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Day: June 30, 2010

WANTED SEX OFFENDER

William Michael Althouse

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office releases the following sexual offender information pursuant to ORS 181.507 & OAR 291-28-38. These statutes authorize the release of such information when it will enhance the public’s safety and protection.

William Michael Althouse was convicted and served sentences totaling more than 12 years in prison for felony Sexual Abuse I, Burglary I and Sodomy I.  These offenses require sex offender registration with law enforcement.  Althouse’s criminal history places him in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend.  He has a history of exhibition, and exposing himself, as well sexually offending minor children that are both known and unknown to him.

Althouse was granted supervision with the following restrictions: no contacts with minors (male or female), required participation in sexual offender treatment, no use of alcohol and submission to polygraph testing.

Althouse was on GPS monitoring, but he cut off his GPS ankle bracelet and failed to report to his Parole Officer.  He is now wanted.  His last known location was the area of Locust St. NE and Cherry Ave. in Salem around 12:30 pm on 06/29/10.   Althouse is known to frequent wooded parks and likes to loiter around the riverfront area.  He methodically plans his offending behaviors and should be considered a threat to minor children.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 911 or his Parole Officer, Marion County Deputy Seth Prouser, Phone: 503.792-5514

Mr. Althouse is described as:
Sex: Male
Race: White
DOB: 11/25/1945  (64 years)
Height: 6′-00″
Weight: 190
Hair: Gray with full beard and mustache
Eyes: Blue – wears glasses

The Sheriff’s Office reminds citizens that abuse of this information to threaten, harass or intimidate registered offenders will not be tolerated, and may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

For full details, go to https://local.nixle.com/alert/2685455/.

Contact Information:
Keizer Police Department
503-390-3713

Firefighters rescue homeowner, pets

During Tuesday's fire, the homeowner attempted to escape by breaking through the drywall. He got stuck halfway.

Keizer Fire District firefighters rushed to a man’s aid at 6:52 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29.

The homeowner had been cooking dinner when he stopped to use the bathroom. While in the bathroom he heard his smoke alarm sounding. He opened the bathroom door to investigate and found heavy smoke and flames. He quickly shut the door to prevent further smoke from entering the small bathroom.

The homeowner called 911 and began kicking his way through the drywall into another room. When the man attempted to exit thru the hole he became stuck on the drywall and studs.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find no visible smoke or flames showing. Upon opening the front door they were greeted by heavy smoke, but no flames. Crawling to the rear the house they saw the glow of fire.

Firefighter/paramedic Christina Johnson began extinguishment of the fire while her partner firefighter/paramedic Greg Biben searched for the homeowner.

Biben found the man in the bathroom stuck in the wall with this head thru to another room. Biben quickly joined the homeowner in the bathroom and shut the door to prevent the homeowner from breathing more smoke.

Biben pulled more drywall from around the homeowner and pushed him through the wall to safety. The homeowner then proceeded to exit the home the rest of the way on his own. Johnson extinguished the fire while Biben performed the rescue.

The homeowner, who was not identified, was transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital where his condition is stable.

Three fire engines, two ambulances, one duty officer vehicle and 25 firefighters responded to the call. The fire was under control at 7:09 p.m.

The house sustained fire damage in the kitchen and heavy smoke damage throughout. Damages to the home are estimated at $30,000.

Firefighters also rescued the family’s pet ferret and rat. The family’s four dogs were not injured as they were in the backyard at the time of the fire.

Marion County Fire District No 1 responded to the fire and transported the homeowner.

The fire was located in the 1300 block of Lawless St NE. The Keizer Fire District did not release the name of the homeowner as of Wedneday morning.

Police chief says status quo, much less progress, threatened by low tax rate

file photo

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer’s top cop is questioning whether the current city tax rate will be enough to meet growing police needs in the city.

Police Chief Marc Adams described the quandary thusly:

“I see a need for the department to grow staff-wise to be able to meet our mission,” Adams said. “But I also see a problem of, ‘How do you pay for it?’”

“With our low tax rate, it’s darn near impossible to operate a police department the city needs,” he added. “No matter how efficient you get, eventually you’re just not going to be able to do it.”

He noted Measure 5, passed in 1990, had a role in limiting the department’s revenue options. And he acknowledged that a public safety levy, in the midst of a recession, would be unpalatable.

“People can vote to go outside that tax rate, but in this economy right now no one can afford to do that,” Adams said. “That’s why we’re applying for every grant.”

And in an opinion piece by Councilor Jim Taylor published in last week’s Keizertimes, he wrote that “the city cannot continue to provide the same or more services without asking the citizens to pay more for them.

“We have now come to a point in our history that we are going to have to decide whether we want a lesser level of service, the same level, or more services,” wrote Taylor, who eventually voted to support the current budget after getting concessions like a hiring freeze on vacant positions paid for by the general fund. “The word ‘asking’ is key,” he added, indicating he would support an “advisory” vote for residents to tell city leaders what services they’re willing to do without.

While cuts totaling nearly a quarter-million dollars were made to balance this year’s city budget, the department has yet to be forced to lay off an officer.

It came up during budget discussions this year, specifically to cut an officer who was in training. Adams said doing so leaves a significant investment on the table.

But hiring is slow, and the department’s current budget is down nearly six percent – and will be down about 5 percent this coming fiscal year – from 2008-09 levels. The approved all-funds budget for police that year was $6,435,026, while the upcoming fiscal year is set at $6,119,000.

Where this will most likely be felt, he said, is “community-oriented policing” – a philosophy that, boiled to its essence, puts police in would-be trouble spots before major crimes occur.”

Adams wants officers to be able to “meet with people and be pro-active (via) non-directed patrol time – time in their day when they’re not responding to calls.”

In order to have officers spend 30 minutes an hour of non-directed patrol time – his self-described “dream goal” – it would require seven officers per shift. At today’s staffing levels, five is the ceiling and three officers is often the norm.

Overall staffing, including non-sworn personnel is at 48 in the upcoming budget. It was a 47-person staff in 2002-2003.

Represented officers received a 2 percent cost of living increase, but non-represented officers and staff did not get a raise this year.

And he said present funding levels means “we’re right on the edge of being able to providing reactionary policing, but we’re not able to do that problem-solving aspect of the community policing philosophy we used to be able to do. … It’s kind of sad.

“With reactionary policing, all you’re doing is this: A crime is committed, a police officer comes and makes a report, and sometimes we investigate it and arrest somebody.”

In addition, infill and large apartment complexes increase calls for service simply because you have more people. The city’s geographical relationship with Salem also plays a role.

“You’d like to think we’re just 36,000 people on an island, but we’re part of a metropolitan area of 300,000 and our crime problems are of a population of 300,000,” he said.

The unit facing the most dramatic cuts is the Community Response Unit (CRU), who is tasked in part with monitoring potential drug houses. When patrol falls short, officers from groups like the CRU are used to fill in the gaps.

“Drug house complaints and things we work aggressively go a little further down the list,” Adams said.

Since 2002-03, the department’s budget has grown by about $1.63 million. Materials and services – a fund that includes ongoing training for officers – is at its lowest funding level since 2005-06 in the upcoming budget.

“We can’t lay off staff and then take whatever they’re doing and give it to someone else because everyone already has a full plate,” Adams said.