Portland Fights Crime with Classical Music

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The city of Portland, Ore. has called upon some famous musical composers from history to help with its current crime problem.

The transit system known as the MAX is playing classical music from its loudspeakers to soothe riders.

The theory was developed by Oregon lawmakers to introduce soothing sounds to reduce loitering. They believe troublemakers are mostly young people, who don't like classical music.

The use of music is part of a pilot program to reduce crime that was launched back in November. It is based on studies done in Chicago.

So far, officials report the music by composers like Bach and Beethoven has reduced police calls by 40 percent. However, it's getting mixed reviews from riders.

"I don't see how it would do that. I think it's kind of annoying actually," one rider, named Leanne, said.

"I listen to all kinds of music, but after 20 minutes standing around waiting for a train in the cold -- I think you want to get on the MAX quickly," said Abian Boorujio, another rider.

"I don't buy it; I don't think its helping," Lorraine Duchalard told television station KOIN. She says she loves classical music -- but not over loudspeakers at the MAX platform.

Installing the equipment at more of the city's transit system's stops will cost around $3,500 per platform.

Police officials say they're not concerned with the music's popularity; they just want people to keep moving.

A spokesperson for the transit agency said they will continue the music experiment through the warmer months when crime historically goes

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