@pdxalerts posts live alerts on Twitter about current police and fire incidents in the Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Area, and is not an official governmental agency. All tweets are considered unconfirmed information. Tweets are generated by a crew of “reporters” who listen to the calls dispatched to local police, fire, and medical agencies, and are tweeted as close to the original call as possible in 280 characters or less (previously 140 characters).

@pdxalerts is not responsible for the content of the calls and has no way to verify that the information in the original dispatched call is correct, continuing, or translated correctly between the reporting party (RP), the call taker, the dispatcher, or the entity receiving the call (police, fire, medical). @pdxalerts does not embellish, make up, or erroneously tweet the calls that come out on the radio. If a call seems made up or unreal it could be because of the following reasons:

  • The public is notoriously inaccurate about what is actually happening, or;
  • the caller lacks the ability to communicate what is actually happening, or;
  • someone is embellishing the information as it is communicated, or;
  • the call gets lost in translation between the caller, the call taker, the dispatcher, and/or the unit providing the information (think “the telephone game”).

@pdxalerts was founded in 2009 on Twitter. Prior to Twitter, @pdxalerts started out on IPN, an alert page covering the U.S., Canada, and Australia that provided real-time alerts and incident tracking for major events as they unfolded. As popularity in Twitter grew, some of the Portland area IPN reporters created @pdxalerts to alert people in the Portland Metro Area of these types of events in real time. At that time, many of the emergency response agencies hadn’t joined social media to provide information about ongoing incidents, and Twitter allowed the crew of scanner nerds at @pdxalerts to reach the public with this information. The reporters at @pdxalerts come from a variety of backgrounds including: emergency response, public safety, search & rescue, and amature radio. Because of the nature of the reporters’ jobs, they choose to remain anonymous.

@pdxalerts is not operated 24 hours a day and does not monitor all frequencies in the Portland Metro Area. The reporters for @pdxalerts monitor when they can and they monitor a variety of frequencies including: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office including the Cities of Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, and Wood Village; Portland Fire & Rescue Dispatch and Tactical Channels; Tri-Met (Tri-County Metropolitan Transit District; Portland State University; Oregon Health & Sciences University; Portland Community College; University of Portland; and various security and ambulance companies.

Previously, we monitored Portland Police Bureau; Washington County Sheriff’s Office, including the incorporated cities of Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton and Hillsboro; Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, including the incorporated cities of West Linn, Oregon City, and Happy Valley. Unfortunately, all of those agencies moved their dispatch channels to encrypted channels which can not be monitored via a handheld scanner (not without proper encryption software of which owning could be a violation of law). To learn more about our thoughts on encryption, please check out this post: ___________

Because @pdxalerts is a private Twitter account operated by a variety of reporters from diverse backgrounds, we reserve the right to occasionally opine or comment on events. We rarely block people, but if someone is engaging in behavior that we find offensive, then we reserve the right to exercise the block button. If you have been blocked but you want to continue to follow @pdxalerts, you are welcome to send an email to real.pdxalerts@gmail.com. We review each request to be unblocked and have been known on occasion to unblock someone. If we choose to block you just remember… it’s not us, it’s you.

As always… thank you for following @pdxalerts!