Resetting the Stabtown clock

Some people have asked how we decide when a stabbing resets the clock. We gave this issue a lot of thought when we launched, and decided to set a high threshold. In order to reset the clock a credible source must report a stabbing publicly.

In practice, that means the stabbing appears either in a news account from a mainstream news organization such as OPB, The Oregonian, television news and so on, or in an official government release such as from Portland Police.

We don’t accept reports from anonymous Internet users. We also don’t accept the delightful @pdxalerts, though their tweets often wind up being followed by more credible sources. The challenge with @pdxalerts and other scanner monitoring is that called-in stabbings don’t always turn out to be real stabbings when the police arrive.

This approach means that we certainly will miss some stabbings, maybe even many stabbings, because not all of them are reported. Portland made it through all of June 2018 without resetting the clock, but we heard plenty of unofficial reports of stabbings.

If you’re in a position to credibly report stabbings to and want to improve the tally’s accuracy or if we miss a reported stabbing, contact us at