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Bend PD adds first of two dedicated DUII/aggressive driving officers

Bend police Officer Kyle Chaquico
Bend Police Department
Bend police Officer Kyle Chaquico

Focus follows priorities from community surveys

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Over the last four years, community members have ranked traffic safety and enforcement consistently high in the bi-annual Bend Police Department survey. 

In the 2021 survey, between 70 – 90 % of community members surveyed ranked distracted driving and speeding as their highest concerns, with over 60% of the community members surveyed supporting additional enforcement efforts and adding officers to enforce driving under the influence of intoxicants crimes. (The survey will be available in its entirety in the coming weeks.)

“The goals of the Bend Police Department are aligned with the goals of our community in ensuring overall safety by enforcing dangerous driving behavior, to include DUII enforcement, speeding, and distracted driving,” said Police Chief Mike Krantz.   

In response to these needs, the Bend Police Department has created two, dedicated DUII/Aggressive Driving positions in the Traffic Unit by shifting current resources. One of the officers began last week and the second officer will start later this year.   

In 2020, BPD arrested 302 people for alcohol or drug DUII.  So far in 2021, BPD has arrested 43 people for alcohol or drug DUII. 

Officer Kyle Chaquico, the our first dedicated DUII/Aggressive Driving officer, has made four DUII arrests in his first three shifts. 

"It is not surprising that traffic safety rates so high as a priority for our community members," the police department said, "as the consequences of poor decisions of DUII, distracted driving and speeds can have lasting impacts on individuals’ lives."

"DUII enforcement saves lives," the department said. "Help us save a life by reporting someone you suspect of being an impaired driver to 911."

The consequences for the first-time conviction of driving under the influence of intoxicants is a one-year driver’s license suspension, a maximum fine of $6,250 and up to 364 days in jail.

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    1. IF there was a good bypass around this town, there would be a lot less speeding and aggressive driving on the Parkway. Or there needs to be a connecter from 97 to 20 north and south of town that the semis could use as well, take a lot of the truck traffic off of 3rd street and out of town.

    2. Knott and 27th are now essentially an E-W Parkway and one is gradually emerging with Empire in the north. Not exactly parkways, but with roundabouts instead of stoplights, a slower version.

    3. Uhh, I dont know if it’s such a good idea to have officers dedicated to driving aggressively while under the influence. But, who knows, it may keep people off the road.

  1. I hope they crack down on these morons that drive way to fast no turn signals speed in school zone They just drive way to fast on the streets & don’t pay attention & get them off the cell phones

  2. The most productive strategy for this team would be to stake out bars, and just wait for scofflaws. But, that would engender lots of pushback from bar-owners. Maybe, a floating schedule where they hit the worst offenders once a month. They probably won’t do that, though. Redmond has an embarassingly low number of DUII busts, even when they have dedicated State money, because they don’t use any intelligent strategy.

  3. First time offenders are offered the opportunity to participate in the long established diversion program.

    This agreement occurs between the DA’s Office and the offender and his/her attorney.

    All Oregon trained and certified law enforcement officers are charged to conduct DUII enforcement efforts. These individual efforts should be monitored on a monthly basis at the very least by the officer’s supervisor. Sad to say, a segment of officers simply are not comfortable conducting DUII investigations and their follow up to include court. So they either minimize their efforts to avoid such contacts entirely.

    This is at the root of the dedicated DUII officer thought process. Proof of this would be found in a real time report from an agency such as Bend PD as to the last quarter’s DUII enforcement stops/arrests on an officer by officer basis, all shifts to include overtime “special duty” opportunities like seat belt enforcement (common for DUII suspects to forget to put their seat belts on after a few drinks – so such stops can and do lead to DUII arrests).

    Bend, with its high percentage of alcohol providing businesses and events, has always been prime time for DUII issues. Hence, perhaps, the inclusion of two new and dedicated traffic team officers who specialize in such enforcement. Kudos to them – DUII investigations are detailed, time consuming, and almost always challenged by defense lawyers who specialize in such cases (at about $7000.00 average a pop these days).

    Not pointed out in the article is the extended cost whether diversion for first time offender or if second or third DUII occurs – diversion will cost the offender an easy $15,000 overall in fees, penalities, and treatment billing. Plus, if wishing/needing to continue to drive, an ETOH device mounted in the vehicle to prevent its engine from being turned on if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath…a device whose metrics are monitored by the vendor providing the device…and insurance increases.

    In Deschutes County, per this past story, “Some local sheriff’s departments recorded bigger drops. In Central Oregon, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office made 41 DUI arrests during March through May of this year, compared to 92 during the same period last year. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. William Bailey attributed the 55% decrease to business closures due to COVID-19 and people staying home.”

    Those uneducated and often highly emotional Voices who want to “defund the police” often have no idea whatsoever what the budget costs are to sustain/maintain an effective program with all it entails JUST to address traffic / driving safety. It would be nice to see 21 go back and ask Chief Krantz what his budget looks like in this area – with detailed breakdown of cost to include officer OT for court.

    Education is the key to understanding the problem, its needs, and its solutions.

    1. My assumption is that many will sign up for the diversion program and then just bug out, keep driving, keep drinking, playing the odds. I doubt there is much/any followup on non-participators. Maybe somebody can prove me wrong.

      1. Do your homework.

        Diversion is overseen by the DA Office.

        Screw up / quit Diversion and the whole weight of the original charges come down on your head.

        Violate diversion agreement (signed) and same same.

        It is swift, without mercy, and can/will cost the violator more than he/she can imagine.

  4. How about we get more people hired to clean up the homeless camps that continue to pop up everywhere? You know the ones that are so neat and tidy and not an eyesore for those of driving on 97. We are looking like Portland, Seattle and SF more and more everyday. What happened to this town? Doesn’t have anything to do with CA residents fleeing their high taxes and over regulated states and then voting the same way they did in the state they just fled.

  5. They need to add officers who ticket people who don’t know how to merge onto this fake highway, fail to signal, are texting while driving, or otherwise clueless. They also need to ticket people on bikes who are riding against traffic. Some people have no idea how dangerous that is.

  6. You’ll see more than yer fair share of “aggressive” drivers heading to Prineville every morning from Bend and Redmond as they roll down Old Powell Butte Highway on their way to poach jobs at F-Book. Self righteous entitled Union clowns who think the rest of the planet doesn’t exist- let’s see how serious Bend PD is.

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