John Teague acknowledges his message is different.
Teague, who took over as Keizer’s police chief from the retired Marc Adams last September, shared his vision of policing at a West Keizer Neighborhood Association (WKNA) meeting Jan. 9 at Keizer Civic Center.
Teague talked about changes he is making at the Keizer Police Department, some of which were outlined in a Keizertimes profile piece last October. After Teague spoke – concluding with a mention of a community survey to assess how the KPD is doing – he fielded audience questions.
One question came from former Keizer City Councilor David McKane, who has been largely out of the public eye since an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2012. McKane, who sat next to fellow former councilor Ken LeDuc, indicated he came to hear the new police chief speak.
“So your performance is based on how we feel as a community,” McKane said. “That’s refreshing to hear. For years it was about how many officers we have in Keizer.”
Teague responded he would like a few more resources, but that won’t be his emphasis.
“You won’t hear it from me,” the chief said. “I would like to have another detective. If we want to patrol more aggressively, I would like two more officers for patrols. We don’t solve crimes as well as we could. We just don’t have the capacity in-house to do it. For years, I heard we need 16 more bodies. Really, we need one or three more.”
Teague pointed to Andrew Copeland serving as patrol lieutenant as one example of the changes he is making.
“I don’t want him spending his time managing guys,” Teague said. “I want him to identify problems and use resources to solve them. There’s a team that is available to him. That reduces the cost of crime to us, and to you.”
A former longtime sergeant before spending four years as the police chief in Dallas, Teague noted changes in policing – both over the years and since coming back to Keizer.
“You really are safe,” Teague told the two dozen audience members. “You’re safer now than 40 years ago. It doesn’t always feel that way. But the numbers tell that and the numbers we get today are good numbers. The numbers are getting more accurate.
“Police work is becoming a profession,” he added. “In the days before an officer was hired on Friday, showed up on Monday and got the gun and keys. Now officers have four months of training and then 16 to 18 weeks of training on the street.”
Teague said evidence-based policing looks at what officers do and helps them be better.
“It excites me that we can do what we do better,” he said. “The reason it’s good for you and for Keizer cops is we have an astute bunch that works for us. When I arrived, they were looking for something more deeply satisfying. We quickly got to the point where we begin to look beyond a crime and solve the problem behind the crime. That helps prevent crime from happening. We reduce the cost of incarceration and the cost to victims. It can reduce your opportunities for victimization.
“I like the idea of doing something that really makes people’s lives better, including the lives of those who would have otherwise committed a crime,” Teague added. “There is not a set number of criminals set to do a number of crimes. We can prevent (crimes) from happening. About half the time they won’t happen anywhere else. That’s what evidence-based policing tells us.”
According to Teague, youth in trouble with the law and put into the criminal system “almost invariably” get into more trouble down the road. He prefers stopping that cycle before it starts.
“Peer Court, hands down, works,” he said of the city’s system that features Thursday afternoon youth court sessions with peers. “Those kinds of things must remain funded. It’s money well spent. We’re not pointing a kid towards a road that is bad.”
Two 20-year-old Keizer residents were arrested Tuesday night after leading police on a chase lasting more than 30 minutes.
Around 8 p.m. Jan. 21, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to investigate a disturbance in southeast Salem. The deputies knew only that a white car and Edgar Ramirez-Gallegos of Keizer, 20, were involved.
Ramirez-Gallegos had outstanding warrants for a parole violation and charges of Burglary 1 and Assault 4. Deputies found the vehicle on Lancaster Drive NE near Beverly Avenue NE. When they attempted to arrest Ramirez-Gallegos, the vehicle sped away.
Deputies pursued the white car as its driver, later identified as Britney Quezada of Keizer, 20, disobeyed numerous traffic signals and posted speed limits.
After four minutes, Quezada stopped the vehicle to let her sister and her own 2-year-old daughter out of the car.
Quezada and Ramirez-Gallegos then continued to attempt to elude the deputies. Near Lancaster Drive NE at Hayesville Drive NE, a deputy utilized a Pursuit Immobilization Technique, or “PIT Maneuver.”
The PIT Maneuver is the intentional forced rotation of a suspect’s vehicle by a pursuing police vehicle in an effort to stop the suspect’s flight or illegal activity. PIT is a technique intended to reduce risks through bringing pursuits to a conclusion.
The PIT Maneuver stopped the car, but the deputies were unable to completely box it in. Quezada escaped through a parking lot and the pursuit resumed.
Quezada drove onto I-5, reaching speeds of 90 mph. When she exited at Ehlen Road NE, the deputies were able to bring the chase to an end with another PIT Maneuver.
Quezada was arrested and transported to the Marion County Correctional Facility where she was booked for the charges of Attempting to Elude the Police, Reckless Driving and four counts of Reckless Endangering.
Ramirez-Gallegos was also taken to the Marion County Correctional Facility where he remains in custody for his outstanding warrants. The passenger who was let out of the vehicle will not face any criminal charges and the child is safe with family.
The vehicle pursuit lasted 36 minutes and covered more than 25 miles. No one was injured. Officers from the Keizer Police Department, Salem Police Department, Oregon State Police and Woodburn assisted during the pursuit.
A six-month contract for Paula Radich as interim superintendent of the Salem-Keizer School District was approved by the school board on Tuesday.
Radich will receive a monthly salary of $16,250. The district will not contribute to the state Public Employees Retirement System on her behalf, because as a retiree from a permanent superintendent position, she is not eligible for PERS contributions.
Radich, who retired about 1-1/2 years ago as superintendent of the Newberg School District, succeeds Sandy Husk, who has taken the chief executive officer position of AVID, a nonprofit that helps high school graduates enter college.
The board also approved a contingency fund transfer of $48,300 for costs associated the search of the next permanent superintendent. Ray & Associates, a search firm based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is the search firm that is selecting candidates for the position.
Also approved was the sale of Middle Grove School to the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency for $1.2 million. One board member, Jeff Faville, voted against the sale and said that, because real estate values in the district have risen, the school should not be sold.
The board voted to adopt and appropriate the following grant budgets:
• From the Oregon Department of Education: $6,365,194.50 for student services, $1,006,924 for Title III instructional services, $672,824 for Title III C migrant education instructional services, $639,600 for beginning educators, $185,840 for farm-to-school nutritional services, $136,622 for prevention of at-risk youth from dropping out of school, $55,579 for Title I C preschool migrant instructional services, $35,301.05 for special education and related services to students aged 3 through 5 with disabilities, $30,000 for sexuality education training and policy development, and $17,399 to reimburse staff for travel to professional learning conferences.
• From Chalkboard: $999,400 for performance-based compensation for eligible licensed staff and building administrators.
• From the U.S. Department of Education: $253,956.25 for programs aimed at increasing graduation rates at alternative high schools.
• From Western Oregon University: $46,206 for teacher courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs.
• From the state Department of Human Resources: $30,000 for health education in middle schools.
The board authorized contracts for employing as temporary full-time teachers Amy Garrison, learning resource center teacher at Cummings Elementary School; Deborah Jones, fifth-grade ESOL teacher at Weddle Elementary School; and Abby Mazar, LRC teacher at Claggett Creek Middle School.