City Will Beef Up Police Presence in Old Town Entertainment District

The move comes after high-profile crimes and repeated complaints from nearby nonprofits.

The city of Portland will step up police presence in the Old Town Entertainment District, according to Mayor Ted Wheeler on Monday.

Old Town has seen a spike in crime, and homicides, open-air drug dealing and Wild West-style gunplay have become the norm.

As WW reported last year, the city discontinued patrols in the district during the pandemic, leading club owners to employ armed private security officers.

Related: Old Town Clubs Reopen Amid Gunfire—and Ex-Soldiers Stationed in the Street

The increasingly brazen crime across Old Town has reinforced earlier complaints from employees of the Multnomah County Health Department, whose headquarters lies opposite Union Station, and beleaguered nonprofits in the neighborhood, including Blanchet House and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Mayor Wheeler, who oversees the Portland Police Bureau, will present a new strategy for making Old Town safer at a 10:30 am press conference Sept. 20.