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Tigard police move to temporary office


Prisoner tampers with sprinkler head in cell, floods station

Tigard Police Chief Alan Orr and several other members of the police department’s administration will have to move to temporary offices this week as renovations begin after a man in a holding cell pulled a sprinkler head, flooding the police station more than a month ago.

Police said Sean Schur, 24, and an associate were arrested Sept. 14 for first-degree theft. Schur was placed in a small, temporary holding cell in the police department before he could be moved to the Washington County Jail.

SchurWhile in the holding cell that afternoon, Schur allegedly pulled on a sprinkler head in the ceiling, activating the cell’s sprinkler system. Water sprayed, and the building’s fire alarm sounded.

As officers worked to evacuate the building and safely remove the individuals from the holding cells, water poured into the holding cell and out into a larger processing room, flooding the room and into adjoining corridors near the holding cells and administrative offices.

The sprinkler head was also badly damaged.

“He pulled on it, almost to the point of breakage,” said Jim Wolf, a spokesman for the police department who was at his desk when water began to pour in. “That activated it, and — with much intensity and volume — caused a large amount of water to spill out from that small holding cell that moved very quickly across the concrete floors and out into the adjoining hallways. Those are carpeted.”

In total, about an inch of water flooded the corridors. A water line is clearly visible in portions of the police station.

“Most of the flooding was centered, fortunately, around the holding facility,” Wolf said.

Schur was charged with first-degree criminal mischief in the incident, a class C felony.

This was not an accident, Wolf said. Schur would have needed to stand on a bench in the cell in order to reach the ceiling to access the sprinkler.

A crew from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Station 51, located less than a block away on Southwest Burnham Street, quickly responded and was able to remove much of the water.

“They were instrumental in minimalising the damage,” Wolf said.

Little work is needed in the station’s holding area, which is mostly made of concrete, Wolf said.

The department said the cells received minimal damage, and the station continues to house its prisoners in them, however several administrative offices will be vacated for several weeks while crews replace the flooring and carpeting.

The effected staff will move to other areas of the department, or into nearby police portables behind City Hall.

City of Tigard officials estimate that replacing the carpet and fixing the damage will likely cost more than $30,000. The work will be covered by the city’s insurance policy and won’t come out of the city’s general fund.

Wolf called the move a “mild inconvenience” for the law enforcement team. The disruption will not impact officers or their response to emergencies.

“Things are still functioning over here,” Wolf said.