PORTLAND, Oregon. – Mayor Sam Adams says the city’s pilot program that plays classical music at a MAX stop has reduced police calls by 40 percent.
The city started the pilot program while the Oregon Legislature considers a bill to expand the project.
Music has been playing at the 162nd Avenue and Burnside station. The idea is that the soothing sounds will reduce loitering and lower crime.
The other idea is that the people who tend to be in trouble at MAX stops – those 18 to 25 – don’t particularly like classical music. So, they’re not really hanging around.
While crime at other nearby stations is up, over the two month test police have had 33 fewer calls at the 162nd Avenue stop than during the same time last year.
The equipment to pipe in the music is on loan right now, but if police and TriMet decide it’s working, the price to equip each platform is about $3,600.
“I hope that they just enjoy their classical music and if it’s something that we can use in other spots, we’ll give it a try,” said Lt. Kelli Sheffer, spokeswoman for the Portland Police Bureau.
Because it’s cold and not a lot of people are waiting around platforms in the winter, TriMet will extend the test through the spring and maybe the summer.
Si Morris commercial director of Compound Security Systems in the UK, the inventors of the Mosquito Anti-Loitering device commented that ” The CSS Music Player, was created for use by police and councils who were under pressure not to employ more Mosquito devices by the Human Rights group Liberty. The Music Player plays royalty free music that requires no licenses and has a choice of thousands of tracks. The unit can be triggered by a timer, a remote or by a movement sensor”.
Further details of the Compound Security Music Player can be found on the CSS website.