By Jill Richardson
Kuna Melba News reporter
Canyon County Deputy Sheriff Travis Lowber reported that the actual generated calls for crimes, personal and property crimes, has decreased over the past few years.
“I think that is probably a testimony to the sheriff’s office involvement in the community,” said Lowber at the Melba City Council meeting on Sept 10.
Lowber reported that over half of the calls in the Melba area, in August, were considered community policing and were generated from the public with requests for welfare checks on people and animals, citizen assistance such as someone needing assistance with questions or legal process, VIN inspections, or suspicious circumstances.
Another large portion of the community policing involves officer initiated calls.
“These calls are generated by officers at businesses, homes and things just to check in and be seen. Just to make sure all is going good,” said Lowber.
Of the remaining August calls, about 22 percent were related to animal control, traffic offenses, public offences such as disturbances, and property and person crimes.
Lowber mentioned that he has received comments from residents that said they would have called about issues but decided against it because they thought the deputies would be too far away.
Lowber encourages residents to make the call, often he or other deputies are in Melba or the immediate area.
At the same council meeting, Canyon County Chief Criminal Deputy Kieran Donahue presented a proposal for contract services within Melba city limits.
The contract will allow for no less coverage from the sheriff’s office as the area is currently getting but will spell out for the city more of the responsibilities of the sheriff’s office.
One concern from the council was regarding code enforcement for city codes.
“I don’t think anybody is displeased with the service we are getting, if fact we are happy. One of the areas is code enforcement. We have a little bit of trouble serving people on code enforcement,” said council member Parkie Stapleton.
“I think a big piece of this is moving more too a little more formal ability to enforce city code. That’s the code enforcement mentioned but really any kind of infraction sort of approach,” said city attorney Matthew Johnson. “Which right now there is not really anything clear about the responsibilities of the sheriff’s office. I think that is the driving piece.”
“I think part of what this meeting is for is to find out what those needs are. We have a pretty good handle on it through Deputy Lowber’s efforts and others that work down here,” said Donahue. “I want to make it clear that we will continue to do what we do in Melba and in our area down here because it’s important, first off, and we can structure it. We have a lot of latitude to structure it.”
Discussions will continue in the following months regarding the contract between the City of Melba and Canyon County Sheriff’s office.
In other business, Planning and Zoning’s recommendation of the annexation of Stokes Lane and a portion of Randolph Avenue received a public hearing date set for Oct. 8.
Beautification Committee has committed to purchasing four new benches for the amount of $500.
Two of the benches will be placed at city hall and two will go to the rose garden.
Camille Sturges was approved her request to use the front outside area of City Hall, pending a facility use agreement submitted, on Saturday mornings to distribute Bountiful Baskets through the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op.
Rogers, from the public works department, initiated the installation of a crosswalk at Randoph Avenue and 5th Street to assist in the increasing amount of children crossing there after school.