From Cadet to Police Officer - Feb 2016
From Cadet to Police Officer
In December, the Tigard Police Department swore in a new patrol officer. While swearing-in ceremonies are always special occasions, this event was unlike any other, with a new hire unlike any other.
Tyler Sanford, 23, is the first Tigard Police Cadet to be hired as a patrol officer with the department.
Sanford began his career path with the department as a teen volunteer in 2009. Sanford was like many other high-school students who had interest in law enforcement. Sanford participated in the Tigard Police Cadet program while attending Tualatin High School from 2007 to 2011.
He remained in the program while attending Western Oregon University (WOU), where he was earning a degree in criminal justice. Sanford stayed in the program until reaching the age of 21, the oldest age allowed for a cadet. Sanford remained in contact with the department through his graduation at WOU in June 2015.
He immediately applied for a police officer position with the City of Tigard and was offered a job following a successful test and interview. His swearing-in took place Dec. 2. Sanford will begin the required 16-week training to obtain official police officer certification at the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training on March 21.
Tigard Police Chief Alan Orr commented, “Tyler’s commitment and growth from a teen volunteer with the Tigard Police Department to a police officer is impressive. Tyler is an excellent example of community spirit and determination. We are extremely pleased to welcome him into the Tigard Police family.”
Making Connections over Coffee - Mar 2016
Tigard Police Making Connections, over Coffee
You may have heard of a relatively new concept police departments nationwide are using to meet the residents they serve. Everyone… meet Coffee with a Cop.
The program was inspired by the Hawthorne Police Department in the Los Angeles area. It is a way to help bridge a gap between the community and their public safety officers. The Tigard Police Department launched its program in 2014 and has been building momentum since.
“Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together over coffee–to discuss issues and learn more about each other,” said Police Chief Al Orr.
Participants in the program over time have shared ideas and ways to help further engage the community. The idea is simple—remove barriers, eliminate any agenda and meet on mutual turf.
Ninety-percent of the community rarely, if ever, has contact with police. Allowing that audience to talk to their line-level police officers helps all residents learn how public safety officers provide essential services to residents and businesses.
Tigard police officers recently partnered with their Beaverton counterparts and hosted a Coffee with a Cop at a coffee shop on Scholls Ferry Road in Tigard. The event, on Jan. 30, brought together nearly 100 community members for relaxed conversation, good coffee and great neighbors. The community engagement and dialog that took place that day was priceless.
Please consider joining us at our next Coffee with a Cop. We advertise the event on the web and on the city’s social media pages.
Be sure to follow the department on Facebook and Twitter to be one of the first to know about this and other police programs, alerts, tips, quality of life issues and more. Let’s all work together to encourage a strong and safe community.
Tigard Police Connecting to the Community - May 2016
Help the Police Help You
No police department can function effectively without the concerned assistance of responsible citizens.
The Tigard Police Department depends on you to call and tell us whenever you observe suspicious persons or actions. People sometimes fail to call police simply because they are not aware that seemingly innocent activities may be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and be hesitant to call for fear that it turns out to be nothing. Still others may think that someone else has already made the call.
In response to all the above reasons, please call the department immediately about any suspicious activity. And do it yourself. Do not worry about bothering the police because your welfare is our concern. Do not worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. Rather think what could happen if you do not act?
Keep handy the non-emergency telephone number to call for police assistance at 503-629-0111. Be sure everyone in your household is familiar with the number. Thanks for your help.
Social media is now playing a larger role with law enforcement agencies. This avenue of communication shows no sign of slowing down.
Recently when the Tigard Police Department shared information on its Facebook page, to draw attention to motorcycle safety, nearly 1 million people visited that update. This response was accomplished within the first 72 hours of the information being posted.
Police departments can no longer not afford to consider social media resources in their efforts to share information or enlist the help of their community. Consider becoming a fan of the department on Facebook and follow us @tigardpolice on Twitter. Hope to see you soon in cyberspace.
Pedestrian Safety - June 2016
Pedestrian Safety Is Everyone’s Business
While walking is becoming increasingly popular for people of all ages for health and economic reasons, so too are incidents in which a vehicle kills pedestrians. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that 2,368 pedestrians of all ages were killed nationwide for the first half of 2015, a 10 point jump over the same time period the prior year.
In Oregon, the numbers were worse. ODOT notes that pedestrian fatalities in Oregon during the first half 2015 doubled over the previous year, jumping from 21 to 42 for the same six-month period. Lower gas prices and increasing traffic volume along with an improved economy contributed to the rise, as did increasing use of cell phones by both drivers and walkers. Other factors leading to vehicle and pedestrians incidents include distracted driving.
Drivers should always be on the lookout for people crossing the street, or who might step into the street. Oregon law gives pedestrians the right-of-way in marked crosswalks and at intersections. By state law, every intersection is a crosswalk, whether painted or not.
Pedestrians also have a responsibility to cross safely. In Tigard, auto-pedestrian crashes have increased yearly. Unfortunately, some of those result in serious injury or death. Pedestrians need to be alert and avoid distractions while crossing roadways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a significant trend of pedestrians are walking distracted. Electronics and music appeared to play heavily when a pedestrian may have been at fault in an auto-pedestrian incident.
Periodically, the Tigard Police Department conducts pedestrian crosswalk enforcement operations to bring added awareness to encourage drivers to be vigilant for pedestrians in crosswalks. The next crosswalk enforcement operation in Tigard is planned for June.
See our video on pedestrian safety and share it with your friends and families. Remember to please drive safely.
Long-Serving Officers Retire - July 2016
Retiring from Tigard Police Department
Jim de Sully and Danny Gill
Assistant Police Chief Jim de Sully is retiring from the Tigard Police Department on June 30, following 26 years of service in law enforcement. Hired in 1990 as a police officer with the Tigard Police Department, de Sully’s law enforcement career officially began as a patrol officer with the Cannon Beach Police Department. Early in his law enforcement career, de Sully devoted significant time to keep impaired drivers off the road.
de Sully’s career progressed with a promotion to sergeant in 1997. While sergeant, he supervised patrol, the Street Crimes Unit, Investigations and Major Crimes. de Sully was promoted to lieutenant in 2004. He was responsible for operation of the Patrol Division and then promoted to captain in 2009. In 2012, de Sully was promoted to assistant chief. In that role, he has helped guide the Tigard Police Department as the 11th largest municipal police department in the State of Oregon.
de Sully is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and FBI LEEDS. He is the past president of the Oregon Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates. se Sully plans to pursue his passion for the outdoors and other yet unplanned adventures with his newly acquired freedom.
Officer Danny Gill retired from the Tigard Police Department on June 15, after devoting 31 years to policing. Gill initially began his law enforcement career as a reserve police officer with the City of Tigard in 1984. After providing 14 years of volunteer service to the community, Gill was hired as a police officer by the city in 1998. During his tenure with the Tigard Police Department, Gill was appointed to several specialty positions such as an investigator with the Commercial Crimes Unit and Transit Police. Gill served for nine years as a school resource officer at Tigard High School. We know that both the staff and student body will miss Gill’s dedicated and caring presence at the school.
Gill plans to enjoy his retirement by spending his newly available time in the place he enjoys most—the rugged outdoors of Oregon.
K-9 Baxter Retires after Eight Years Fighting Crime - August 2016
K-9 Baxter Retires after Eight Years Fighting Crime
In 2008, the Tigard Police Department revived its dormant patrol canine program. The department purchased a purebred German shepherd from Slovakia. With sound training over the years, Baxter developed into one of Tigard’s most successful tracking canines.
At a public event held July 25, Baxter was officially retired after eight years of dedicated service to Tigard and surrounding communities.
Baxter’s astute senses resulted in the capture and assists of more than 200 subjects throughout his career. Baxter’s equally impressive success recovering articles in crime investigations garnered respect among many partnering law enforcement communities that deploy K-9 programs.
In addition to his productive work on criminal activities, Baxter also participated in countless community outreach events. These help to further education and knowledge regarding the benefits of a well-established police canine program. His ability to connect the department to the community was unparalleled.
Baxter currently spends his time with the family of his most recent handler, Sgt. Cameron Odam. Baxter is now enjoying his new, more relaxed environment. He transitioned smoothly into his well-deserved retirement.
The department would like to thank the community for its unwavering support for the police canine program. The remaining Tigard Police K-9, Diesel, is closely following the successes of his predecessor, Baxter. Learn more about the Tigard Police K-9 program.
Slow Down For Safety - September 2016
Your Assignment…Watch for Children and Slow Down For Safety
Back to school time is an adjustment for everyone. Not only do students need to readjust to a different and likely more structured schedule but motorists need to pay special attention to increased pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic. It seems everything around us gets busier in September.
Remember to watch carefully for signs identifying school speed zones. In Oregon, certain school zone speed limits are enforced when school is in session; however in Tigard several school speed zones are identified when a flashing yellow light is activated. It is vital to pay close attention so you know when school speed limits are in effect.
According to Oregon's school zone law, the speed limit is 20 mph or less in school zones whenever these conditions occur:
- Anytime a yellow light on a school speed sign is flashing
- Between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on school days
- At crosswalks near school grounds when children are present
Drivers, please pay particular attention to school buses when they are loading or unloading children. Oregon law requires motorists to stop for flashing red lights on school buses. Tigard Police works in partnership with the school bus transportation companies. School bus drivers report violations to the Tigard Police Department.
You can learn more about school bus and school speed zone laws by visiting the State of Oregon website at: www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/road_rules.aspx.
Remember, you will be tested!
Coffee with a Cop - October 2016
Join the Tigard Police for National Coffee with a Cop Day
Everyone, meet Coffee with a Cop, a national program inspired by the Hawthorne Police Department in the Los Angeles area. The concept builds connections between the community and the police department. The Tigard Police Department launched the program in 2014, and it has been building momentum since.
Coffee with a Cop brings police officers and the community members they serve together over coffee–to discuss issues and learn more about each other. The program champions, over time, have shared ideas and ways to help further engage the community.
The idea is simple—remove barriers, eliminate any agenda and meet on mutual turf. Ninety percent of the community rarely, if ever, has contact with police. Allowing that audience to talk to their line-level police officers to learn what is actually behind the badge is invaluable.
Oct. 7 marks National Coffee With a Cop Day. Tigard Police has partnered with the Well & Good Coffee House to host the opportunity that lets neighbors stop in and share a cup of coffee with officers. Please plan to join us between 9:30 and 11 a.m. for good conversation and great coffee. Well & Good Coffee House is located 7357 SW Beveland St. in Tigard.
In the meantime, be sure to follow Tigard Police on Facebook and Twitter so you can be one of the first to know about other police programs as well as alerts, tips, quality of life issues and more. Let’s all work together to foster a safe and vibrant community.
Tigard Police Build Community Connections - November 2016
Tigard Police Build Community Connections
In addition to maintaining a safe and vibrant community, the Tigard Police Department continually finds new ways to make Tigard a better place to work and live. In fact, the department’s mission statement motivates and empowers all members of the force to improve the city’s livability. This fall the department’s programs blazed trails community-wide. Here are a few of ways your department has made a difference.
According to Special Olympics Oregon, the department ranked as the top fundraiser in Oregon for its annual Tip-A-Cop event held on Oct. 22, 2016. More than 20 law enforcement agencies statewide participated. In cooperation with the Washington Square Red Robin Restaurant in Tigard, the department collected $5,526. Restaurant patrons throughout the day contributed to the fund-raising effort. The department thanks everyone who competed in the campaign that brings awareness and needed funding to support Special Olympics Oregon programs. For decades, Oregon law enforcement agencies have supported the Special Olympics and the annual Tip-A-Cop event.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Event
The department’s Prescription Drug Take Back Event, held on Oct. 22, marked the 12th time citizens could safely dispose of their unwanted medications or prescription drugs. Since the program’s launch five years ago, the department has collected several thousand pounds of unwanted pharmaceuticals. The safe removal of unused drugs and medicine for eventual incineration keeps them from being taken by other potential users. It also prevents the medications from tainting groundwater or landfills. The department supports the responsible disposal of unwanted medicine by offering its secure drug return box inside the department lobby, daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. You can learn more about this opportunity at http://www.tigard-or.gov/police/drug_drop_box.php.
Coffee With a Cop
National Coffee With a Cop Day was celebrated on Oct. 7. Since 2013, the department has offered opportunities for citizens to share a cup of coffee with officers in a relaxed and unchartered atmosphere. The overwhelming success of our October event shows citizens welcome this approach. The nationwide success of Coffee with a Cop has fostered renewed police-community relations, benefiting all. The department appreciates the nearly 50 people who stopped by, even to say hello and offer a kind word. Hosts Well & Good Coffee pulled out all the stops for officers and patrons alike. Look for future Coffee With a Cop events coming to a coffee shop in Tigard near you.
The Tigard Police Department has always supported the vulnerable, so they can live safe and productive lives. Like police everywhere, we know adults with developmental disabilities face challenges staying safe as they move about the community. To support their needs, a special program began in collaboration with the Westside Crime Prevention Coalition, strongly supported by the department. In Tigard, the Safety Academy assists adults with developmental disabilities so they are better prepared to avoid risky situations. Officers also help attendees understand when they may be at risk of victimization. Since the program’s start in spring 2015, more than 40 attendees have emerged more confident and knowledgeable as they move through their daily activities both at home and around the community.
Be Smart, Avoid the Scammers
Be Smart and Don’t Get Scammed
Last year, tens of thousands of Oregonians reported being a victim of a crime. Many fell victim to frauds or scams. Data suggest, however, that certain scams are directed towards specific age groups. Further evidence also indicates some scams target ethnic groups, who suspects think will not report such crimes because of language or communication challenges.
Scams are considered a crime of opportunity. Many victims willingly provided the perpetrator personal information or money without checking the legitimacy of the alleged business or the tactics behind the transaction.
Victims have reported being scammed over the telephone, in-person and over the internet. Oregon ranked 25th in the nation for internet-based fraud, according to the FBI in its most recent annual report.
The Tigard Police Department has observed and filed crime reports for nearly all of the 36 different variations of fraud known. Many victims lost money—some a substantial amount. A number of victims said they felt they were being scammed, but the prospect of the outcome overcame their ability to think clearly and stop the transaction.
Tigard Residents Targeted
On a nearly daily basis, Tigard residents report they are victimized to police. The most commonly reported scam involves arrest threats for unpaid traffic tickets or fines. Some victims reported arrest threats due to an outstanding warrant.
Remember, no government agency will call and demand immediate payment of any kind, let alone payment made by a pre-paid credit card or retail gift card. Hang up if you receive such a call.
Victims have also reported to the Tigard police they were threatened with arrest for unpaid taxes. In many cases, the caller demanded a pre-paid credit card or gift card to avoid making an arrest. Once again, the IRS does not call with demands for immediate payment. The IRS communicates through the U.S. postal service.
Residents’ best rule of thumb is to be smart and hang up. Tell a family member if you are unsure what to do. Please, do not give criminals any opportunity to victimize another person.
Remember, hang up if it starts with fast talking, threat of reprisal and immediate demand for money. Report the incident to the police. In Tigard the non-emergency call line is 503-629-0111. To learn more about computer fraud and scams, visit www.IC3.gov.
Just when you think you have heard it all, you receive a call or email with an immediate demand for money. The scammer emphatically states if you do not comply, you will face arrest and/or a substantial monetary fine, physical assault and whatever else the caller has fabricated.
Do not fall victim to this tactic. Legitimate government agencies, utility companies and other businesses do not conduct business in this manner. Simply hang up. In fact, please consider not answering your telephone if you are unsure or unfamiliar with the person calling.
The Tigard Police Department receives numerous calls from residents weekly advising that they are the target of similar scams. The call or email almost always comes with an immediate deadline to make a payment to avoid some extreme action taken against you.
Unfortunately, we also have reports where a victim has followed through with the scam artist’s demands. Please share the information about potential scams with your family and friends—especially those who may be most vulnerable such as the elderly or anyone who may struggle with language or communication challenges.
Almost 100 percent of the time when an immediate demand for money is made, whether through a prepaid credit card or a money wire transfer such as Western Union, it is a scam.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Although the likelihood is relatively low that local police agencies can arrest the perpetrators, information sharing among law enforcement regarding such attempts to defraud citizens has proven beneficial. Most often, federal agencies who also share in the collected data are better able to track down and arrest those responsible.
In Tigard, the telephone number to report all non-emergencies is 503-629-0111.
To learn more about scams and how to avoid them, go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts.
Using Technology to Fight Crime
In an increasingly high-tech world, more crimes now involve technologies that police must anticipate. In recent years, the Tigard Police Department has met the challenge using a variety of its own technological tools to combat criminal activity.
For example, GPS and other advanced communication systems allow law enforcement to pre-plan and deploy necessary resources when needed.Technologies such as body armor and less-lethal projectiles also improve the safety of both police and the public.
The department continues its efforts to give law enforcement the technological edge.
Leadership by the department’s business manager led to the purchase of equipment and technology with little or no new costs. The department leveraged external funding from grants and asset forfeiture funds, which helped to offset costs from the annual department budget.
In the past three years, nearly a quarter of a million dollars have been awarded to the Tigard Police through grants and other funding sources. The department received grants from the Department of Justice and the State of Oregon. Others grants awarded came from the private sector.
The department also has received private donations to improve its technology-driven efforts over the past several years:
- Tablets, the next generation of mobile communicators
- Automatic license plate readers (ALPR)
- Enhanced interviewing and recording equipment
- Electronic digital signage kiosks
The department will continue to explore additional external funding opportunities as it promotes its ongoing efforts to promote public safety and the quality of life in Tigard.
Crime Mapping Tools Return
The Tigard Police Department is pleased to reintroduce Crime Spotter. The map-based tool provides easy to access information about criminal activity in the City of Tigard through a user-friendly map tool that shows activity by location. Crime Spotter was unavailable for nearly 18 months following a systems change for new data and software. Tigard residents can again stay informed and track police-related activity in their neighborhood or other areas of interest.
The Most Accurate Data
Crime Spotter’s map feature shows where crimes have occurred over a twelve-month period. Anyone with access to the internet, on their smart devices or computers, can learn about reported crimes. The tool uses Tigard police reports originating from the call center. The data are highly reliable.
The Tigard Police Department does not provide its crime data to other websites, and it cannot vouch for their accuracy. The department stands fully behind Crime Spotter as the most accurate source of reported criminal activity in Tigard. Our database is refreshed with new crime data daily.
Two Ways to Get Information
To use the tool, simply enter an address on the Crime Spotter web page. This generates a summary of reported crimes with descriptive information. The query pulls up reports in a half mile radius of the listed address. It is that easy.
In addition to Crime Spotter, a companion program called Neighborhood Crime Spotter also provides information using police reports, but organized by Neighborhood Networks. This tool may help users who want to obtain a wider area of reported criminal activity.
Tigard maintains a reputation as a safe community. This is the result of proactive community-oriented law enforcement and the effort of active, informed citizens and neighborhood groups working together. Our online tools support these efforts.
Police Encourage Residents to Prepare for Power Outages
The windstorm that hit our area on April 7 serves as a reminder that everyone should have a back-up plan in place for unplanned disruptions of electrical power. During the storm, the Tigard Police Department responded to multiple calls where homeowners found themselves stranded—either unable to enter or exit their homes.
Residents should have alternative methods to enter a home other than an electric garage door opener. In some recent incidents, residents only carried an opener and did not have a door key. During the recent storm and resulting power outages, they were unable to enter their homes.
Police were also called to residences where the occupants were unable to drive their vehicle out of the garage during an outage. The situation created cases of unnecessary alarm.
All home occupants should be prepared to manually disengage the garage door from an opening mechanism, allowing it to be opened by hand.
Create a plan. Practice. Be better prepared.