Chief addresses safety issues

Chief Terry Clark, Salida Police Department

Greetings from the Salida Police Department. We hope everyone has enjoyed the Holiday Season so far. I know we are all thankful for the fresh snow in the mountains, hoping there will be a lot more to come over the winter.

 My message for this article is about driving and safety but with the recent tragedy in Newtown Connecticut I want to include updates on what our department is doing to help increase safety around the schools and to train/prepare for this kind of tragedy as well.

 I hope we never find ourselves in this type of crisis from Newtown Connecticut but we need to do everything possible to help prevent or minimize this type of tragedy. Our department has been training for years on the response to this type of event and continues to train but at the same time we want to take part in helping make our schools as safe as possible, in hopes of preventing this type of attack. I have assigned the on duty officers to patrol the schools, check in with school staff at random times and to be in the school zones as school starts and classes let out. We are working closely with the school officials on implementing further security measures in each of the schools. The school administration has responded quickly and is moving very quickly to close the immediate security problems.  If we as a community do everything we can possibly do to make our schools as safe as possible, it will be the right thing to do. We are all aware that sometimes this type of event cannot be prevented but we need to do all we can do.

 The second part of my article deals with alcohol related incidents. As the holidays are upon us, alcohol consumption typically goes up as well. Family get togethers, parties ,etc usually involve drinking alcohol and hopefully all goes well but the police see an increase in calls related to alcohol: domestic violence, assaults and driving under the influence cases to name a few. Stressors play a role in most of these cases such as financial problems, relationships or losses. If you know you are having difficulties such as these try to abstain from drinking but if you do drink- please do so responsibly.

 Concerning driving while intoxicated- do not do it. There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel after you have been drinking. There are a lot of alternatives to this- such as calling for a ride from a sober party. Some establishments even offer free rides home. Do the smart thing- don’t drink and drive.

 We wish all of you an enjoyable and safe holiday season. Our department appreciates your continued support and if you have any questions or concerns- please contact us at 719 539 6880.