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Proactive police work: Chief Plack retires

Police Chief Doug Plack directs traffic during a homeless encampment cleanup in November, one of several cleanups conducted to reduce crime and address environmental and safety concerns. Plack numbers the effort among his proudest accomplishments. Del Norte Triplicate file/ Bryant Anderson
After 11 years as the Crescent City Police chief and more than 40 years in law enforcement, Doug Plack is hanging up the badge at the close of July but maintaining his commitment to the community of Del Norte County.

Thanks to the support of several Crescent City councils, city staff, police officers and police department staff, Plack said he is proud to have implemented a more proactive form of law enforcement and programs that embrace a “community-oriented policing philosophy.”

“Law enforcement in an earlier period of time was all a reactive type of patrol; in other words you get a call and you respond,” Plack said during an interview in his office this week. “Twenty-first century policing did not embrace that concept.”

City hires interim police chief

On Monday, the Crescent City Council approved the employment of an interim police chief of the Crescent City Police Department to serve after current chief Doug Plack leaves the job July 31.

Calvin Scott Berry, of Grass Valley, was recommended by City Manager Eugene Palazzo to fill the position on a temporary basis until Oct. 31 as city staff continues the recruitment process for a permanent replacement, which is expected to take several months.

Council balks at sewer deficit

With a unanimous vote of approval, the final 2014–2015 city budget made it past the Crescent City Council earlier this week, but after some scrutiny from Council members, it’s now scheduled to return to the legislative ring for a second round later this summer to deal with unanswered questions about the sewer fund. 

Board members expressed  concerns about the fund — the black sheep in the city’s otherwise generally healthy financial family — saying they were reluctant to approve a plan that includes a fund budgeted at minus $651,000, although Finance Director Emily Boyd said that deficit could decrease by as much as $200,000 depending on 2013-2014 expenditure figures. 

Fireworks safety on officials’ minds

Illegal fireworks rivaling the official Fourth of July show rocket above Crescent City in 2010. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Firework safety school begins next week, and everyone’s invited.

With an estimated 30,000 people coming into town for the city’s Fourth of July celebration, fireworks safety is on city officials’ minds, and after a brief discussion at Monday’s city council meeting, an educational campaign has been planned to address concerns.

Body found near Hwy 199 ruled a suicide

The coroner’s office has determined that a local man found on U.S. Highway 199 last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Del Norte County Sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven told the Triplicate on Wednesday.

Campfire permits required

With fire restrictions in place, campfire permits are now required on all national forest land in California, but the permits are free and can be obtained online.

For online campfire permits, visit the Six Rivers National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/srnf under “Passes and Permits” or the California Wildfire Coordinating Group’s wildfire prevention website at www.preventwildfireca.org.

Generations celebrate Flag Day

Elks, Emblem Club mark holiday with donation to local Explorers posts 

Tim Borges, esteemed leading knight for the Crescent City Elks Lodge, leads fellow Elks, members of the Crescent City Emblem Club and Explorers (seen in back) in a prayer at the Lodge’s Flag Day ceremony on Saturday. Del Norte Triplicate / Jessica Cejnar
The young generation joined the older generation on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of the American flag.

During the Crescent City Elks’ Flag Day ceremony, members of the Crescent City Emblem Club illustrated the evolution of Old Glory starting with the flag of England and the pine tree flag used during the battle of Bunker Hill and ending with the current version. Each Emblem Club member was escorted by U.S. Navy Sea Cadet or a police, fire or EMS Explorer.

Oregon may aid airport project

Brookings seeks $400,000 grant to fund improvements 

Thanks to the City of Brookings, a mandatory runway improvement project for Del Norte County Regional Airport is poised to receive $400,000 from the State of Oregon.

A final review committee of the Oregon Department of Transportation voted on Thursday to include the Runway Safety Area (RSA) project for Crescent City’s airport despite the project being in California. 

Disaster drill covers dealing with the media

Del Norte County first responders practice creating a crisis joint information center. Photo courtesy of Dennis Louy
When a major crisis strikes a small community like Crescent City, emergency managers and first responders will have to deal with not only victim triage, putting out fires and coordinating rescue efforts, but also fielding questions from pesky reporters.

Not just hometown pesky reporters, but also the likes of CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS and many other national news outlets that might descend on Crescent City to get the scoop on the devastation.

Free disaster trainings offered to community

Supply points, debris handling topics of classes 

Better to be trained before than after on how to work with emergency and disaster response officials when a tsunami, earthquake, wildfire or other disaster strikes.

Federal and state disaster response agencies will be holding two free trainings this week, one on distributing emergency supplies and the other on debris management, skills that will be vital for community members to know in order for Del Norte County to have a quick and efficient recovery after a disaster.

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