Monday evening, April 18, 32 Maywood Park neighbors assembled at the Maywood Park Campus of Mt. Hood Community College for the annual City of Maywood Park Safety Summit.
The meeting focused on methods of keeping Maywood’s 780 residents safe from home invasions, burglaries, vandalism and other acts of intrusion faced by this small community.
The event was hosted by Maywood Park’s City Council—Jim Akkers, Matthew Castor, Dave Snodgrass and Art Winslow—and facilitated by Mayor Mark Hardie. The presentation was given by Lieutenant Joel Wendland with technical assistance by Kevin Morrelli, both affiliated with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
MCSO provides policing services to Maywood Park, since the community is an independent entity and is not regularly served by the Portland Police Department. The basic message from Lt. Wendland boiled down to: “Lock windows and house doors [and] your cars doors, put ladders away and report, report, report.”
Lt. Wendland emphasized how important it is to MCSO to be successful with the communities it serves. “The Sheriff’s Office,” he said, “takes its customer service seriously,” whether through telephone or face-to-face contact. He added, “If you have concerns, report them.” The MCSO outreach office nearest to Maywood Park is in Troutdale, so it is important that the community’s residents report problems as soon as they are discovered. Crimes being reported as they happen should go to 911, but for criminal events discovered after the fact, residents should call the non-emergency number.
Some neighbors use social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook’s Friends of Maywood Park page to alert other neighbors about suspicious vehicles or people This often results in recommendations from others on these lists that these problems be passed on to MCSO’s non-emergency number. Reports of thefts through these lists are frequent, as are reports of gunfire, vandalism, robbery and trash buildups near homeless camps.
Significant concern was expressed by attendees of the meeting about homeless encampments. Lt. Wendland acknowledged that some homeless people don’t want to seek housing or assistance, but that for those who do, there is a program called HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program and Engagement) that helps those who express the need for help. He said many are not homeless by choice and have had needed documents stolen or have lost them. Without such items as ID cards, birth certificates and the like, they can’t qualify for temporary housing, food assistance or other programs that will help them move out of homelessness. HOPE helps with these processes.
Also, officers encourage encampments to limit themselves to one or two and keep their living areas cleaned up and appropriately dispose of their trash.
Some programs offered by MCSO include the Citizens’ Academy, ride-along opportunities and vacation home checks. The Citizens’ Academy is a 12-week program where any citizen can attend classes and participate in field trips, visits to jails and other exposures to policing practices.
A citizen who wants to do a ride-along needs to fill out an application with MCSO, and they will then be scheduled with a deputy.
Vacation home checks also require a form to be filled out, and available officers will include the vacationer’s home to be included on regular and special patrol. Lt. Wendland cautioned that you shouldn’t request this service if you have someone staying in your home in your absence. You don’t want to come home, he pointed out, to find out a friend or family member has been jailed for being where no one is supposed to be.
The safety summit was an effective opportunity for Maywood Park citizens and MCSO representatives to discuss methods for both groups to foster better communication and work together to make this community safer for its citizens.
City of Maywood Park facts
City council meetings are held monthly on the first and third Mondays at Mt. Hood Community College’s Maywood Campus, 10100 N.E. Prescott St.,
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office patrols the
City of Maywood Park
• Emergency number: 911
• Non-emergency number: 503-823-3333
• One of the safest communities in Multnomah County
• Highest number of car prowls happen from 4 to 6 a.m.
• Doesn’t allow home businesses that generate customer traffic
• Citizen Patrols between midnight and 6 a.m.
• Citizen Patrol Manual available
• Request form for vacation home check: 503-988-7300 (two weeks to six months)
• Child Identification Kits available for personal records MCSO statistics
• 387 dispatch calls from Maywood Park in last 12 months
• 17–20 hours per month on Maywood Park calls
• 113 vacation home check requests last year
• No violent crimes reported in Maywood Park in 2016