0835.20, Managing Public Spaces
Effective 11/13/2023, PPB temporarily suspended this directive to ensure that its practices align with Portland City Code 14A.50. PPB will conduct the standard review process for the directive at a later date.
- Lavan v. City of Los Angeles, 693 F.3d 1022 (9th Cir. 2012)
- Martin v. City of Boise, 920 F.3d 584 (9th Cir. 2019)
- Settlement Agreement in Anderson et. al. v. City of Portland, August 2012
- ORS 195.500, Policy for Removal of Homeless Individuals Camping on Public Property
- ORS 195.505, Elements of Camp Removal Policies; Unclaimed Personal Property; Notice
- ORS 195.510, Sites Not Subject to ORS 195.500 to 195.510
- Portland City Code, 1.01.140, Violations – Penalty
- Portland City Code 3.15.060.C.6, Office of Chief Administrator Officer
- Portland City Code, 3. 20.110, Duties of Police Force
- Portland City Code, Title 20 Parks and Recreation, Chapter 20.12, Prohibited Conduct
- Portland City Code, 14A.50.020, Camping Prohibited on Public Property and Public Rights of Way
- Portland City Code, 14A.50.030, Sidewalk Use
- Portland City Code, 14A.50.050, Erecting Permanent or Temporary Structures on Public Property or Public Rights of Way
- Portland City Code 29.20.010-030, Property Nuisances
- City of Portland City Charter 2-105(a)(44)
- City of Portland, Campsite Cleanup Contracts
- DIR 0640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging
- DIR 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures
- Portland Police Bureau/Impact Reduction Program Abatement Protocol (PPB intranet)
- City of Portland Homelessness/Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program Campsite Removal and Property Storage Policy
- Camp or campsite: As defined in Portland City Code, any place where any bedding, sleeping bag, or other sleeping matter, or any stove or fire is placed, established, or maintained, whether or not such place incorporates the use of any tent, lean-to, shack, or any other structure, or any vehicle or part thereof. The Settlement Agreement in Anderson et. al. v. City of Portland interpreted and clarified the definition to include a camp structure such as a hut, lean-to, tent, or other temporary structure such as carts and/or personal property. The Bureau further interprets the terms to include a location where, for the purpose of maintaining or establishing a temporary place to live, any combination of the following is placed: 1) any bedding materials immediately arranged for sleeping use; 2) any stove or fire; or 3) any structure such as a hut, lean-to, tent or other improvised temporary structure using carts and/or other personal property as part of the framework of the structure.
- Coordinated Camp Clean-up: An organized, pre-arranged operation initiated by land-owning, city-bureau or designee possessing lawful authority to order the removal of trespassers and established campsites from their property after written notice has been posted.
- Emergency Abatement: Initiated by the Portland Police Bureau or the land-owning, city-bureau or designee, the removal of property from a public place or public right of way, where the conditions of the campsite warrant an exception to the posting requirements, as noted in state law and this directive.
- Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (“Impact Reduction Program"): A division of the Office of Management and Finance that is responsible for coordinated camp clean-up activities and has the authority to act on behalf of the land-owning city bureaus and any Oregon Department of Transportation property within the City of Portland.
- Insanitary Property: Items that have no apparent utility or are in an insanitary condition, meaning items are contaminated or are unclean enough to endanger health.
- Nuisance Property: Anything that obstructs or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or that creates such insanitary conditions so as to warrant an abatement, unless specifically authorized by permit or ordinance to do otherwise. This does not include personal property, as defined below, which members should treat as “found property,” as defined in Directive 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures.
- Personal Property: Any item that can reasonably be identified as belonging to an individual and that has apparent value or utility. This excludes insanitary property.
- Summary Abatement: Initiated by the Portland Police Bureau, the removal of nuisance property from a public place or public right of way, where the property does not constitute a camp or campsite.
1. This Directive clarifies the role of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) as working in a support role during established campsite clean-ups on public property. PPB, in compliance with the Bureau’s service mission, public expectation, and the law, shall recognize the inherent dignity of all persons by ensuring the fair, courteous, and equal treatment of all people in addressing camping in violation of City code.
2.PPB recognizes that the City of Portland (“City”) and State of Oregon set a standardized process to govern the clean-up of public property being used for the purpose of shelter and/or temporary residence in a manner that violates applicable City code and the disposition of property confiscated within those camps. Specifically, PPB, in support of City Bureaus having authority over City of Portland property and their agents (i.e., the Impact Reduction Program [IRP]), shall interact with individuals experiencing homelessness with compassion and understanding. This means customizing humane strategies to address each individual person and situation, complete with referrals to social services to those in need of assistance, and respect for property rights.
3. In accordance with a binding intergovernmental agreement, PPB shall work with City partners to support the City’s efforts to address established camping on inter-governmentally-owned property located within Portland jurisdiction.
4. PPB shall endeavor to secure the health and welfare of any member assigned to clear camps. Members shall use personal protective equipment to manage any potential for exposure to hazardous and infectious materials and inform their supervisor of any exposure or injury sustained.
1. Member Responsibilities.
1.1. All Bureau support of coordinated camp clean-ups shall be approved by and at the direction of a supervisor, unless received through a call for service via BOEC.
1.1.1. If a member is dispatched to a call for service to support a Coordinated Camp Cleanup, they shall notify a supervisor. If a supervisor does not approve the member supporting a coordinated clean-up, they shall contact IRP to notify them of the Bureau’s decision.
1.2. If a member identifies a camp or campsite while on patrol or responds to a call for service regarding a camp or campsite, the member may:
1.2.1. Evaluate the site to determine if an emergency abatement is necessary;
1.2.2. If an emergency abatement is not required, attempt to provide social service referral information; and
1.2.3. Notify IRP by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to provide the location.
1.3. Types of Camp Clean-Ups.
1.3.1. Coordinated Camp Clean-Ups.
220.127.116.11. Coordinated camp cleanups are initiated and managed by IRP; however, members may be asked to assist the agents or City-contracted vendors performing the clean-up.
18.104.22.168. When a member acts in support of a City-ordered coordinated camp clean-up, the member shall:
22.214.171.124.1. Follow the guidelines set forth in the City of Portland Homelessness/Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program Campsite Removal and Property Storage Policy
126.96.36.199.2. Provide security for the public personnel or agents conducting the clean-up;
188.8.131.52.3. Remain on scene until:
184.108.40.206.3.1. The clean-up is completed;
220.127.116.11.3.2. The member is released by the requesting public personnel or agent; or
18.104.22.168.3.3. Other priority police matter arises.
22.214.171.124.4. Attempt to identify individuals present at the camp or campsite;
126.96.36.199.5. Attempt to provide information for services in the area; and
188.8.131.52.6. Write a General Offense (GO) report in accordance with the reporting requirements set forth in this directive.
184.108.40.206. Concerning the removal of personal property:
220.127.116.11.1. If the member removes personal property such as weapons, drug paraphernalia, and items which appear to either be stolen or evidence of a crime, or takes possession of these items from the vendor, they shall follow Directive 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures, with regard to the disposition of the personal property and property receipts.
1.3.2. Emergency Abatements.
18.104.22.168. Land-owning City bureaus or designees are required to post appropriate written notice (i.e., 72 hours and in English and Spanish) of a coordinated camp clean-up prior to the clean-up effort, unless one of the following exemptions to the requirement exists:
22.214.171.124.1. When there are grounds for members to reasonably believe that illegal activities other than camping, to include the violation of City Charter and/or state law, are occurring at an established camping site;
126.96.36.199.2. In the event of an exceptional emergency at an established camping site, including, but not limited to possible site contamination by hazardous materials, a public health emergency, or other immediate danger to human life or safety.
188.8.131.52.3. If a funeral service is scheduled with less than 72 hours’ notice at a cemetery at which there is a camping site, or a camping site is established at the cemetery less than 72 hours before the scheduled service, the written notice may be posted at least 24 hours before removing homeless individuals from the camping site.
184.108.40.206. When a member intends to immediately address a camp or campsite and an exemption to the posting requirement exists, the member shall notify their supervisor of the following, unless it is their primary assignment for the day:
220.127.116.11.1. Location and description of the camp (size, hazards, number of people, etc.); and
18.104.22.168.2. The reason why the camp or campsite needs an emergency abatement.
22.214.171.124.3. If the supervisor denies an emergency abatement, the member may notify IRP of their observations of the camp or campsite via the appropriate email address. If notifying IRP, the member shall provide the following information:
126.96.36.199.3.1. Location and description of the camp (e.g., size, hazards, number of people, presence of needles, proximity to schools, etc.);
188.8.131.52.3.2. Photographs, if possible; and
184.108.40.206.3.3. What actions the member is requesting (e.g., immediate posting, post when possible, updating information, etc.).
220.127.116.11.4. If the supervisor approves an emergency abatement, the member shall:
18.104.22.168.4.1. Contact the city-contracted vendor per the joint PPB/IRP Abatement Protocol
22.214.171.124.4.2. Take before and after photographs in accordance to Directive 0640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging;
126.96.36.199.4.3. Remain on scene and provide added security for public personnel or agents during the property removal until the clean-up is completed;
188.8.131.52.4.4. If individuals experiencing homelessness are present:
184.108.40.206.4.4.1. Attempt to identify them;
220.127.116.11.4.4.2. Provide information on area services; and
18.104.22.168.4.4.3. Provide a reasonable amount of time for them to remove their personal property from the area.
22.214.171.124.4.5. Post a Property Abatement Notice;
126.96.36.199.4.6. Write a GO; and
188.8.131.52.4.7. Concerning the removal of personal property:
184.108.40.206.4.7.1. If the member removes personal property such as weapons, drug paraphernalia, and items which appear to either be stolen or evidence of a crime, they shall follow Directive 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures, with regard to the disposition of the personal property and property receipts; or
220.127.116.11.4.7.2. If the public personnel or agent removes personal property, the member shall include the company name in their GO.
1.3.3. Summary Abatement.
18.104.22.168. If the property does not constitute a camp or campsite, the member may summarily abate the nuisance property by removing the property themselves or coordinating with public personnel, agents, or city-contracted vendors to have the property removed either immediately, or at a later date. If the summary abatement is to occur outside of traditional business hours, the member shall seek supervisor approval prior to contacting the appropriate public personnel, agent, or city-contracted vendor. It is the member’s responsibility to handle insanitary property and personal property in the following distinct manners:
22.214.171.124.1. If the nuisance property consists solely of insanitary property, the member may notify the appropriate public personnel, agent, or city-contracted vendor for removal. In this situation, no GO is necessary; or
126.96.36.199.2. If the nuisance property consists of personal property, they shall act in accordance with Directive 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures, with regard to the disposition of the personal property and property receipts.
188.8.131.52.2.1 If the property is such that it is unfeasible to transport or store at the PPB Property Room, the member may make arrangements with previously vetted city contracted vendors for storage so long as proper notification to the PPB Property Room and the member’s RU command are made.
2. Reporting Requirements.
2.1. When a member is present at a coordinated camp clean-up or conducts an emergency abatement, the member shall write a GO that includes the following information:
2.1.1. Attempts to identify individuals experiencing homelessness who are present;
2.1.2. Attempts to provide information for services in the area;
2.1.3. Offense code “T721” (Livability Improvement Project) to document their efforts; and
2.1.4. Company name of the public personnel or agent removing personal property or insanitary property.
2.2. If personal property is removed, reporting should be in accordance with Directive 0660.10, Property and Evidence Procedures,
3. Supervisor Responsibilities.
3.1. When a supervisor is determining whether or not to provide police resources for a summary abatement, emergency abatement, or upon receipt of a request for a police presence at a camp or campsite for a coordinated camp clean-up, they should consider the following:
3.1.1. Available resources;
3.1.2. Time of day;
3.1.3. Demands for police work; and
3.1.4. Urgency to abate the camp or campsite, or nuisance property.
3.2. If the supervisor declines to provide police resources for a coordinated cleanup, they shall contact the complainant to inform them of the declination.
3.3. If the supervisor determines that police presence is necessary at a coordinated camp clean-up, the supervisor shall direct a member to respond to the camp or campsite.
3.4. If the supervisor determines that an emergency or summary abatement is necessary, the supervisor shall coordinate with appropriate public personnel or agents to conduct the abatement.
3.5. If the supervisor determines that an emergency abatement is not necessary, or practical, at the time, the supervisor may direct the member to contact IRP via the appropriate email.
3.6. A supervisor may contact IRP to coordinate a precinct mission to address camps or campsites. When requesting a precinct mission, the supervisor should give IRP a minimum of 72 hours’ notice. The supervisor shall provide IRP with:
3.6.1. Detailed information on boundaries of the mission area;
3.6.2. Date/time of the mission; and
3.6.3. Approximate number of camps or campsites.
- Established: 9/2001
- Revision History: 2003, 2008, 2015
- Effective: 8/4/2022
- Next Review: 8/4/2024