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Chief Ernie Roberts, City Manager Kim Yamashita thank police officers, community

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - City Manager Kim Yamashita attributes much of why the city earned its spot as fifth safest city in Oregon to the men and women who serve with the Sandy Police Department. Containing just more than 10,000 people, the city of Sandy ranks fifth on a list of the safest cities in Oregon, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

The council ranks cities based on their population and the number of violent crimes and property in the latest statistical year. The four cities that ranked around the self-proclaimed "gateway to Mount Hood" have larger populations, ranging from 17,000 to 97,000 people.

Canby, with 17,395 people, came in first.

"I am proud of all the hard work that has been done over the last several years to make this achievement possible," City Manager Kim Yamashita said in an email to The Post. "The men and women of the Sandy Police Department deserve a lot of credit for this accomplishment."

"I attribute it to my officers working hard, and I attribute it to the public," Sandy Police Chief Ernie Roberts added. "My officers live here to. They're invested. They want to raise their families in a safe community. The people that live here are fortunate to have the officers that work here."

Roberts admitted it has been an uphill battle maintaining the peace as the Sandy population booms. And it's no secret the department has had to do so with a staffing shortage.

"It's been difficult because we need more officers," Roberts said.

More officers, of course, cost money. In an effort to meet the ever-rising population head-on, Roberts noted he's been meeting with Yamashita to come up with solutions to combat a parallel rise in crime.

"We know the growth that's coming," he explained. "We know how many people we need, and we are working toward that. … You have to really work hard and be consistent, and we rely on the people who live here to help us."

Roberts and Yamashita thanked the community for helping the police in past and present efforts to make Sandy a safe community to live in.

"(Citizens) and organizations in this community are responsible too," Yamashita added. "Without them and our relationships and our partnerships we could not have gotten here. For examples all you have to do is look at the partnerships such as the one the city has with the Oregon Trail School District to keep kids safe, businesses like Clackamas Community Bank, that have taken proactive approaches to keeping their employees and facilities safe, and neighborhood groups that have helped by being extra eyes and ears out there in the community. This distinction is truly one that the entire community earned and for which they can be proud."

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