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Police Log (and writer) getting fame they deserve

CNN shows interest in producing a segment on the Forest Grove gem


It started with the snake incident last June, when The Oregonian and the Associated Press ran stories about a call to Forest Grove Police for help with a four-foot coral snake wrapped around the engine of a pickup.

“I know folks from Nevada and Texas saw it somehow,” said Capt. Mike Herb, who first brought the incident to light in the city’s police log.

But it was a spider that really kicked Forest Grove’s Police Log into the national — and even international — spotlights.

In that August incident, Herb wrote about a Forest Grove teen who called 911 for help with a large spider on her couch and about the brave Forest Grove officers who dispatched the alarming arachnid with a rolled-up newspaper.

Spiced up with 911 transcripts, “the spider story just went crazy,” said Herb, whose dry humor lights up what might otherwise be a dull recitation of police calls. “It appeared in newspapers all over the country and even in England and Australia.”

Somewhere along the way, it caught the attention of a CNN producer in New York, who is now working on a brief segment that will feature Forest Grove police-log highlights, Herb said. “They are supposed to let me know when they run this,” he said.

Herb noted that former late-night talk-show host Jay Leno used to feature a “Police Blotter” segment, which was eventually adapted to book form.

“The book idea has been suggested several times to me,” he said. “I think I will just have fun with (the police log) for now and provide the info to my community or whoever is interested.”

Most suburban Portland police departments could recount similar stories, he said. “I am just taking the time to seek the more interesting and unusual.”

— Jill Rehkopf Smith




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