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Day: February 2, 2015

Montano turns up heat on Grizzlies

McNary’s Vanessa Hayes puts up a block in the game with the McMinnville High School Grizzlies Friday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
McNary’s Vanessa Hayes puts up a block in the game with the McMinnville High School Grizzlies Friday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

McNary High School sophomore Jaylene Montano ignited second-half scoring vs. McMinnville High School in a varsity basketball game Friday, Jan. 23.

Montano replaced senior Jasmine Ernest who got into foul trouble in the first half, then drained a trio of three-pointers and 3 of 4 from the field to lead Celtic scoring with 16 points in a 47-29 win.

“Once that first shot (a three pointer) went in, my confidence went up. From there it was a matter of trying to get out in the open and making sure we ran through our plays aggressively,” Montano said.

It was the fourth consecutive win for McNary, and came as the team was about to begin the second round robin of the Greater Valley Conference.

The Lady Celts had to wrest back the lead in the game against the Grizzlies in the latter half of the first period on a basket by Kailey Doutt. The bucket put McNary up 6-4.

“We started the games getting good looks, but shots we’d been making just weren’t falling. We were trying some new things in our defense that weren’t quite working, but our man-to-man and half-court defense was just outstanding,” said Derick Handley, McNary head coach. “Luckily, it was one of those games where the defense kept us in it while the offense warmed up.”

By the half, the Lady Celts were maintaing a slim, 15-11, lead.

“For the first half, it was mostly trying to figure out how they play and they were aggressive. We were a little thrown off by that. When we came back out we knew a bit more about what they were going to do and adapted to it,” said Kaelie Flores, a McNary junior.

McNary, powered by Montano, stretched the McNary lead in the third period. A six-point run by Ernest helped seal the win in the final minutes.

Madi Hingston had 10 points in the outing; Doutt and Sydney Hunter had six apiece; Lauren Hudgins had two.

“We’ve been playing a lot better lately. They’re getting comfortable with new coaches and they are getting more comfortable with each other,” Handley said. “What I’m hoping is to see that confidence continue as we come to the second half of the season.”

Flores said better communication and cohesive teamwork were at the top of her wish list for the coming weeks.

Consistent effort and not letting other teams slow McNary’s momentum would be key, said Montano.

“We always need to try our best in every game – even if we’re behind – because we don’t know what will happen if we do that,” she said.

Chief Teague talks about POP, CRU, stats and more

Keizer Police Chief John Teague (left) speaks at a recent West Keizer Neighborhood Association meeting as WKNA president Rhonda Rich listens in the background. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Keizer Police Chief John Teague (left) speaks at a recent West Keizer Neighborhood Association meeting as WKNA president Rhonda Rich listens in the background. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

It’s no secret things are done differently these days at the Keizer Police Department.

Chief John Teague feels the changes have been for the better – even if that isn’t always easy to show in numbers.

Teague, who took over as Keizer’s police chief in September 2013 following the retirement of Marc Adams, explained his approach and the results thus far during the January West Keizer Neighborhood Association meeting.

One of the main emphasis for Teague was talking about a change to problem-oriented policing (POP) and restarting the Community Response Unit (CRU).

“Our industry is going to more problem-oriented policing, trying to figure out problems,” Teague said. “For decades we chased the numbers. Just because we make a bunch of arrests doesn’t mean we live in a safe place. When we made safety our goal, we recognized it may be we need to change what we’re doing.”

As part of that, Teague has given Lt. Andrew Copeland the authority to go through reports, identify problems and use CRU and patrol resources to solve the problems.

Teague said people such as a “crazy guy” on Larry Avenue are being talked to and babysat in an attempt to be ahead of issues, instead of simply responding repeatedly as happened in the past.

“It helps the neighbors to feel better,” he said. “We’d rather be ahead of the problems, rather than have the neighbors deal with it. The new way of doing business is going out into neighborhoods so we hear about the problems.”

Such efforts came to fruition earlier this month when CRU members made a drug bust on a house where drugs had been dealt for 22 years.

Teague referenced a foreclosed house on Verda Lane last year where transients were squatters. CRU members made contact numerous times, after forcing the New York bank owning the property to do a foreclosure notice.

“Those are the kinds of things you want us to do,” Teague told audience members. “It not only makes you feel safer, you are safer.”

Attacking drug issues is an example of a delicate balance.

“The payoff has been tremendous,” Teague said. “We have shut down some of the drug houses that were cancerous. But it came at the expense of the Traffic Safety Unit. We reassigned them into CRU. We couldn’t focus on organized retail crime, which is a major problem at Keizer Station.”

There is another issue with using POP.

“The problem with POP is how do you measure if you’re doing a good job?” Teague asked rhetorically. “If the goal is community safety, how do you measure it? It’s easy to measure things like calls and citations. But that doesn’t tell you how safe you feel. I’m not real clear on how to measure that.”

Teague pointed to the barricade on Sandy Drive behind McNary High School as a trouble spot for more than 20 years.

“It was a major neighborhood problem,” Teague said. “We worked with the school. We put the gate up, shut and locked it. Bill (Lawyer, Public Works director) worked with the builders at the new (St. Edward) church to put up a gate. That has solved a 25-year problem. That is POP.”

While officers on patrol are still stopping cars, Teague said officers are being asked to assess the situation before automatically handing out a ticket.

“I want my guys talking to people,” Teague said. “In the Salem-Keizer School District, 49 percent of students come from an impoverished home. A $200 ticket may have a generational impact. If a ticket can affect a family to that degree, (giving it) does not cut down on crime in Keizer. We need to pay attention to what we’re doing to people.”

Mayor Cathy Clark noted the chief has added a forensics investigator position, which Teague said is necessary given the rise in electronics and technology these days.

“I asked before Christmas if there is an exam we can give (to applicants),” Teague said. “Part of the job responsibility is to scout the Internet for child pornography in the area. I don’t want to hire someone who will go sideways on us, because it would wear on a guy. There is so much we do around electronics these days, it can be two-thirds of a detective’s time. That (new position) will be a real boon for us. Not a lot of agencies have that in-house, but all of them are desperate for that.”

Clark referred back to the change between Adams and Teague in the budget process, since Adams often asked for several more cops to be added to the KPD roster.

“We had to wrap our minds around you not asking for 10 cops,” Clark said.

Teague emphasized the importance of being efficient with 37 cops, which is down from a peak of 41 cops.

“If we run the numbers, a city our size ought to have 74 cops, in an average for the nation,” Teague said. “In Oregon it should be 54 cops. By no means do we need 54 cops in Keizer. We’re good for the next 20 years. That is good efficiency.”

Councilor Kim Freeman noted community surveys in recent years have shown citizens want more officers on the street.

“Chief, what are your thoughts if people want more officers on the street?” Freeman asked. “If this is what the chief needs, we will back him up. It’s the job of the council to support him.”

Teague noted he will support the budget city manager Chris Eppley comes up with.

“What we need is another motor cop and two more officers for the night shift,” he said. “When it comes to budget, I will back my city manager.”