Merkley, Wyden Announce $800,000 to Address Stolen Vehicles in Portland 

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the City of Portland will be receiving a Smart Policing Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs to help address stolen vehicles in the city, which has seen over 10,000 reported thefts so far in 2023.  

“When folks go to hop in their cars to get to work, doctor’s appointments, or the grocery store, they should feel certain that their vehicle will be there waiting for them—not stolen without a trace,” Merkley said. “Ensuring local law enforcement has the tools needed to address the mounting stolen vehicle theft in the city will help drivers feel more confident to park in Portland.” 

“Portlanders and anybody visiting the city must be able to park anywhere in town free of fear their car will be stolen,” Wyden said. “Auto theft obviously undermines quality of life, and I’m glad these federal funds are en route so Portland can mount a full-scale attack on this crime.”

This funding will help the Portland Police Bureau collect data concerning stolen vehicles and develop a digital database to conduct analysis. These evidence-based practices will inform officers’ efforts to better identify stolen vehicles in the community. 

The DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime; advance equity and fairness in the administration of justice; assist victims; and uphold the rule of law.