Tigard Police Build Community Connections
Tigard Police Build Community Connections
In addition to maintaining a safe and vibrant community, the Tigard Police Department continually finds new ways to make Tigard a better place to work and live. In fact, the department’s mission statement motivates and empowers all members of the force to improve the city’s livability. This fall the department’s programs blazed trails community-wide. Here are a few of ways your department has made a difference.
According to Special Olympics Oregon, the department ranked as the top fundraiser in Oregon for its annual Tip-A-Cop event held on Oct. 22, 2016. More than 20 law enforcement agencies statewide participated. In cooperation with the Washington Square Red Robin Restaurant in Tigard, the department collected $5,526. Restaurant patrons throughout the day contributed to the fund-raising effort. The department thanks everyone who competed in the campaign that brings awareness and needed funding to support Special Olympics Oregon programs. For decades, Oregon law enforcement agencies have supported the Special Olympics and the annual Tip-A-Cop event.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Event
The department’s Prescription Drug Take Back Event, held on Oct. 22, marked the 12th time citizens could safely dispose of their unwanted medications or prescription drugs. Since the program’s launch five years ago, the department has collected several thousand pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals. The safe removal of unused drugs and medicine for eventual incineration keeps them from being taken by other potential users. It also prevents the medications from tainting groundwater or landfills. The department supports the responsible disposal of unwanted medicine by offering its secure drug return box inside the department lobby, daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can learn more about this opportunity at http://www.tigard-or.gov/police/drug_drop_box.php.
Coffee With a Cop
National Coffee With a Cop Day was celebrated on Oct. 7. Since 2013, the department has offered opportunities for citizens to share a cup of coffee with officers in a relaxed and unchartered atmosphere. The overwhelming success of our October event shows citizens welcome this approach. The nationwide success of Coffee with a Cop has fostered renewed police-community relations, benefiting all. The department appreciates the nearly 50 people who stopped by, even to say hello and offer a kind word. Hosts Well & Good Coffee pulled out all the stops for officers and patrons alike. Look for future Coffee With a Cop events coming to a coffee shop in Tigard near you.
The Tigard Police Department has always supported the vulnerable, so they can live safe and productive lives. Like police everywhere, we know adults with developmental disabilities face challenges staying safe as they move about the community. To support their needs, a special program began in collaboration with the Westside Crime Prevention Coalition, strongly supported by the department. In Tigard, the Safety Academy assists adults with developmental disabilities so they are better prepared to avoid risky situations. Officers also help attendees understand when they may be at risk of victimization. Since the program’s start in spring 2015, more than 40 attendees have emerged more confident and knowledgeable as they move through their daily activities both at home and around the community.
Be Smart, Avoid the Scammers
Be Smart and Don’t Get Scammed
Last year, tens of thousands of Oregonians reported being a victim of a crime. Many fell victim to frauds or scams. Data suggest, however, that certain scams are directed towards specific age groups. Further evidence also indicates some scams target ethnic groups, who suspects think will not report such crimes because of language or communication challenges.
Scams are considered a crime of opportunity. Many victims willingly provided the perpetrator personal information or money without checking the legitimacy of the alleged business or the tactics behind the transaction.
Victims have reported being scammed over the telephone, in-person and over the internet. Oregon ranked 25th in the nation for internet-based fraud, according to the FBI in its most recent annual report.
The Tigard Police Department has observed and filed crime reports for nearly all of the 36 different variations of fraud known. Many victims lost money—some a substantial amount. A number of victims said they felt they were being scammed, but the prospect of the outcome overcame their ability to think clearly and stop the transaction.
Tigard Residents Targeted
On a nearly daily basis, Tigard residents report they are victimized to police. The most commonly reported scam involves arrest threats for unpaid traffic tickets or fines. Some victims reported arrest threats due to an outstanding warrant.
Remember, no government agency will call and demand immediate payment of any kind, let alone payment made by a pre-paid credit card or retail gift card. Hang up if you receive such a call.
Victims have also reported to the Tigard police they were threatened with arrest for unpaid taxes. In many cases, the caller demanded a pre-paid credit card or gift card to avoid making an arrest. Once again, the IRS does not call with demands for immediate payment. The IRS communicates through the U.S. postal service.
Residents’ best rule of thumb is to be smart and hang up. Tell a family member if you are unsure what to do. Please, do not give criminals any opportunity to victimize another person.
Remember, hang up if it starts with fast talking, threat of reprisal and immediate demand for money. Report the incident to the police. In Tigard the non-emergency call line is 503-629-0111. To learn more about computer fraud and scams, visit www.IC3.gov.
Just when you think you have heard it all, you receive a call or email with an immediate demand for money. The scammer emphatically states if you do not comply, you will face arrest and/or a substantial monetary fine, physical assault and whatever else the caller has fabricated.
Do not fall victim to this tactic. Legitimate government agencies, utility companies and other businesses do not conduct business in this manner. Simply hang up. In fact, please consider not answering your telephone if you are unsure or unfamiliar with the person calling.
The Tigard Police Department receives numerous calls from residents weekly advising that they are the target of similar scams. The call or email almost always comes with an immediate deadline to make a payment to avoid some extreme action taken against you.
Unfortunately, we also have reports where a victim has followed through with the scam artist’s demands. Please share the information about potential scams with your family and friends—especially those who may be most vulnerable such as the elderly or anyone who may struggle with language or communication challenges.
Almost 100 percent of the time when an immediate demand for money is made, whether through a prepaid credit card or a money wire transfer such as Western Union, it is a scam.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Although the likelihood is relatively low that local police agencies can arrest the perpetrators, information sharing among law enforcement regarding such attempts to defraud citizens has proven beneficial. Most often, federal agencies who also share in the collected data are better able to track down and arrest those responsible.
In Tigard, the telephone number to report all non-emergencies is 503-629-0111.
To learn more about scams and how to avoid them, go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.
Using Technology to Fight Crime
In an increasingly high-tech world, more crimes now involve technologies that police must anticipate. In recent years, the Tigard Police Department has met the challenge using a variety of its own technological tools to combat criminal activity.
For example, GPS and other advanced communication systems allow law enforcement to pre-plan and deploy necessary resources when needed.Technologies such as body armor and less-lethal projectiles also improve the safety of both police and the public.
The department continues its efforts to give law enforcement the technological edge.
Leadership by the department’s business manager led to the purchase of equipment and technology with little or no new costs. The department leveraged external funding from grants and asset forfeiture funds, which helped to offset costs from the annual department budget.
In the past three years, nearly a quarter of a million dollars have been awarded to the Tigard Police through grants and other funding sources. The department received grants from the Department of Justice and the State of Oregon. Others grants awarded came from the private sector.
The department also has received private donations to improve its technology-driven efforts over the past several years:
- Tablets, the next generation of mobile communicators
- Automatic license plate readers (ALPR)
- Enhanced interviewing and recording equipment
- Electronic digital signage kiosks
The department will continue to explore additional external funding opportunities as it promotes its ongoing efforts to promote public safety and the quality of life in Tigard.
Crime Mapping Tools Return
The Tigard Police Department is pleased to reintroduce Crime Spotter. The map-based tool provides easy to access information about criminal activity in the City of Tigard through a user-friendly map tool that shows activity by location. Crime Spotter was unavailable for nearly 18 months following a systems change for new data and software. Tigard residents can again stay informed and track police-related activity in their neighborhood or other areas of interest.
The Most Accurate Data
Crime Spotter’s map feature shows where crimes have occurred over a twelve-month period. Anyone with access to the internet, on their smart devices or computers, can learn about reported crimes. The tool uses Tigard police reports originating from the call center. The data are highly reliable.
The Tigard Police Department does not provide its crime data to other websites, and it cannot vouch for their accuracy. The department stands fully behind Crime Spotter as the most accurate source of reported criminal activity in Tigard. Our database is refreshed with new crime data daily.
Two Ways to Get Information
To use the tool, simply enter an address on the Crime Spotter web page. This generates a summary of reported crimes with descriptive information. The query pulls up reports in a half mile radius of the listed address. It is that easy.
In addition to Crime Spotter, a companion program called Neighborhood Crime Spotter also provides information using police reports, but organized by Neighborhood Networks. This tool may help users who want to obtain a wider area of reported criminal activity.
Tigard maintains a reputation as a safe community. This is the result of proactive community-oriented law enforcement and the effort of active, informed citizens and neighborhood groups working together. Our online tools support these efforts.
Police Encourage Residents to Prepare for Power Outages
The windstorm that hit our area on April 7 serves as a reminder that everyone should have a back-up plan in place for unplanned disruptions of electrical power. During the storm, the Tigard Police Department responded to multiple calls where homeowners found themselves stranded—either unable to enter or exit their homes.
Residents should have alternative methods to enter a home other than an electric garage door opener. In some recent incidents, residents only carried an opener and did not have a door key. During the recent storm and resulting power outages, they were unable to enter their homes.
Police were also called to residences where the occupants were unable to drive their vehicle out of the garage during an outage. The situation created cases of unnecessary alarm.
All home occupants should be prepared to manually disengage the garage door from an opening mechanism, allowing it to be opened by hand.
Create a plan. Practice. Be better prepared.
Police Open House Event
The Tigard Police Department’s inaugural Open House on Saturday, June 3 was a huge success! We estimated 572 spent a portion of their Saturday to learn about their police department. Many took advantage of the tour inside the police station, while people young and old tried on the police equipment. People were able to see the various demonstrations of our tools, sit in police vehicles, climb the Bearcat (armored vehicle) and see our motor officers navigate an obstacle course.
At a time when policing is under scrutiny, it was clear the overwhelming support the community has for their police department. It was important that we show the community our police station and the various programs and services we provide. We continue to build trust with the citizens and businesses of Tigard by being transparent, inclusive, and engaging.
We appreciate the support. I am very proud of the men and women of the Tigard Police Department, their dedication and commitment was very much on display during this event.
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See more event photos on Facebook.