Crime statistics in Cannon Beach in 2018 were, “pretty average” overall, Chief Jason Schermerhorn said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, with lots of weather-related incidents and false alarms. Of the 118 alarm calls, only one was in response to an actual burglary.
While most minor offenses were down, total burglary reports increased from 10 incidents in 2017 to 15 last year.
“Burglaries are higher than they’ve been in the past, but that’s cyclical,” Schermerhorn said.
Domestic disturbance calls were the highest they’ve been in six years, with 32 calls, more than doubling from 2017.
The most significant increase was for overnight camping warnings, going from fewer than 900 to over 1,300 occurrences, more than doubling since 2013.
Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn presented the department’s 2018 annual report to the City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Crime statistics saw some drops. The rate of minors in possession of marijuana was the lowest in 20 years with only one incident in 2018 — down from 24 incidents in 2017 Police saw a drop of driving while under the influence of intoxicants arrests in 2018, with five reported, down from 29 in 2017.
Traffic warnings and citations were also down over 40 percent.
There were no reports of counterfeiting — a problem that brought six reported incidents in 2017.
Traffic violations, motor vehicle thefts and assaults all declined since the previous year; police reported no incidents of homicide, robbery or arson in 2018.
Police used force in seven cases, about half the number reported the prior year. Most involved the threat of the use of a taser; none resulted in complaints against the department.
Community outreach events grew in scope with the hiring of community service officer Jenny Thompson-Kiefer. The introduction of the Coastal Community Festival in May, a partnership with the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce and other groups, joins Tip-A-Cop, the Safety Fair and Shop with a Cop, and coordination of the Sandcastle Parade.
Other new hires include Cody Dietel, Jake Anderson, Josh Utley and reserve officer Christian Salinas.
Emergency manager Mike Myers joined the city in January. Myers served as Portland fire chief for several years and is already enjoying Cannon Beach and spending time exploring the community.
The city’s canine officer, Gunner, has been hard at work, Schermerhorn said, with a January discovery of a pound of methamphetamine concealed in a vehicle in Seaside. Future plans for the chocolate Labrador retriever include search-and-rescue training and a new vehicle with specialized cooling fans. Both are slated for this year.
In other City Council news:
• Bob Lundy was appointed to a four-year term on the Farmers Market Committee. Lundy, who recently termed out of the Planning Commission, has been a long-time volunteer of the committee and advocate for the market.
• The City Council approved a resolution to adopt a new solid waste ordinance, amending the city code as part of the contract renewal with Recology Western Oregon Inc. The new 20-year agreement franchise agreement is similar to the prior agreement but includes more flexibility and a modified fee schedule.
• Councilors Robin Risley and Nancy McCarthy hosted their first open meeting with the public at City Hall in January to hear citizen concerns. McCarthy and Risley will hold another event on Feb. 25 from 10 to 11 at the City Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend.