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King City rings in New Year 2012 quietly

Monthly activity summary

The police activity in King City continues to be routine with many quality-of-life calls such as welfare checks.

The city has been fortunate not to have experienced any significant increase in criminal activity during the past month.

The New Year's holiday was orderly and without incident. To view a sample of the activities since the last edition, go to the press log section of this newspaper.

Removing valuables

Most thefts from vehicles are crimes of opportunity. During the first week of January, there were several thefts from vehicles in the city.

The property that was taken included such items as GPS units and hand-held radios.

In all cases the thief broke a car window to steal the item, which enhanced the dollar loss for the victims.

Residents should try to minimize the opportunity for theft by removing items of value when parking their vehicle for a long period of time or for the night.

Additionally, if a resident observes someone in the neighborhood or around the neighborhood apartment/condo complex who is unknown to the observer, they should call the non-emergency police number at 503 629-0111 and request an officer to check out the unknown person.

Cell phone usage law revised

To many residents, the cell phone has become their main instrument of communication with others, not only at home but when traveling in the car. The 2011 session of the Oregon Legislature revised the cell phone usage statute in House Bill 3186.

The house bill removes the exception for using a cell phone for individuals operating a motor vehicle in the scope of one's employment.

Several exceptions remain, such as use in agricultural activities and the operation of emergency vehicles. The prohibition includes texting as well as standard voice use.

People may use their phone if they have a hands-free device.

The best rule of thumb is if you need to use your phone and you are in your car, pull over or go to the nearest parking lot, stop, make your call and then resume your travel.

The penalty for failure to use a hands-free device while using a cell phone when driving your car is a citation with a fine of $100.

Golf cart decals required

Golf cart owners who use their carts as a transportation alternative on city streets are subject to the Municipal Code.

This includes a provision that requires the owner provide to the city their golf cart information and receive a no-cost decal that is to be displayed on the golf cart.

The decal will enable the police department to identify the cart if it is stolen as well as to assist in returning the cart to the owner, thus avoiding an expensive towing fee.

Decals can be picked up at King City City Hall between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You be the judge

This is a new feature called 'You be the judge' or "You have to be kidding."

Recently in a California city, a subject was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon.

The subject used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun, but unfortunately he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.

Until next time, be good, be neighborly and be safe.

Chuck Fessler is chief of the King City Police Department and writes a monthly column about legal and other issues of general interest to readers.