Portland Public Schools to add new security measures to protect bus fleet

Portland Public Schools will be installing new security measures after a number of school buses were hit by thieves and vandals.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:45 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - Portland Public Schools will be installing new security measures after a number of school buses were hit by thieves and vandals.

On Tuesday night, PPS approved funding to build new electric fencing around the area where they keep their shorter “Type A” school buses. That facility off Northeast Marine Driver has seen a major uptick in theft and vandalism over the past few years.

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School bus drivers say there are a number of problems; thieves have stolen catalytic converters and fuel from the buses. In addition, some of the buses have been broken into and ransacked.

This has caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage through the years.

The district has hired security to patrol the facility, and while that has helped, bus drivers say that hasn’t solved everything.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, bus driver Bob Foster said that now some bus drivers personal vehicles are being targeted while they are out on the job.

“These situations are happening in broad daylight, since the yards are wide open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Foster said. “This unfortunately has caused repair and insurance costs to be absorbed by the affected PPS bus drivers as well as possibly losing use of their vehicles while being repaired.”

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After Foster’s testimony, the school board approved the new electrified fencing, which will also be twice the height of what’s currently on site. Essentially, it will prove a non-lethal shock to people who try to climb over it.

The fencing will cost $200,000 over the next five years. PPS estimates that it will be installed within the next two months.