City’s Crime Prevention staff moves to new offices

Learn where your Crime Prevention Coordinator has moved, what they think of their new offices – and, how to contact them …

Outer East Portland Crime Prevention Coordinators Teri Poppino and Samantha “Sam” Freeman greet neighbors at the opening of the new Crime Prevention Center on East Burnside Street.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
When the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement announced that it was moving all of its Crime Prevention Program Coordinators out of their neighborhood offices into a central facility – some neighbors expressed concern about losing a valuable resource.

But, at a June 28 dedication ceremony at the new headquarters – now located in the Penumbra Kelly Building at 4747 E. Burnside, next door to the former Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Southeast Precinct building – the Crime Prevention Coordinators said the move will help them better serve neighbors.

Coordinator Samantha “Sam” Freeman, said she’ll keep on serving folks in the Woodland Park, Hazelwood, Mill Park, Lents, Powellhurst Gilbert neighborhoods.

“In our everyday duties, we tend meet with people in their homes, at events, and businesses,” explained Freeman. “We’re just as involved the neighborhood as when we were located in the East Portland Neighborhood Office. In fact, before moving here, I’d only met with two neighbors at that office!”

SE Crime Prevention Coordinators Crime Prevention Coordinator Jacob Brostoff heads for his desk in the spacious, new Crime Prevention Center.

So, folks can expect to see her at their neighborhood and business association meetings in the mid-County area, just as they have in the past, she said.

“And, there is a real benefit to being here,” Freeman added, “which is being able to collaborate with my coworkers. We talk together; work on projects together. And, it’s also nice being located near my supervisor, so I can answer questions directly instead of trying to get her on the phone and doing e-mail. It’s much more efficient – which leaves me more time to work on neighborhood issues.”

Freeman’s partner, longtime Crime Prevention Coordinator Teri Poppino, agreed. “This is actually my third move: From the office at East Precinct, to the EPNO building, and now here. But, I’ve still got the same phone number and e-mail address, so I’m easy to contact.”

PPB’s East Precinct Commander Mike Lee talks with his compatriots, at the opening of the new center.

PPB East Precinct Commander Mike Lee had many positive comments about the new center.

“I think it’s phenomenal – bringing all of the assets of crime prevention here, and establishing a hub,” Commander Lee said.

“We also have Water Bureau security, and our Detective Division and Property Crimes Unit here,” Lee continued. “And, because [Crime Prevention Coordinators] face a lot of similar things in the neighborhoods, this gives them the opportunity to work together in a collaborative effort, and bounce ideas off one another. I think this is huge.”

The gather crowd applauds the opening of the new Crime Prevention Center.

Before the ribbon-cutting, Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz addressed the staff and visitors gathered in the parking lot along E. Burnside Street.

“This is been many, many years in coming, for the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention services,” Fritz began.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz thanks all who worked to create the new Crime Prevention Center.

“This building is almost in the actual geographic center of Portland. And now, all of our crime prevention staff – along with our graffiti abatement staff – is located very conveniently, along with the police, who are their partners, to provide services.”

“It’s my joy to have been the Commissioner in charge of Community Involvement, partnering with the Police and Water Bureaus, as we went through the very difficult process of negotiating to obtain this building from Multnomah County,” Fritz added.

PPB Chief Michael Reese explains why he thinks this new center is a beneficial and unique concept.

PPB Chief Mike Reese stepped to the microphone and said, “The Commissioner [Fritz] and I were having conversations about this building about a year ago.  She came up with this idea – to bring all of these partners together to serve our community in a better way.”

Reese added, “What we’re creating here is a ‘Community Safety Center’ – something unique for us in the City. I think it’s really amazing to have this kind of energy in one building.”

Mayor Sam Adams lauds the efforts of City leaders and staff who created the Center.

Next, Mayor Sam Adams was on hand to commend Commissioner Fritz and the ONI staff on the move.

“I’m excited that, finally, Crime Prevention has the home that they deserve,” Adams exclaimed. “Of all the branches [of the City] charged with keeping the peace, some of our most unsung heroes are the crime prevention folks; this is something I’ve come to know, while being the Police Commissioner.”

Looking up, Adams added, “Let’s cut a ribbon!”

PPB Chief Michael Reese and Portland Water Bureau Director David Schaff hold the ceremonial ribbon as Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Crime Prevention Program Manager Stephanie Reynolds maneuver their giant scissors under the watchful eye of Mayor Sam Adams.

All you need to know about the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s Crime Prevention Center:

Penumbra Kelly Building
4747 E. Burnside St.
(503) 823-4064

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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