police enforcement because there were two recent shootings near here last month alone.

In a statement today, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said their Transit Police Division worked with the Portland Police Bureau and TriMet on what they call a “public safety mission.” “During the mission, approximately 20 officers and deputies performed high-visibility foot patrols, provided outreach, made numerous positive contacts with community members and addressed crime near the 122nd Ave. MAX Station and in the immediate neighborhood,” read the statement.

The Sheriff’s Office said in addition to the 15 arrests they handed out 31 warnings, seized drugs, and recovered one loaded gun (that happened to be stolen). To streamline the arrest process, they had a mobile booking system set up in the field. They chose 4:00 to 8:00 pm because that’s when the Transit Police Division says they get the highest number of calls for service.

Funding for the effort came in part from Multnomah County’s Enhanced Public Safety Initiative which was supported by local elected officials to the tune of $4 million last year. Back in April, County Sheriff Mike Reese told us he was very concerned that the Portland Police Bureau chose to de-prioritize traffic violations and said he wanted to see more attention paid to high crash corridors like 122nd Avenue. “You’re going to have an added benefit by putting boots on the ground in those high crash corridors, reducing the potential for really tragic outcomes with accidents and fatalities. And you’re also going to dissuade people from engaging in gun violence,” Sheriff Reese said.

While TriMet ridership is slowly ticking upwards, it remains only about half of what it was pre-pandemic. For some people, the lack of safety on our streets and around transit stations is a big reason they don’t ride more. TriMet launched a “Reimaging Public Safety and Security” initiative to respond to these concerns. Learn more about the effort on their website.

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SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
14 days ago

Too bad TriMet doesn’t put Safety First for all its customers all over and not just cherry picked locations.
It was so nice on the MAX yesterday afternoon being accosted by a person begging for change (have seen them doing this for the past 5 years) and daring to not know they were taking to me. Yeah, such great joy doing the “right thing” by riding TriMet.

john thoren
john thoren
14 days ago

Good work by Trimet and the Portland Police. Glad they got the funding, too.

ActualPractical
ActualPractical
14 days ago

I love transit 2nd only to cycling, but recent experiences made it seem unsafe to travel with my kids. Unhinged violent people (2 incidents) bashing everything in sight everyone on the train just gripped with fear hoping it would end.

As with general downtown conditions, I desperately hope we can get our public spaces back.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
13 days ago

Watched them arrest someone last week at that location. Wondered why there were 3 deputies and 2 nicely dressed photographers… a bit strange to watch it unfold as it seemed more of a publicity stunt vs arresting someone who had a warrant.

Fred
Fred
13 days ago

“Reimaging” or “Reimagining?”

Since many Portland agencies are all about image, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just re-imaging to try to improve their image. 😉

Paul Cone
Paul Cone
12 days ago

Reese is sheriff, not chief.