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Portland Park Rangers

Guide
Two park rangers talking with a third person
PP&R's Park Rangers serve as goodwill ambassadors and provide a positive public safety presence in Portland parks and park facilities. Park Rangers can be a resource to help solve park problems and ensure the protection of our natural and cultural resources.
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About Portland Park Rangers

A Park Ranger speaks to a group of children at a park.

Our Park Rangers visit Portland parks and natural areas every day, both engaging with visitors and responding to calls for service at any Portland park property. You can reach the Portland Park Rangers via email at rangercallcenter@portlandoregon.gov or by phone message at 503-823-1637.

The Rangers are not law enforcement officers, rather they serve as goodwill ambassadors and provide a positive public safety presence in Portland parks and park facilities enforcing Park rules. Park Rangers help solve park problems, enforce City Code, and help ensure the protection of our natural and cultural resources.

Portland Park Rangers help ensure visitors have a positive experience and that our cultural and natural resources are protected.

For emergencies, including crimes in progress and/or any life safety issue, Rangers will call for assistance from appropriate first responders, such as Portland Police or Portland Fire, and we encourage you to do the same. Portland Park Rangers work with the Portland Police Bureau to problem-solve issues in parks that are beyond the scope of park rule violations. For example, criminal activity, weapons, threats, and other issues that a person would typically call 911 for – are still referred to police.

Duties and Training

Portland Park Rangers are not law enforcement officers, but do have authority under City Code to issue park exclusions or citations. In addition to ongoing in-service training, all staff within the Park Ranger program, including dispatchers, complete a four-week Park Ranger Academy.

Trainings at Ranger Academy include sessions on proactive engagement, de-escalation, trauma-informed communication, educational approaches to enforcement, threat assessment, anti-bias training and more. Our training regimen emphasizes dignity and respect for all park visitors to promote equity and reduce disparities. Equity and inclusion are a core value of the City of Portland and of the Ranger program.

A Portland Park Ranger kneeling and handing a sticker to a child

Park Ranger duties include:

  • Providing a positive presence in parks and community centers
  • Responding and resolving park rule concerns within our scope of authority
  • Encouraging safe and positive use of parks, including hosting Leave No Trace events
  • Providing outreach support and social service referrals
  • Providing first aid
  • Referring serious medical issues to Portland Fire & Rescue and serious criminal behavior to Portland Police Bureau

When necessary, our team works closely with partners to solve complex problems in our parks. We work with the Street Services Coordination Center, Joint Office of Homeless Services, Portland Street Medicine, JOIN, Multnomah County Animal Control, Multnomah County River Patrol, neighborhood groups, Portland Police Bureau, Office of Civic Life, and
others in creating safer parks.

Uniforms

  • Tan uniform shirt or polo with PP&R Ranger emblem and badge; green pants or shorts; radio
  • May wear a brown or black jacket with PP&R Park Ranger emblem and badge
  • City of Portland or Park Ranger ID with DPSST number upon request

Rangers drive City of Portland trucks with the Portland Parks & Recreation logo. Some trucks are marked by a brown stripe that says “Ranger” around the truck.


Program Outcomes

Between March 2021 and March 2022, PP&R Park Rangers responded to 1,800 calls for park concerns. Ranger teams proactively resolved 8,000 park rules issues, such as dumping, nuisance problems, permit disputes, drinking or drugs in parks, damage or vandalism, and behavior issues. Over 98% of all contacts and calls-for-service were resolved without needing a response by Portland Police or Portland Fire. In just 2% of cases, Rangers needed to escalate issues to other agencies (such as calls involving weapons or criminal behavior). During the same time period, Rangers made over 26,000 positive contacts proactively with park visitors. 18% of these engagements were in East Precinct.


Getting the right help in parks

If people or property are in immediate danger, call 911.

For park code violations (like dogs off leash, drinking or drug use, misuse of park property, permit problems, or general disturbances), call Park Rangers at 503-823-1637 or email rangercallcenter@portlandoregon.gov.

For dog or animal attacks, call Multnomah County Animal Control at 503-248-3790.

Report a campsite in a park

We work closely with the City of Portland’s One Point of Contact Reporting System to coordinate Park Ranger responses to camping. Please note that Park Rangers cannot enforce city code for camps outside park property or along the street.

Report a campsite

Report maintenance issues in parks

Report a maintenance issue


Public safety in parks

Overall, Portland parks are very safe. Serious crimes against persons are relatively rare. Nuisance behavior, park user conflicts, and other livability issues are most common, and Park Ranger can help resolve these issues along with our partners below.

Partner Resources

Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Portland Fire Arson Tip Line: 503-823-4636
City of Portland Abandoned Auto Hotline: 503-823-7309
City of Portland Community Safety Program: 503-823-4064
City of Portland Graffiti Hotline: 311
City of Portland Information and Referral: 503-823-4000
Joint Office of Homeless Services: 503-988-2525
Multnomah County Animal Services (emergencies): 503-248-3790
Portland Public Schools Security: 503-916-3307
PP&R main phone number: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
PP&R Customer Service Center: 503-823-2525
Project Respond Mental Health Crisis Intervention Resources: 503-988-4888

Portland Police Bureau

Police Emergency: 911
Portland Police Non-emergency: 503-823-3333
Portland Police Behavioral Health Unit: 503-823-0812
Central Precinct: 503-823-0097
East Precinct: 503-823-4800
North Precinct: 503-823-5700

Regional Resources

Homeless Toolkit: A single resource for information on City homelessness initiatives