Summer, holidays put stress on Seaside officers

Dave Ham

SEASIDE — Six months after the shooting death of Sgt. Jason Goodding in Seaside, the Police Department remains short-handed five officers, despite recent hires, among them second-in-command Lt. Bruce Holt and Officer Bethany Workman, who starts today.

The July Fourth holiday put particular strain on the department, Chief Dave Ham said at Friday’s Seaside Chamber of Commerce breakfast. “It was basically one big shift for all of our officers.” Retirements and Goodding’s death in early February led to vacancies, leading shifts of 12 hours or longer.

Fourth of July coincided with the week of the Miss Oregon Scholarship Pageant, bringing two parades to Seaside, Ham said, and additional enforcement needs, complicated by a route change due to construction on North Holladay Drive. The department received assistance from eight Oregon State Police troopers, who helped patrol roads and city streets. Cannon Beach Police also lent an assist, part of an arrangement where Seaside provides officers at Cannon Beach’s Sandcastle Festival. “That paid off at the witching hour when the fireworks took off,” Ham said.

Over the holiday weekend, the department was “busy, but not overwhelmed,” Ham said. “We didn’t really see the calls for service we have in the past, possibly because the Fourth fell on a Monday.”

The department received more than 400 service-related calls, including nine arrests, three DUIs, and 112 traffic stops. Police responded to reports of illegal camping, disorderly conduct, noise, fireworks and issued one citation for marijuana use in public. “There was a little bit of everything,” Ham said.

Four people were reported lost over the course of the weekend — and all returned without incident. Beach cleanups turned up wallets, cellphones and keys, Ham said, which can be reclaimed by their owners at the police station.

With lingering vacancies at the department, officers are “a little bit tired,” Ham said. “It was a very long weekend for our staff. There were some tired faces looking forward to some days off.”

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