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Portland is perhaps one of the safest cities in the US. Statistically, the crime rates are at an all-time low for Portland, and cases of violent crimes have dropped to half back in 1989. In 2013, there were 15 homicides in Portland for the entire year. That’s nothing compared to Chicago, where 500 homicides are recorded each year despite suspicions of massive classification shenanigans.

Still, the perception among quite a few Portland residents is that crime is always on the rise, but by using a police scanner Portland residents can gleam a more accurate picture of how often crime cases are committed here.

Where to Find Portland Oregon Police Scanner Broadcasts

Your best bet is to go online where you can monitor the chatter over a Portland police radio.

  • You can go to websites such as Broadcastify ( and Radio Reference (, where you can listen to the chatter through the use of a police scanner in Portland Oregon. There are other websites of this type, but these two are the most popular.
  • You can also go to the sites of Portland online news services. KATU offers a live police scanner broadcast on their website, along with interesting snippets of information that can help you understand what you are hearing.

The Oregonian also offers Portland police and other emergency calls, although it is not quite as stable as it ought to be. Sometimes the site’s down as they experience technical difficulties.

  • You can also download an app from either Google Play or iTunes so that you can use your mobile device to monitor police scanner broadcasts for your area.

Getting A Clearer Picture

First of all, a lot of people have a rather distorted sense of how common (or uncommon) crimes are. This is especially true in Portland, where crime rates are plummeting.

From 1995 to 2010, the PSU Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute released some interesting data:

  • Murders in Portland are down by 49%.
  • Aggravated assaults are down by 70%.
  • Robberies are down by 56%.

Yet according to a Gallup poll, only 10% of Oregonians believe that crime rates are going down. A 52% majority among Oregon residents actually think that crime is increasing.

Much of these distorted views are due to media sensationalism. Often reporters will want to report on a certain predetermined phenomena. One reporter, for example, wanted to write about how middle class families are turning to crime, even when they weren’t.

A lot of people are also being inundated by reports of the same crime being broadcast by several different channels. So listening to a broadcast of actual police scanner chatter may actually offer a more accurate representation of criminal activities in Portland.

Just don’t go looking for trouble by going to where a crime is unfolding. In fact, do the opposite and stay away. Police have enough trouble as it is.