Month: November 2010

Study: Cops-to-resident ratio among state’s lowest

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Keizer’s police officer-to-resident ratio is one of the lowest in Oregon, a study from the League of Oregon Cities shows. The study compared 123 city police agencies statewide, and found Keizer has 1.1 officers per 1,000 residents – below the statewide average of 1.67 officers per 1,000. The study showed Keizer is 11 spots from the bottom, and among comparable cities (populations between 20,001 and 50,000) Keizer ranked third from the bottom. The data compares data from 1999 to information from 2009. In 1999, the study reports, Keizer had 37 full-time sworn police officers, with a ratio of 1.22 officers per 1,000. At the time the population was about 30,260. Today, with a population of about 36,220, Keizer currently employs 38 sworn officers. At one point the number was 41, in April of 2009. Since then three officers have resigned – two went to other agencies and another decided to leave police work. Chief Marc Adams said the agency would need 49 officers to meet the average ratio. Adams, who supports the city’s push to install a wireless tax to help pay for 911 and other public safety communications needs, said long-term proactive drug investigations have so far borne the brunt of cuts at the agency. The council last year imposed a hiring freeze on positions relying on the city’s general fund. “If...

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Muchas Gracias suffers armed robbery

Keizer experienced its second robbery in a 27-hour period when a local restaurant was hit early Monday, Nov. 29. According to Keizer Police, a man walked into Muchas Gracias on River Road by himself early Monday morning. He displayed a gun and took an undisclosed amount of cash, said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns. Two employees were at the business when the robbery occurred. No one was hurt. Officers were unable to find the suspect. Police don’t yet know if the latest incident was connected to a robbery late Saturday night at Baskin Robbins, which is just a block north of Muchas Gracias on River Road. He was described as a white male adult, between ages 25-28, with a heavy build and standing 5’8” or 5’9”. At the time of the robbery he was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a grey short-sleeve...

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Group may seek ballot measure on cell phone fee

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes It’s not yet official policy, but a wireless telecom fee in Keizer could be sent to voters if councilors vote on second reading to institute one. Americans for Prosperity, a conservative nationwide group with an Oregon chapter, will ask city councilors to refer the issue to voters, according to its spokesman. If not, said Oregon AFP spokesman Matt Evans, the group would work to “collect a sufficient number of signatures to give voters in the city of Keizer the opportunity to weigh in on the idea. “I think it’s fair to say that AFP is going to attend the next council meeting where this issue is discussed,” Evans said. “We’re going to appeal to the council … If they feel the need for this tax to be implemented, we believe they should refer it directly to the ballot and allow the voices of Keizer voters to be heard on the issues rather than just implementing it.” The Keizer City Council last week gave themselves the authority to institute a tax on wireless telecommunications companies operating within the city of Keizer. The primary target is cell phone users. Because the wireless telecommunications companies do not pay franchise fees as a wired telephone firm like Qwest does, some city staff argue expenses for 911 and public safety communications are outpacing revenue from the state’s 911...

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Suspect sought in Baskin Robbins robbery

Police need help finding a suspect in a Saturday night robbery. Keizer Police officers responded to a robbery call at Baskin Robbins at about 10:12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. The man came into Baskin Robbins on River Road N. and ordered an item, employees told Keizer Police. He had been waiting in the parking lot for the store to empty, employees added, and the incident came near closing time. When it came time to pay, the man reached toward his waistband and made it seem he had a gun, police said. The suspect demanded the employee open the cash register, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the premises, police said. He is described as a white man in his late 20s to early 30s, standing about 5’10” tall with a medium to heavy build. He was wearing jeans with a blue Los Angeles Dodgers baseball cap and a light blue flannel jacket with dark blue stripes. Police said he was driving a small silver pickup with a silver canopy. Anyone with information that could lead to arrest is asked to contact Officer Scott Bigler at...

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Blaze damages Keizer home

The Keizer Fire District responded to a house fire Wednesday, Nov. 24. Clutter throughout the house impeded firefighters’ attack. Neighbors heard an explosion and spotted smoke coming from the windows and reported the fire at 4015 Gary Street N.E., in Keizer. When firefighters arrived on scene they saw grey smoke coming from the eves of the house. Arriving crews had to crawl over tall piles of clutter to access the rear bedroom where the fire was located. The entire house was encumbered with rubbish to the point access was extremely limited, Keizer Fire District officials said. The bedroom sustained moderate fire damage and suffered heavy smoke and heat damage. The rest of the home suffered moderate smoke damage. The cause of the fire was traced back to a pile of combustibles placed too close to a wall heater. The pile covered the heater, which had turned on due to the extremely cold weather and some point during the early hours of the morning ignited items in front of it. The alarm was received at 7:39 am and the first fire unit arrived on the scene at 7:46 am. The fire was declared under control at 8:07 am. Firefighters and other emergency workers were slowed by slick conditions and outside temperatures in the low 20’s. A total of three engines, one medic unit, one duty officer, one ladder truck and 20...

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