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Some C.O. census workers threatened by homeowners


'If someone is truly threatened and if someone points a gun at them, absolutely get the heck out of there'

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ )-- Imagine knocking on the door of a home and being met with a gun. The family of one census worker says he's had that experience more than once in rural parts of Central Oregon.

Census workers are knocking on doors of homes around the country in an effort to get the count from households that have not completed the 2020 census.

Crook County Undersheriff James Savage told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday it was reported a couple of days ago that a census worker drove past a no trespassing sign and knocked on the door.

Savage said the homeowner wasn't too happy about it, and did have a gun on them, but did not point it at the census worker.

The undersheriff said that for the safety of the census workers and homeowners, trespassing signs should not be disregarded.

"If someone is truly threatened, and if someone points a gun at them, absolutely get the heck out of there," Savage said. "Get to safety or call us."

"If a person calls us and just has a gun on their hip, and is not threatened, I would recommend they still back out and leave," he added.

Savage recommends that census workers leave a business card, have the proper identification and wear something that clearly identifies them to a homeowner.

Misty Slater, media specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, told NewsChannel 21, "The Census Bureau is allowed to disregard trespassing signs, because we are by law required to give everyone the opportunity to respond to the census, since it is a count mandated by the Constitution."

In a released statement, the U.S. Census Bureau said:

"The safety of our census takers is a top priority for the U.S. Census Bureau. Our field employees are trained to immediately leave a residence if they feel their safety is being threatened. We work with local law enforcement to inform the public that census takers are in the area. If a census taker visits your home, please cooperate with them. The public's responses to the 2020 Census are required by law, determine how billions of dollars in federal funds each year are distributed to state and local communities, and determine representation in the House of Representatives."

Central Oregon / Crook County / Government-politics / Politics / Prineville / Top Stories
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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.



  1. Before leading with a headline that states “Some C.O. census workers threatened by homeowners” you might want to include at least one single example of someone being threatened. Because seeing a homeowner that is simply armed is not a threat.

    Go ahead, ask our DA even.

          1. Yer such a good little commie- you do just as Kate Brown tells you !

            As far as yer unhinged outburst on Republicans… do you really think that we “Independents” aren’t armed ? That liberal BLM rioters have never fired a glock ?? That the confused non-affiliated gap toothed tweeker down at the end of yer street won’t unload on a threat ???

            Back to Turkey with you Keiser- Thanksgiving is just a few months away- Gobble-Gobble !

          2. Good for you.

            Census is voluntary.

            “No Trespassing” means just that.

            Firearm ownership is Right.

            One’s home is one’s castle under law.

            Lots of well-intentioned people have simply gone along with their government’s “ppeopke counters”.

            That’s how we got the Holocaust.

            1. The census is not voluntary. The U.S. Constitution requires the government to count everyone every 10 years. And yes that means they can legally ignore “no trespassing” signs, just like an officer with a warrant can.

              Ten years ago, there was a census taker in Hawaii that went to a house with a No Trespassing sign; the jerk of an owner had a friend who was a cop. He called the cop who showed up and arrested the taker for trespassing. Yea no, the Justice Department represented the census taker in court and it was thrown out. The U.S. Constitution trumps any sign you might have in your yard.

  2. What a crap story. You cannot break law to complete your objective….no mater WHAT the constitution says. Stay out if it says to stay out. Law on my land in the law of the land. Don’t like it….stay out. Take it as a written piece of advice

    1. We know you have a hard time with your readin, ritin, an rithmatics but if’n you was to read the whole story you might find that they are not in fact breaking the law.

  3. Someone who is not me, said that all of the people in homes high up on the hill, we’re paranoid.
    Some refusing to open the door more than a crack to have a civilized discourse. Other homes had the wife yelling at the husband to not talk to the interviewer. Stories of being run off the property because “it’s all democrats bull****”
    Conversely the poorer neighborhoods with large minority populations were apparently very polite and mannered, even cultured was the term the person who is not me claimed.
    Despite the viral fear of citizenship conflicts, and the urban myth racial profiling.
    Good parenting shows.

    1. what on earth are you referring too? The wealthy liberal elitists that live on Snob Knob in Bend are ruder than the “poor” folks below them? Bend is one of the most homogenous in the world! Where are these large minority populations?

      Oops! another Bot! Mr. Moderator, when will this outlet stop allowing Bots to post? The outlet is better off getting rid of this nonsense.

  4. The under sheriff said he “..recommends that census workers leave a business card”
    Eye rolling disbelief.

    A case of another person of authority talking out of their butt.
    I am so tired of unwarranted advice from someone who has no idea what they are talking about. If you don’t know the correct procedure, shut the he’ll up!

    Those census workers have ID badges,
    They have Government issued tablets branded with the census logo.
    They have messenger bags also branded with the census logo.

    You know who shows up to your door with business cards? (Cheap desktop printed business cards)

    The child services division, when they come to kidnap your children.
    I’d say that coming to the door legally armed for the person with the business card, was the correct choice.

  5. They are from Prineville! Just slacked jaw yokels being slacked jawed yokels. Probably did not fill out the census in the first place because they could not read the census.

  6. i can see homeowners being a little on guard, there is a bunch of fake census takers been making their rounds for the last year. i ran one off who’d already visited a bunch of others on my road in mitchell last year(i didnt point a gun at him, i told him i was going to contact the sheriffs office about him taking census a year early). a month later the same guy was in the news about getting busted in a different scam out of madras.

  7. Wonder what some of them expect? I saw one this last sunday, I assume checked the front door because he came into my view from that direction but then he went into the back yard, searched around another out building – then came over to us and asked who lived there and if they were home. I was not familiar with the folks who live there or I would have called law enforcement because of the way this guy was searching around the alley and yard behind the house.

  8. People that live out in the country act that way. That is the way we are. Being a senior and a widow and living out in the country if someone comes knocking on my door, and they are not wearing a uniform, they will get the same treatment.

  9. Good grief… Slow news day ?
    Nobody was threatened because the gun stayed in the holster and according to the story
    there were no verbal threats. Saying the worker was “met with a gun” and threatened
    is misleading and nothing more than a lie. It would be different if the homeowner had the gun pointed at the worker or threatened to shoot them, but they didn’t…

    – Since when did one person become some? I only see secondhand mentioning of one person.

    – It almost seems like an attempt to take a dig at guns and gun owners, and folks that live
    in rural C.O. Perhaps it was just a desperate attempt to put together and turn in a story. Either way, it’s very sensationalized, misleading and unprofessional…

  10. It may be constitutional law to send census workers on to land saying not to trespass, but it is also the people’s right to bare arms and not want trespassers on their land. Census workers can leave contact information near the signs and not be put in as much danger. Seems like safety is not a primary concern for some census supervisors.

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