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About Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current | View Entire Issue (March 17, 2017)
MARCH 17, 2017, KEIZERTIMES, PAGE A3
Youth councilor, liaison appointed KPD succeeds with DUII
patrols despite challenges
The Keizer City Council
confi rmed the appointments
of a youth councilor and a
youth liaison to the Keizer
Parks and Recreation Board at
its meeting Monday, March 6.
McNary High School se-
nior Giancarlo Marcello was
named youth councilor and
said experiences as a police ca-
det paved the way for applying
to the position.
“I thought this would be
another good experience to
have,” Marcello said.
Marcello recently complet-
ed the paperwork to become
part of the Chemeketa Schol-
ars program that provides two
years of tuition-free college
for high school students who
maintained a grade point aver-
age of 3.5 or better.
Sam Elder, another Mc-
Nary senior, was named the
youth liaison to the parks
board. Elder, who recently at-
tained the rank of Eagle Scout,
said parks were a particular in-
terest to him after he restored
trails as his community service
Eric A. Howald
“I like volunteering and
helping out, and it’s fun to
start up something and then
(see) the end result,” Elder
Both young men were led
to the roles by Councilor Lau-
ra Reid, a teacher at McNary.
“If the next generation of
Keizer leaders are half as ex-
emplary as these young men,
we will be in very good
hands,” Reid said.
Given that the academic
year is half over, both Elder
and Marcello will only serve
about half the time a normal
youth appointee would.
The situation prompted a
conversation about adding a
deputy youth councilor posi-
tion for the remainder of the
year that would foster succes-
sion and strengthen the pro-
gram in the future.
That discussion will con-
tinue at meetings of the Keiz-
er Volunteer Coordinating
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By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
When a Keizer police offi cer suspects some-
one of driving under the infl uence of intoxi-
cants (DUII), resolving the problem isn’t always
as easy as pulling them over and administering
a fi eld sobriety test.
“I was once told in training that, next to a
homicide, DUII’s are the most diffi cult cases
to work and prosecute,” said Sgt. Trevor Wen-
ning, head of Keizer Police Department’s Patrol
Unit. “Drunk driving spans all ages and social
economic groups and there is an abundance of
attorneys ready to pick apart our investigations.
We have a vast amount of court rulings, proce-
dures, processes and certain words that need to
be spoken, verbatim in some cases, which if not
adhered to jeopardizes the case.”
Despite such challenges, KPD has been
largely successful with its DUII enforcement.
Each year for the past fi ve years, the Keizer
Police Department was awarded an Oregon
Department of Transportation Grant that cov-
ers overtime costs for DUII enforcement.
KPD offi cers average one arrest for every
5.2 hours worked in DUII enforcement. That’s
better than the statewide average of one arrest
for every 6.4 hours of overtime.
Even with that success, some KPD offi cers,
and likely throughout the country, remain un-
comfortable with performing the DUII stops
because the bar for conviction has been set
“Offi cers have to provide subjective and ob-
jective proof in order to secure the conviction.
Subjective proof includes our observations and
objective proof would be getting a breath sam-
ple or drawing blood for testing. Simply put,
these investigations demand perfection at every
level of the investigation and that is why some
offi cers are uncomfortable with them,” Wen-
DUIIs still occur so frequently that to allevi-
ate the burden on the justice system, fi rst-time
offenders can complete diversion programs.
The only ones who can’t bypass the court in
that manner are those with commercial driver
Every offi cer receives 24 hours of DUII
enforcement training – 16 hours in adminis-
tering fi eld sobriety tests and another eight on
drug-impairment – but it can still leave them
less-than-confi dent in executing a stop. To bol-
ster that training, some offi cers are now taking
advanced courses on evaluating impaired driv-
ers and recognizing the signs of drug impair-
ment. There’s also a four-hour refresher course
in fi eld testing every three years, required by
the ODOT grant, for offi cers working DUII
The legalization of recreational marijuana is
also changing the landscape for offi cers in the
“In January 2017, KPD arrested 11 drivers
for DUII, two of which were under the infl u-
ence of marijuana. It is anticipated, and there
have been studies to back this in states that have
had legal marijuana for some time, that our ar-
rest rate for marijuana impaired drivers will
rise,” Wenning said.
Since the beginning of 2017, KPD offi cers
have arrested more than 20 suspected drunk
drivers. The highest blood alcohol content lev-
el registered in those arrests was .23 percent,
nearly three times the legal limit of .08 percent.
The lowest was .12 percent.
Most of the DUII patrols in Keizer are sched-
uled between Friday evening and early Sunday
morning. Additional patrols are scheduled dur-
ing “holiday” weekends known to generate fes-
tive drinking, like St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl
weekend, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, Me-
morial Day and Labor Day. In Keizer, even the
annual Iris Festival warrants additional patrols.
The Keizer Traffi c Safety, Bikeways and
Pedestrian Committee met March 9. Here’s
what was discussed:
• Pat Fisher offered an update on poten-
tially adding new wayfi nding signs to the bike
and pedestrian path along the Salem-Keizer
Parkway.The committee hoped the project –
estimated at less than $700 – would qualify
for an ODOT grant. However, ODOT reps
said the typical grant request for their Quick
Fix program was more along the lines of
$4,000 to $5,000. Committee members talk-
ed about adding other items to the request
like changing out the bollards that current
prevent vehicles larger than bikes from using
the bike path. Deputy City Recorder sug-
gested investigating grants available through
the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL)
program the city recently joined.
• The HEAL grant program came up
again later during discussions about adding
a bike repair and air station in the vicinity
of the Keizer Civic Center. Board members
have been discussing the project for months,
but a lack of funding remains a sticking point.
Given the cost, estimated around $1,500, the
board members decided to look at the HEAL
grant program for possible funding.
• Chair Hersch Sangster reported that he
is in the process of designing family-style
bike rides for the Keizer Iris Festival and an
event being planned around the eclipse that
will pass over the city in August 2017.
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