Ranging from burglarized cars, threats and harassment, to public defecation, Portland crime is destroying the city’s economic growth.
What’s the deal with Portland crime? Does the city back up its police when they enforce rules against vagrancy? Or do that tell their police to stand down because the city “can’t arrest its way out of this mess”?
Whatever’s going on, one business has just about had enough. But Columbia Sportswear wouldn’t be the first. A jewelry store has already moved away partly due to safety concerns and in part due to the harassment of panhandling.
In an op-ed piece published earlier this month by The Oregonian, Columbia Sportswear President and CEO Tim Boyle said he is concerned he made a mistake when he opened a headquarters for the company’s Sorel footwear brand downtown, calling the situation “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“In fact, I am so concerned about the safety of our employees at the Sorel headquarters that we are taking the next 90 days to re-evaluate our location decision,” Boyle wrote.
Since moving the 50 employees downtown, workers immediately reported being harassed and threatened by homeless individuals near the new offices.
A few days ago, one of our employees had to run into traffic when a stranger outside our office followed her and threatened to kill her,” he wrote. “On other occasions our employees have arrived at work only to be menaced by individuals camping in the doorway.”
Besides face-to-face encounters, employees have also been the target of so many car break-ins the company has started to refer to parking downtown as its “laptop donor program,” according to Boyle.
“Given these experiences, it is a relief when the only thing we are dealing with is the garbage and human waste by our front door. Think about that for a minute,” he wrote.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com