The Charter News
Here at Alliance Charter Academy (ACA), we rarely hear about vandalism on the school property. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it never happens. Vandalism can happen anywhere, so it is important for the community to be aware of what happens at ACA so we can help prevent future problems.
During the snowstorms in January, the flagpole lights appeared to be stomped down, and were broken. On top of that, someone tried to break the water spigot for the community garden project. Luckily, they only managed to bend it. According to ACA’s principal, Mr. Nic Chapin, someone had previously turned the spigot on and left it overnight. While these may not seem like a big deal to some people, vandalism can affect many people.
The flagpole was an Eagle Scout Project and represents the last step to the rank of Eagle. The spigot was a part of ACA’s community garden project. Both were projects that people were involved with, and both have people who are proud of the projects. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. In 2016, the Oregon City Police responded to 284 reports of Criminal Mischief (vandalism). When asked about the recent vandalisms at ACA, Mr. Chapin responded simply with, “It’s disappointing, it really is.” To date, there is no knowledge of who is responsible for the vandalisms, and there is really no evidence to go off of.
“If we had any information, it would be useful.” says Chapin.
Unfortunately, people have different definitions of what vandalism is.
However, the law’s definition of vandalism are clear. Criminal Mischief III is defined as:
“A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the third degree if, with intent to cause substantial inconvenience to the owner or to another person, and having no right to do so nor reasonable ground to believe that the person has such right, the person tampers or interferes with property of another.”
In other words, pretty much any type of vandalism falls under it, and is a Class C misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $1,250.
The vandalism to the flagpole and the spigot would probably fall under Criminal Mischief II, which is:
(1)A person commits the crime of criminal mischief in the second degree if:
(a)The person violates ORS 164.345 (Criminal mischief in the third degree), and as a result thereof, damages property in an amount exceeding $500; or
(b)Having no right to do so nor reasonable ground to believe that the person has such right, the person intentionally damages property of another, or, the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount exceeding $500.
Criminal Mischief II is a Class A Misdemeanor and can have a maximum fine of $6,250.
Despite the law, vandalism still happens. Although we can’t change what happened, we can help prevent it in the future. The Oregon City Police Department has some tips:
“Criminal Mischief can happen at all hours of the day or night.” says Captain Shaun Davis, Oregon City Police Dept.
“The best tip is to look out for one another. Having neighbors or citizens watch one another’s property and report suspicious people unknown to the area or suspicious activities is important. Many times the police are called after the fact when we might have been able to prevent a crime or catch the individual(s) committing the crime.”
We can’t always have someone at the school, so the next best thing is for us to install lights.
“One of the easiest ways an owner can prevent criminal mischief at night is from lighting. Well-lit areas often deter those who want to damage someone else’s property because they will easily be seen and can’t hide in dark areas.”- Shaun Davis
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/164.354 Accessed Mar 18, 2017.
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/164.345 Accessed Mar 18, 2017.
https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/161.635 Accessed Mar 18, 2017.
Chapin, Nic. “Vandalism at ACA.” Personal interview. 15 Mar. 2017.
Davis, Captain Shaun. “Vandalism at ACA.” E-mail interview. 15-16 Mar. 2017.