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City's police department reports lower arrests, fewer calls for help on summer holiday than previous years

Despite a larger array of community events in St. Helens leading up to the Fourth of July holiday this year, police say crime

was lower than previous years.

"Relative to previous Independence Day celebrations, the St. Helens Police Department was fairly quiet," St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss reported Wednesday. He suspects the fact that the holiday fell midweek had a lot to do with that.

This year, St. Helens hosted tailgating events including live music, a community art project and a fireworks show Tuesday evening over Columbia View Park.

Starting Thursday evening, teens and families poured into the Columbia County Courthouse plaza and into Columbia View Park, where the first night of Helapalooza, a five-night concert series, kicked off.

From Monday, July 3, to early Wednesday, July 5, the St. Helens Police Department reported 13 fireworks complaints, one arrest for unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a domestic violence disturbance call and a theft from the St. Helens Walmart store.

"No crashes or burglaries," Moss noted.

The SHPD was prepared, nonetheless, for an increase in call volumes during the holiday.

"We had our graveyard shift officers come in early to allow for some overlapping shift coverage," Moss stated in an email. "We also relied on our [Community Emergency Response Team] volunteers to do some of the traffic control for us."

Moss said very few people camped on Sand Island, in contrast with previous years, which helped quell enforcement needs.

"We had beautiful weather, a good sized crowd and some great music," Moss added. "But overall, it was one of the more quiet 4th of Julys that we've seen."

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