Local News: Early releases bring additional arrests; County hostage rescue team in Florence; Dog Park not quite ready; 2nd Round of Athletic Hall of Fame

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Early jail releases turn into re-arrests in some cases…

Out of the nearly 400 prisoners released early from the Lane County Jail in the past 30 days because of budget constraints; 17 have been re-arrested once; three have been released and arrested twice.

Sheriff Tom Turner closed 96 jail beds at the end of June, since then his agency has been keeping track of inmates released early.

Officials gave three examples this week.  One inmate allegedly attacked a man and robbed him twice two weeks after being let go… he was arrested again July 13th.  A second early release made it ten days before she was arrested for unlawful use, and being in possession of, a stolen vehicle.  She was then back on the street two days after the second booking.  The third example is a little more disturbing… a 48-year old man was picked up a week after his release for violation of a restraining order after allegedly breaking into the victim’s apartment.  He remains in custody.

According to Sergeant Carrie Carver those 17 new arrests also mean 17 additional victims and the associated costs involved in processing and prosecuting those accused of the crimes.

Hostage Rescue Team Trains in Florence

Members of the Lane County Sheriff's Department hostage rescue team debrief following a training exercise at Siuslaw Elementary July 25th.

If you happened to drive by Siuslaw Elementary School yesterday morning, you likely saw three military type armored vehicles and camo-clad police officers with assault weapons.  Don’t worry; it was only a training exercise by the Lane County Sheriff’s Hostage Rescue Team says Sergeant Matt Keetle.

Matt Keetle – “You know, it’s the practice makes perfect.  If you run across this type of situation and it’s just cold and you’ve never exposed yourself to anything even close to it things could go a lot worse.”

Keetle, who works in the patrol division, said the “Containment Team” as it’s called, draws deputies from all parts of the agency.

Matt Keetle – “People from patrol and people from forest and people from detectives so we gotta draw from wherever we can with the low numbers that we have.”

That’s one reason why it’s important they train together from time to time.  He added that while it may be rare to see the full team in action; parts of the team are called into service on a regular basis.

Matt Keetle – “We’ve had a couple situations where we’ve had to activate the containment team and the negotiators so that it really is a lot more than what people think.”

Sheriff’s deputies were assisted by Florence Police officers during yesterday’s training that involved a mock hostage situation at the school.

Dog Park Set to Open in August

Dog owners in Florence with the itch to let their best friends run off leash will still have to wait a few more weeks to use the new dog park on Kingwood Street.  More than 400 volunteers converged on Whispering Pines Park Saturday to spread bark, install a water line and erect fence, but didn’t have enough time to complete the project.  City Manager Jacque Betz said public works crews will finish up, completing a gravel parking area in the coming weeks.  She expected it would be ready to go by late August.

Siuslaw Athletic Hall of Fame

The second round of inductees into the Siuslaw Athletic Hall of Fame is set to be formally introduced next week.  Eight names will be added to the 11 inducted last year.  Those include Delbert Reavis, a football halfback for the Siuslaw Vikings who scored 21 touchdowns in nine games on the way to 133 points in the 1957 season.  His longest carry was for 83 yards against Myrtle Point.  Also inducted will be former superintendent Glenn Butler and the entire boys cross country state championship team from 1966.  Tickets for the August 4th ceremony at the Florence Events Center are ten dollars and will be available at the door.  The event will be followed later that evening by the annual Athletic Booster Club dinner and fund raising auction.