Day: March 23, 2015

Everything you wanted to know about the Big Toy

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes In case you haven’t heard, a big playground is coming to Keizer soon. If things go according to plan, the Big Toy will be built in June. The project has had some issues, such as a nine-month delay and a controversy over the location that lasted most of 2014. The Keizertimes has covered every step of the project. To check on our past coverage, visit www.keizertimes.com and search for Big Toy. We have put together a set of answers to questions we’ve frequently heard in regards to the Big Toy. Where is the Big Toy being built? The playground is being built at Keizer Rapids Park. More specifically, the Big Toy is being built in the orchards area off of Chemawa Road, not far from the dog park. That was not the original location. The original site was between the boat ramp and the amphitheater. For months that was the assumed location, but in January 2014 then-mayor Lore Christopher opined a move was necessary. By the end of the year, following an in-depth Urban Growth Boundary process, the orchards became part of city property and the site was selected. Nearly 200 trees were recently cleared. When is it being built? The project is scheduled to be built in a five-day period, from June 10 to 14. How much will this cost? The project budget is...

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A look inside the Keizer Police Department’s strategic shift

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes The Keizer Police Department is all about the POP. Since John Teague returned to the KPD and took over as police chief in the fall of 2013, a shift has been accelerating. With the shift, problem-oriented policing (POP) is now a way of life at the department. In simple terms, KPD personnel now use whatever resources deemed necessary to be proactive in regards to crime, instead of merely reacting. The KPD still has officers on regular patrols. Those officers still respond to calls. Detectives still investigate crimes. But now resources have been changed around. The department has a full-time crime analyst, Cara Steele, who can look over data and spot trends or clumps of crimes happening in a small time frame or similar locations. Teague shifted motorcycle patrol officer resources and brought back the mostly dormant Community Response Unit, a four-member team heavily involved with building relationships to take on long-standing problems such as drug houses and organized retail crime. Officers not only have more time to concentrate on doing patrols, they can directly share what they find on patrol with other units such as CRU while helping to figure out problems that don’t always require using handcuffs. “Part of the shift is moving away from traditional policing to problem-oriented policing,” Teague said. “COP (community-oriented policing) is a tactic of POP; POP is...

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