Crime and the City
Crime, it is an element in every culture throughout man’s history. Portland’s past has plenty of examples of crime.
In the early days, Portland was a pirate city. In those days the west coast was a dangerous place to drink. Legend has it that men who came to the old water front district in Portland would sometimes find themselves Shanghaied – kidnapped into the underground tunnels running throughout the city to be taken aboard a ship. Their only choice? To work a year before the ship would let the men free. Women who were Shanghaied were forced into prostitution.
Crime evolved with the gentleman. During the prohibition era, when organized crime was developed to bring alcohol to the masses, bootleggers in Portland went a few steps further, infiltrating first union organizations and then taking over the police and the mayor, ensuring their crimes would go on. Organized crime and corruption was a fact of life in Portland for many years until national exposure and a public investigation was made.
In modern day Portland, the police of Portland work hard to keep crime down and to earn a positive reputation with the people.