The Truth About the Sweeps

Posted: March 31, 2015 in Newsletter

by Zach

Recently there have been many sweeps in and around the Hawthorne Bridge area. Many people have reported that private security companies have engaged in these sweeps. Companies like Clean & Safe and Pacific Patrol Services have been spotted at many of these sweeps. Storing the belongings taken from the sweeps, and having private security companies do this, is against Oregon law. Specifically, ORS 203.079 Section 1) Part d) says “All unclaimed personal property shall be given to law enforcement officials whether 24-hour notice is required or not.” “Law enforcement officials” as defined by this code would be referring to the local police in our case Portland Police Bureau. Therefore, if any private companies or “Rent-a-Cops” are storing any of your property after a sweep, they are violating state law. These hired security forces are not “law enforcement” and do not have the authority as outlined in ORS 203.079.


  1. Robin Cash says:

    When I lived in New Orleans the Homeless Union had a large sleep in downtown in front of City Hall. This was an action of both Housed and Un-Housed people at least 100 or more housed people (including Religious leaders) joined in. We were able to get both local and national media coverage. More importantly it was a big eye opener for people like me, at how difficult it was to find a place to use the toilet after 11PM. Many of my co-workers saw me on TV, they asked me about what I had done and why. I was able to talk with them about new realizations I had about being houseless. This was not like Occupy as we did not put up tents, it was cold miserable, we were exposed to the weather and the bugs, it was scary, it was a live changing experience for those of us who were housed and participated. I would do it again.

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