Safety mission held on MAX, from Tacoma Street southward
Dangers associated with the MAX light rail lines have so far been concentrated in other parts of the city, mostly avoiding the light rail line paralleling S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard in Inner Southeast Portland.
Nonetheless, in partnership with TriMet, the Milwaukie Police Department, and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, the Transit Police Division focused on the MAX Orange Line for a safety mission on September 18th — particularly focused between the S.E. Tacoma/Johnson Creek MAX Station and the one at S.E. Park Avenue just south of Milwaukie — the end of the Orange Line.
TriMet says the purpose of such public safety missions is to create a safe and secure environment for riders and TriMet employees, to address behavioral issues on the transit system and the immediate, surrounding neighborhoods and to prevent crime through deterrence and education.
During the mission on September 28th, some twenty officers and deputies performed high-visibility foot patrols, rode MAX trains, and made numerous positive contacts — such as helping riders access trains, and fielding questions about the transit system.
Also on hand were members of TriMet's "Safety Response Team" (SRT), which provides outreach by offering people on and near the transit system various community-based resources — such as housing referrals, access to substance abuse treatment, first aid, and other services.
Following the arrest of an individual on a warrant, deputies worked with SRT members to develop a resource plan for the individual — once released from custody. In total, during the four-hour mission, forty warnings were issued, and three arrests were made -- all on existing warrants.
Earlier in September, Transit Police held a mission in partnership with the Portland Police Bureau near the S.E. 122nd Avenue MAX Station.
The missions are part of a larger public safety strategy developed by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, named the "Enhanced Public Safety Initiative", which began last April.
This initiative is described as "a proactive, multi-layered strategy, developed to address the unprecedented levels of gun violence and traffic fatalities in our community, and to create community-engaged policing opportunities".
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