Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)
      May 17, 1999
      Edition: SUNRISE
      CATHERINE TREVISON - The Oregonian

Summary: Committee members say they want to reduce break-ins and
vandalism near the tracks and discourage misbehavior

      Rockwood anti-crime activists want volunteers for a new group that
would patrol the area's light-rail stops.

      Tri-Met security officials say that if the Rockwood Crime and Safety
Committee manages to gather enough people who are serious about it, the
agency might be willing to train them, provide identifying vests and patches,
and possibly provide communication such as cell phones.

      "We are pretty excited about the possibilities. We are keeping our fingers
crossed that we're going to hear back from them," said Peggy Hanson,
Tri-Met's manager for system security, who spoke to the group last week.

      Hanson and Portland Police Capt. Larry Findling said they have never
heard of any other volunteer citizen patrol of a public transit system.

      "We would be cutting new ground," Findling said.


      Findling said Rockwood's light-rail stations don't have more crime than
any other MAX stations. However, the whole system has a problem with
riders who intimidate others by cursing, shouting or being drunk.

      "It's a livability issue rather than a criminal issue," he said. "It's relatively
safe as far as crime goes, but because some people are loud and inappropriate,
people don't feel safe."

      Some committee members complained that they get scared at Rockwood
train platforms.

      "I won't ride the train until 188th gets cleaned up," said Judy Decker,
a committee member. She considered the station a gang hangout until recently.
"Older people won't go there."

      Other committee members said they've been offended by cursing teens
or by recently released inmates bragging about their exploits in jail.

      "Vandalism is getting really bad a block or two off the tracks -- cars
broken into, windows broken," said Doug Farrell, committee leader. He
suggested that Tri-Met sponsor some sort of citizen patrol.


      Although Tri-Met spends about $3 million on police security, there's
not enough money to put a transit cop on every train, Findling said.

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