HR Police chief: citizens wanted, along with advice

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

July 5, 2006

Hood River Police Chief Bruce Ludwig wants better communication between his officers and the people they serve.

Ludwig is seeking 15 individuals interested in learning more about the rules and regulations that govern his agency. The citizen advisory panel will then look for ways —within those boundaries — to improve service delivery.

“This is not a review board to rate or critique our performance,” said Ludwig. “It’s an informal collaboration between the community and police to identify and meet our challenges.”

He is hopeful the panel will winnow down the key challenges facing Hood River. And then solutions will be found to these “hot button” issues.

“I am looking forward to learning more about what people perceive as problems in the community and finding ways to resolve them,” said Ludwig.

He said all interested individuals can pick up an application for the advisory body at the police station, 211 Second St. The forms must be returned by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 31, for consideration.

Ludwig plans for the panel to meet once each month in the early evening. He would like to see a broad spectrum of people represented, including business owners, parents and senior citizens.

“I think this will just be a great way to learn what people need from us,” he said.

Ludwig said several years ago the police department began networking with citizens in the Neighborhood Watch program. He said the increased interaction between law enforcement and citizens alleviated a lot of safety concerns. For example, people got to know nearby landowners and kept an eye out for suspicious activities when they were away.

This year, Ludwig encouraged his officers to find more ways to share their training expertise with the community. For example, two policemen are now teaching traffic safety to high school students. And numerous self-defense classes were taught earlier this year by a trio of officers to worried women following two sexual assaults.

“There really is no set agenda for this panel. It will just be one way to educate these individuals about what we do and we hope they will then spread the news,” he said.

By the end of the year, Ludwig expects the panel will have some recommendations for changes within the department. He anticipates the meetings will produce some good ideas that can be adopted in the community policing philosophy.

“I think this dialogue will mean good things for Hood River,” he said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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