Although city officials say last month's murder of Madison Suites co-owner Ilaben Patel highlights the need to address crime in Portland's low-end motels, troubleshooter John Campbell's phone remains quiet this week.
Campbell developed nationally acclaimed methods for improving safety in multifamily housing after he got fed up with drug dealers operating in his Northeast Portland neighborhood in the 1980s.
His work with then-cop Tom Potter and other Northeast Portland officials led to a program designed to educate landlords on how to keep their properties crime-free. "They had a lot of options but weren't using them," he recalls.
As word spread of his solution to crime-ridden housing, his firm, Campbell-Delong Resources Inc., began to field requests to work with motel owners in cities across the U.S. But for some reason, Portland's efforts stopped with apartment complexes.
"Would the program work for Portland's motels? Yes, it definitely would," says Campbell.
So why hasn't there been a call for help from his hometown? Marshall Runkel, assistant to City Commissioner Erik Sten, blames the daily battle to respond to crime emergencies. "This is a major commitment that requires planning and determination," he says. "It could be that people are just feeling pulled in too many other ways right now to want to take on something else."
We'll make it easy: Campbell's phone number is (503) 221-2005. His website, www.cdri.com, will plug you in, too.