The Tillamook County Emergency Manager, Lt. Gordon McCraw has been working with Sheriff Andy Long in preparation and planning for Monday’s Eclipse for over a month. Lt. McCraw, who is also a Lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office said, “The sheriff and I have been meeting frequently with other staff members to plan the best public safety strategy in the months leading up to the Eclipse.” He said that some of the meetings have included other First Response Agencies including other City Police Departments, Fire Districts, and the Ambulance service.
Lt. Gordon McCraw
Tillamook Co. Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Long said, “The Patrol Division will be focused on public safety concerns such as in progress emergencies and the expected high traffic movement through the event areas.” There will be extra officers on patrol as well as the Forest and Marine Officers and using overtime, there will be 24 hour coverage starting Sunday through Monday. Part-time officers would be monitoring Cape Kiwanda and the Sandlake areas.
Sheriff Long said because of the expected increased load, the number of officers available, and the traffic concerns, all non-emergency calls would be evaluated and would likely have a delayed response, depending on resources available, emergency calls always receive top priority. Even with the extended hours and the extra manpower, the volume of calls alone combined with the travel issues will likely lengthen all response times, including emergency calls.
Lt. McCraw advised that he would be monitoring conditions this weekend and he, with the County’s Incident Command Team, would be activating early Monday morning from 911. The Sheriff’s Office Command and Communication Trailer has been placed in Pacific City and the Sheriff will be the Operations leader on scene in that area.
Lt. McCraw said, “If the clouds do not cooperate, and right now it’s a 50-50 chance, conditions may not be as bad as expected, but we always plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”