Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Burglary underscores need for more officers

J. Alvarado

Of the Keizertimes

A 42-year-old Salem man, found stuck in a window and bleeding, is in cuffs after allegedly attempting to burglarize Keizer’s One Stop Smoke Shop in the wee hours of Thursday, March 16. But it wasn’t Keizer Police officers who responded to the call.

At 12:51 a.m., the Keizer Police Department were contacted by a private security officer who responded to a burglary alarm at the store located at 3926 River Road North in Keizer.

When the security officer arrived on the scene to check the business he found a burglary suspect stuck in a window on the north side of the business. The security officer reported the suspect was moaning in pain and requested paramedics respond as well.

None of Keizer’s three night shift officers were available to respond, but Salem Police Department officers and Keizer Fire District both did.

Six minutes prior to the report of the burglary attempt, KPD’s three night shift officers responded to a report of trespass and menacing at Smoker Friendly Market, 5135 River Road N.

The suspect at Smoker Friendly had been asked not to return to the business after a prior encounter and the 9-1-1 caller reported he had just pulled a knife.

“This was a serious call with a report of a subject that was armed with a knife, therefore sending three police officers was prudent and justified,” said KPD Deputy Police Chief Jeff Kuhns.

At the time of the One Stop burglary call, Keizer’s night shift officers had just begun their investigation at Smoker Friendly. The investigation including taking statements from eight people present during the incident. The suspect later admitted to police that he had not drawn a knife but a screwdriver that had been sharpened.

When SPD officers arrived at One Stop Smoke Shop, the suspect was still trapped and found to be bleeding from lacerations suffered while trying to enter the business.

A door to the business needed to be breached by officers so they could enter to detain the suspect and provide medical treatment for his injuries, a process that took about 40 minutes.

Jose Manual Alvarado was then transported to Salem Health for treatment of the injuries. He was released from Salem Health about 9:30 a.m. the following morning after receiving treatment for his injuries. He was transported to the Marion County Correctional Facility.

At Smoker Friendly, 32-year-old David Anthony Kellum was arrested and taken to the Marion County Correctional Facility where he was charged with disorderly conduct.

Keizer police officials would like the city to add five officers to the current roster of 37 officers. Two of those new hires would become part of night shift patrols, which would mean four officers on duty each night instead of three.

If the city were to create a dedicated fund, through a fee, the cost is $44 per year for each residence and business.