Astoria Dispatcher Melanie Kinney received a Notice of Recognition from Police Chief Geoff Spalding at yesterdays command staff meeting. Dispatcher Kinney was cited for superior performance of duties for her work involving a multi-agency pursuit and arrest of a suspect. The citation appears below:
Early Monday morning November the 6th, Dispatcher Melanie Kinney had just begun her morning shift when a traffic complaint was received by Seaside 9-1-1 reporting an erratic driver on Highway 101 approaching Seaside. State Police had no units in position so the information was relayed to Seaside Officers. The vehicle was soon spotted by a Seaside Officer as it was speeding through town. The Officer attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle which failed to yield and in fact began to attempt to elude the Officer. As it was still dark outside and raining heavily the Seaside Officer wisely ended the pursuit shortly after the suspect vehicle passed the high school in excess of 80 miles an hour.
Seaside then notified Astoria 9-1-1 regarding the last known direction of travel of the suspect vehicle. Shortly after Seaside ended their pursuit the vehicle was once again observed speeding northbound on highway 101 by a Deputy who also attempted a traffic stop only to wind up in pursuit of the vehicle as it continued northbound in excess of 125 miles per hour. As the pursuit continued the Deputy was soon joined by an Officer from Warrenton Police.
The pursuit was now headed for Astoria across the Young’s Bay Bridge. As the suspect approached the city it was going much too fast to negotiate the round-about, the vehicle struck the curb exiting the bridge knocking off a front tire. The vehicle continued on with a shower of sparks coming from the rim as the suspect managed to keep up its high rate of speed.
Astoria Police successfully deployed spike strips about a mile after the vehicle struck the bridge, further disabling the vehicle. The suspect continued towards the downtown corridor, nearly crashing into a nearby restaurant when he suddenly jumped out and began to run. After a foot pursuit that continued for several blocks, officers had the suspect in custody.
When the rush of the incident and identifying the suspect was over, Dispatcher Kinney started to investigate into the vehicles owner, as the suspect was not the registered owner. She called the registered owner on the return, only to find out he had sold the vehicle many years ago to a dealership in Washington. Looking into the VIN, she was able to determine the exact dealership the vehicle was sold to. It was with that information that they were able to find out that the vehicle had been purchased with two credit cards that were subsequently reported as stolen. Because of her tenacious investigative work Dispatcher Kinney took a convoluted incident and laid the groundwork for officers to follow up on. Dispatcher Kinney kept calm and cool during the pursuit and continued the hard work even after the excitement had ended.
Dispatcher Kinney’s ability to remain calm and professional during this multi-agency pursuit is to be commended and is in keeping with the highest standards of Public Safety Dispatching.
In 2016, the Astoria Police Department started working with a few different Astoria business owners, apartment complexes, and commercial property owners to try out a program that has been successfully used by several other police departments in Oregon to help reduce unwanted activity that occurs after business hours or when the person responsible for that property, or business, is not on site. The trial run showed promise and in 2017 the program was introduced as Property Watch. During 2017, 36 different commercial properties and businesses partnered with the Astoria Police Department by becoming a member of Property Watch.
There is no cost to be a member of this program which is open to commercial property owners, business owners, and apartment complex owners/managers that are in the city limits of Astoria. This program is not open to single family residential houses.
By being a member of this program, the Astoria Police have the legal authority to ask people who meet certain exclusion criteria to leave member properties even if the property owner or manager is not on the premises at the time the conduct is occurring. This is especially useful in addressing non-criminal situations like loitering or consumption of alcohol in public.
If you would like to know more about the Property Watch program you can visit the Astoria Police Department webpage, Facebook page, or email Sgt. Andrew Randall at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Astoria Police Department is currently investigating an ongoing series of crimes involving a subject or subjects using a BB or Pellet Gun to shoot out windows in different areas of the city. So far the suspect/s have been targeting parked vehicles and in one case a window at a church.
The suspect/s may be on foot or in a vehicle. So far the locations have mainly been in neighborhoods above the downtown area, and have been going on sporadically over the last several weeks.
“While the suspect/s seem to be getting enjoyment from their actions, it places financial burdens and severe inconvenience on the victims of these senseless crimes” said Deputy Chief Eric Halverson.
Anyone with any information that could assist the police with this investigation are asked to call Sgt. Christopher McNeary at 503 325-4411 or email at email@example.com.
Thank you and have a safe holiday season.
On 11/11/2017 at about 1:50 P.M. the Astoria Police Department, Astoria Fire Department and Medix Ambulance responded to a single vehicle crash on Leif Erickson Drive in the 5300 Block, near the Crest Motel. Upon arrival Officers were directed to the North side of the roadway where a 1989 Ford Bronco vehicle had traveled over the embankment striking a tree. The operator of the vehicle was identified as 39 year old Jason Martin of Astoria. Martin was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. The passenger in the vehicle was identified as 44 year old Shannon Inniss of Astoria. Inniss died at the scene. One of two dogs that were in the vehicle did not survive. Upon release from the hospital Martin was arrested for charges of Manslaughter II, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless driving and Reckless Endangering of Another Person. Astoria Police were assisted at the scene by an Oregon State Police Traffic Crash Reconstructionist and the Clatsop County Medical Examiner.