East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, May 27, 2016, Page Page 12A, Image 12

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    Page 12A
East Oregonian
Friday, May 27, 2016
POLICE: Better training, practices and
equipment play key roles to increase in safety
Continued from 1A
Contributed photo
This photo from the Richland Police Department
shows an example of a credit card skimmer (right)
that can be attached to a card reader to steal
ATM: Believed to be
the work of an organized
ring of criminals
Continued from 1A
The device looks like an
extension of the card reader,
but instead intercepts debit
and credit card information
that thieves can later collect
and use to their advantage.
Edmiston said it appears in
this case the information is
being used to manufacture
fake debit cards that are
then used to withdraw cash
from other ATMs.
Police believe the crimes
are the work of an organized
ring of criminals.
“This is a fairly sophis-
ticated operation, which
would lead us to believe it
is also fairly organized,”
Edmiston said.
He said Hermiston
with other jurisdictions,
including Portland and the
Tri-Cities, to work together
to bust the crime ring, which
appears to be hitting cities
across in the northwest.
Richland police recently
arrested two people caught
stealing card information
from a self-pay gasoline
pump, but the suspects did
not match the description
of the suspect in the Herm-
iston fraud.
Edmiston said if anyone
notices a suspicious device
on an ATM they should
alert the bank or the police.
He said the reports of fraud
coming in now seem to
be from people who did
not immediately notice
the suspicious activity on
their account, but people
should still check their bank
accounts frequently in case
not all of the card numbers
collected by the thieves
have been used yet.
Anyone with informa-
tion on the case is asked
to call Detective Robert
Guerrero at 541-667-5098.
Contact Jade McDowell
at jmcdowell@eastorego-
nian.com or 541-564-4536.
year ago. And the National
Law Enforcement Oficers
Memorial Fund, also a
nonproit, shows 39 deaths
through May 23, ive fewer
than through the same time
frame last year.
The FBI tracks how many
law enforcement oficers are
feloniously killed in the line
of duty. The agency released
its preliminary indings
for 2015 in mid May and
reported 41 deaths, almost
20 percent less than the 51 in
Those numbers are a long
ways from the days of Prohi-
bition in the 1920s and early
1930s when police deaths
in the U.S. approached and
even exceeded 300 per year.
The 1970s also saw a rise
in police deaths, though not
quite to Prohibition levels,
but since then deaths have
been on a overall decline. The
Memorial Fund shows police
on-duty deaths exceeded 200
a year only once since 1981,
when 241 died in 2001,
primarily because of the
terrorists attacks on Sept. 11.
Pendleton Police Chief
Stuart Roberts and Hermiston
Police Chief Jason Edmiston
said there are multiple factors
accounting for the increase in
police safety: better training,
practices and equipment all
play key roles.
“For Oregon, when I
attended the police academy
in 1997 it was eight weeks
long and the conditions of
the academy were cramped
as it was housed on the
Western Oregon University
campus (in Monmouth),”
Edmiston said in an email.
“Now the basic police oficer
training is 16 weeks long and
is separate in that they have
a large campus (in Salem)
with more hands-on drills
and offer scenario-based
Roberts pointed to the
value of the “Below 100
initiative,” a nationwide
effort to train police to focus
on preventable line of duty
deaths. The Pendleton Police
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Pendleton Police Cpl. Ryan Lehnert writes in his notepad while serving a summons
for an outstanding warrant Tuesday in Pendleton.
“A healthy econ-
omy with citizens
working can lead
to a decline in
criminal activity.”
— Jason Edmiston,
Hermiston Police Chief
Department, he said, is just
one of many agencies that
follow the initiative’s recom-
mendations, such as always
having oficers wear body
armor and seat belts.
Achieving greater oficer
safety also means constant
training, Roberts said, and
Pendleton police engage in
online training day in and
out through Lexipol, a police
policy provider. Roberts
said that system provides 36
hours of training per year per
oficer for $2,000.
Edmiston said continuing
oficer training is critical.
“For the 2016/17 budget
I have requested an increase
in our training budget to
$35,000, which comes
out to roughly $1,100 per
employee in this depart-
ment,” he said. “Paying for
appropriate training on the
front end makes more sense
than paying attorneys on the
tail end to defend an agency.”
Less-lethal weapons, such
as electric stun guns, the most
common being the Taser, also
are valuables tool for police,
both chiefs said, because they
can keep confrontations from
becoming deadly. Hermiston
police started using the Taser
in 2002, around the same
time as a lot of agencies in
the U.S.
Factors far outside police
control also play a role.
“As the economy started
to tank in 2008,” Edmiston
said, “we predicted we
would respond to more
and we did. We all realize
how volatile and dificult
domestic situations are or
can be for law enforcement.
A healthy economy with citi-
zens working can lead to a
decline in criminal activity.”
And Roberts said govern-
ments cutbacks on funding
for social safety nets force
police to be “all things to all
people” — from marriage
counselor in one moment
to drug and alcohol analyst
the next. Police often have
dealt 10 times with offenders
suffering from addiction
or mental illness, he said,
before that person ever goes
before a judge.
While police may be
safer today than in years
past, Roberts said he sees
a growing “propensity
of violence against law
Down reported a 19 percent
increase in the number of
gunire deaths so far in 2016.
Roberts attributed the rise to
erosion of the public trust in
police due in large part to
the reckless actions of a few
cops that grab headlines.
Pendleton police, for
example, have thousands
of interactions a year, he
said, and a fraction of those
involve violence. Yet that
fraction can get a lot of
public attention.
Police need to own up to
mistakes in some circum-
stances, Roberts said, but
there also needs to be an
examination of what led up
to certain situations. Roberts
said too often the focus is
on what happened in the
moment and not the larger
Contact Phil Wright at
com or 541-966-0833.
CRP: Payments average roughly $72 per acre per year
Continued from 1A
EO Media Group
In this ile photo, Clinton Shaver, of the Molalla
Rural Fire District, watches last summer’s Canyon
Creek Fire south of John Day. The state has renewed
its wildire insurance policy.
FIRE: Oregon is the
only state to purchase
wildire insurance
Continued from 1A
Legislative Fiscal Ofice.
Only about $30 million of
that, however, was counted
toward the state’s wildire
insurance deductible.
A committee of public
and private forestland
owners voted in March
to renew the policy. That
committee typically pays
50 percent of the premium
but could only pay 11
percent this year because
state law limits how much
it can spend on ire suppres-
sion. It has already hit that
$13.5 million threshold,
leaving the state to make
up the difference of nearly
$1.4 million.
The Joint Legislative
Emergency Board — which
approves budget adjust-
ments between legislative
sessions — approved that
Oregon is the only state
in the nation to purchase
wildire insurance, though
considering acquiring a
policy, said Rod Nichols,
spokesman for the Depart-
ment of Forestry.
“Oregon irst purchased
a policy in 1973 and has
been doing so ever since,”
Nichols said. “In many
years, our expenditures did
not meet the deductible, and
the state iled no claims. But
in severe ire seasons, the
policy protected the general
fund and prevented major
disruption to state govern-
ment programs across the
Between 1973 and 2008,
the state reached its deduct-
ible and received a payout
only 13 times, according to
data from the Department
of Forestry, but those
payouts equaled $2 million
more than the premiums.
The department did not
immediately provide data
on payouts between 2009
and 2014.
peak in 2007.
The CRP, which turned
30 years old in December,
is essentially a rental agree-
ment between the govern-
ment and local farmers: the
FSA pays growers to take
portions of their farmland
out of production and plant
native grasses instead,
which cuts down on erosion,
improves water quality and
restores wildlife habitat.
CRP agreements typically
run for 10-15 years, and the
ground is usually less suit-
able for crops anyway — it
might be located on a steep
hillside, or have shallower
Some farmers have even
come to depend on the CRP
as a steady, reliable source
of income when commodity
prices fall, as they have in
recent years. Since 2014,
corn, wheat and soybean
prices have all tumbled
by as much as half. CRP
payments can be invaluable
as growers wait for those
markets to rebound.
That’s why it has come as
such a shock following the
most recent CRP enrollment
period earlier this year, said
Darcy Sexson, Umatilla
County FSA director. Just
34 percent of the county’s
bids were accepted into
the program when the
announcement was made
on May 5, down from 96
percent during the last
sign-up in 2013.
“To have such a dramatic
shift in acceptance rates, I
think that was a surprise,”
Sexson said. “They either
have to tear up that grass and
plant it into something, or
“A lot of guys have had their CRP in
for 30 years. They’re wondering what
they’re going to do next.”
— Kyle Carnine, Morrow County FSA director
they don’t draw an income
off that land.”
It’s the same story in
Morrow County, where out
of 12,000 acres that were
bid into CRP, just 3,000
made the cut.
“A lot of guys have had
their CRP in for 30 years,”
said Kyle Carnine, county
FSA director. “They’re
wondering what they’re
going to do next.”
Both counties will hold
a meeting together on
June 8 at the Pendleton
Round-Up Grounds to
help guide farmers through
the transition. The CRP is
not a retirement program,
though Sexson said that
in some cases growers put
their entire farms into the
program and sold off all
their equipment. For them,
they face starting over from
Across the country, the
FSA says contracts on 1.64
million acres of CRP are set
to expire Sept. 30. Agency
spokesman Kent Politsch
said most won’t make it
back into the program.
“We’ve got a cap. And
that cap keeps shrinking,”
Politsch said. “We’ve got to
be able to adjust the number
of acres that are being
accepted so we don’t exceed
that cap.”
Applications that are
approved must meet criteria
that scores the beneits of
whether the land will
Rachel Dagley
Rachel Dagley
541/276-2302 • 800/225-2521
The Stratton Agency
Pendleton / Hermiston • stratton-insurance.com
Commercial & Farm Agent
provide new wildlife habitat
or serve as a buffer to
protect streams and rivers.
Politsch said this is called
the Environmental Beneit
During a recent visit to
Boardman, FSA Adminis-
trator Val Dolcini said the
CRP has been responsible
for preventing 600 million
dump trucks of soil from
being lost to erosion, and
sequestered enough carbon
to equal taking 9 million
cars off the road. A recent
report from the Umatilla
Basin Watershed Council
also shows water quality
has improved in Wildhorse
Creek since 2010, as the
result of reduced erosion and
more riparian protection.
Now, Sexson said they
are setting up farmland to be
susceptible again as farmers
work to make ends meet.
“In some cases, farmers
are at slim margins if not
negative margins on crop-
ping systems,” she said.
CRP payments average
roughly $72 per acre per
year in Umatilla County,
Sexson said.
Politsch said that, instead
of focusing on quantity
of land in CRP, growers
should focus on getting their
best land enrolled. As for
commodity prices, he said
markets are cyclical.
“That’s what farming is,”
he said. “You adapt to the
The June 8 meeting
will be held at 8 a.m. at
the Let ‘er Buck Room.
For more information, call
the Umatilla County FSA
Ofice at 541-278-8049 or
the Morrow County Ofice
at 541-676-9011.
Contact George Plaven
at gplaven@eastoregonian.
com or 541-966-0825.
The Boys are back!
Don’t miss this great
Portland area band!
Sat. May 28, 2016
8:00 pm