Trash Talks Extended: The Benton County Trash Talks hit some interesting times this week. It was decided to extend the talks by three months and to spend an additional $90,000 on the services of Sam Imperati. On top of those decisions, committee member Nancy Whitcombe was “fired” in a very tense 2-1 vote that saw Commissioner Xan Augerot on the losing side. Whitcombe also chose to leave the County Planning Commission.
During the Board meeting, committee member Ed Pitera said, “It’s really a lot of work, it’s demanding on participants, but quite frankly that’s what we signed up for. I believe it’s great to extend the schedule out. I am concerned about costs. But I think it’s the kind of thing that you really have to rely on the community members to tee things up and make things proceed effectively without overburdening… county staff.”
Corvallis Police: At the Commissioner’s meeting, the police agencies around and in the County stepped up to report on how things went over the past year.
Captain Joel Goodwin spoke for the CPD. Over this last year, they have completed Commission Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) reaccreditation – they have been accredited since 1995 – and they received “with excellence” this year, meaning they not only met the CALEA standards but “demonstrated proficiency and commitment to the point that Corvallis Police Department was in the top five percent… of those agencies reaccredited this session, this year.”
As in most businesses and organizations, there were issues in getting qualified applicants to apply. Yet they were able to train 16 new officers. Their Crisis Management Teams have been continuing to train to assist people who have drug, alcohol, or mental health issues.
This year at CPD, there were:
33,638 calls for services – most of those concerned welfare checks and trespassing.
A bank robbery – officers found the suspect, located the weapon used, and retrieved the money taken.
A night-time burglary in progress in which someone had cut a hole in the roof of a building and was in the process of stealing electronics.
An assault of a woman in her shower – the suspect was arrested.
CPD Detectives worked 199 cases which included:
A report that someone was “manufacturing destructive devices” in the form of Molotov Cocktails which the suspect may have been hoping to use at a public event.
A stabbing of someone who had immigrated from Afghanistan and was unable to easily converse with the officers – the suspect was arrested.
Several drug incidents, the most worrisome of which saw someone illegally manufacturing “honey oil” – a potent derivative of marijuana.
A case in which several fentanyl tablets were recovered.
A hit-and-run case.
Other CPD Staff: The CPD Community Service Officers (CSO) are officers who are non-sworn personnel that assist with calls for service. About 10% of the calls over the last year were handled by CSOs. Typically, they are sent to check out animal complaints, cold thefts in which there is no suspect information, to assist with traffic accidents, and to collect crime scene evidence.
The Records Staff, who serve the Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office, processed almost 20,000 reports and over 4,000 warrants for the two agencies. Goodwin noted that it can take “up to an hour to enter” an arrest warrant.
The Evidence Staff – also shared by CPD and the Sheriff – received about 13,000 items of evidence over the course of this last year. They also “purged 10,000 items of evidence.” There are over 38,000 pieces of evidence in the department. When there was a change in supervision of the department, they completed a full audit of all evidence and found everything in order.
By Advocate Staff
Correction: In our original story, some may have assumed that Sam Imperati’s services to date have cost Benton County $90,000. They have only cost the County $63,250. The extension to the contract with Mr. Imperati is for an additional $90,000.