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Police chief wishes everyone happy and safe holidays

Happy holidays from the King City Police Department!

The calls for police service in King City during the past month have been normal for this time of year but partly due to changes in the weather, there has been an increase in traffic crashes on the roadways around King City.

Remember that when roads and streets are wet, you should closely monitor your speed and the distance from other vehicles. By being alert, you may avoid a crash.

Tips when the power goes out

As the storm season approaches, PGE, which provided the following information, urges customers to be prepared.

During a storm-related power outage, PGE will clear downed power lines first, then check generation sources, repair transmission lines, then repair sub stations, then repair distribution lines, repair neighborhood tap lines and finally connect individual customers.

So the word is patience. To be prepared, PGE suggests that customers have an emergency kit that contains the following:

-- Hand-crank or battery-powered flashlight and radio.

-- Battery-powered clock

-- Car adapter for cell phones and laptops plus extra batteries.

-- Emergency phone numbers, including the PGE outage number

In addition, the King City Community Emergency Response Team recommends that you have a 72-hour kit that contains at least the following:

-- Water (one gallon per day per person)

-- Non-perishable food for three days

-- First-aid kit

-- Medications for three days

-- Sanitary items (toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes)

-- Some cash

-- Extra clothing and blankets

When the power goes out, report it to the PGE outage line at 503-464-7777. For more information on power outages, visit www.PortlandGeneral.com/Outage.

Holiday shopping hints

If you plan on doing holiday shopping online, be mindful of these few hints:

-- Make sure your computer has an up-to-date security program that provides a safeguard against "phishing" or other methods used to steal your credit card information;

-- Use only websites that provide for secure transactions; most large companies do so and indicate so on their website;

-- Use passwords that are strong by including letters, numbers and symbols;

-- When making an online purchase, use a credit card in lieu of a debit card. Credit cards are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act. Generally the most you will be liable for as a result on unauthorized transactions is $50. Also, you can dispute credit card charges and not debit card charges.

-- Only purchase from merchants with whom you are familiar;

-- Avoid "special deals" from unfamiliar or new vendors;

-- Keep track of your credit card purchases and review credit card and bank statements;

-- If you find strange or unfamiliar charges on your statements, contact the vendor and your issuing bank. If you have strong suspicions, notify the police of your concerns.

If you decide to shop at a mall, follow these hints:

-- While at the mall or at any store be aware of the people around you. Keep your purse or wallet away from strangers;

-- Be watchful of your credit cards when using them as a type of payment (check your receipts);

-- When you have packages, secure them in the trunk of the car and not inside the passenger compartment where others can see them;

-- When parking your vehicle, park in well-lighted lots or garages.

Beware of scams or people who may solicit money or credit card numbers for charities or holiday deals too good to be true. Donate only to organizations that you are familiar with or have donated to in the past.

Crime mapping

On occasion, a resident or someone who is thinking of moving into King City will contact the police department to inquire about "crime" in the neighborhood. Generally, we are able to provide a broad outline and some history of calls for service in a particular neighborhood.

However, there are a couple of computer sites that an individual can visit to get a snapshot of calls for police service in a neighborhood. Both sites provide information about the initial call for service, not necessarily the final determination of the call.

For example, a call is made about a prowler around a house. Upon further investigation, the responding police officer determines that actually it was a raccoon going through a garbage can, rather than a prowler.

The two sites are:

-- Crime Mapper: www.qis.ci.portland.or.us/maps/police

-- www.crimereports.com

If you have questions about the information, give me a call at 503-620-8851.

You be the judge (or you have to be kidding)

In a Southwest city, two men attempted to pull the front off an ATM at a bank by running a chain from the ATM to the bumper of their truck. Instead of pulling the front from the ATM, they pulled the bumper from the truck.

Scared, the men went home leaving the ATM fastened to the chain, the chain fastened to the bumper and the license plate on the bumper. The police had no problem locating the two would-be thieves.

So until next time, be good, be neighborly, and be safe.