Salem Police Dept.
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News Releases
Outside the Salem District BLM Office
Outside the Salem District BLM Office
Salem Police SWAT arrests burglar at BLM office (Photo) - 10/19/18

Salem, OR, October 19, 2018 -- Today at approximately 3:26 a.m., the Salem Police Department responded to a commercial burglary alarm at the Salem District Office of the Bureau of Land Management located in the 1700 block of Fabry Rd SE.  Arriving officers saw a person on the roof and quickly surrounded the location. Eventually, BLM employees arrived and let officers into the building.

Once inside the building, more resources were needed to safely clear the building and locate the suspect due to the building’s size and complexity. Salem Police SWAT was called away from a scheduled training day to provide search support.  Additionally, two Salem Police K-9 officers were also called to assist.

While searching the building, a police K-9 alerted to a HVAC access room. SWAT officers entered the room and spotted the suspect, Charles McWilliams age 54 of Salem, hiding approximately 15 feet down a ventilation access shaft. With assistance, McWilliams was able to climb out of the access shaft and was taken into custody. He was transported to the Salem Police Department to be interviewed by detectives.

With the help of the Salem Fire Department Heavy Rescue Team, officers were lowered into the access shaft to look for evidence and ensure McWilliams did not have an accomplice hiding in the area.

The investigation was coordinated with BLM officials.

McWilliams was booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility for Burglary II.     


For media outlets: B-roll of the incident is available on the Salem Police Department YouTube Channel, 

Salem Police to host drug take back site (Photo) - 10/16/18

Salem, OR, October 16, 2018 -- The Salem Police Department is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration for the biannual Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Peace Plaza on the city hall campus (500 block of Commercial ST SE).

Public information officer Lieutenant Treven Upkes shared, “We’re pleased to host a drop location for residents to get rid of expired, unused or unwanted prescription meds.”

“These events give residents a chance to clean out their cabinets and drawers of meds which may be expired or are no longer used,” explained Upkes. By securely storing and disposing of no longer needed prescriptions, accidental poisonings can be prevented and drug abuse deterred.

Officers will accept unused or unwanted prescription drugs (including veterinary meds), over-the-counter medicine, and any unknown tablets and capsules. All medications should remain in their original containers, if possible.

Items which will not be accepted at collection sites include:

  • Needles and syringes
  • Thermometers
  • Medical waste of any type
  • Non-medical over-the-counter products
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Bath or hygiene products
  • Leaking liquid containers
  • Insect repellent

Additionally, medications from pharmacies, assisted living facilities, and medical clinics or facilities cannot be accepted.

For a list of year-round prescription disposal boxes provided by local law enforcement agencies, visit the Marion County Health Department website at The Marion County Health Department, a public safety partner, has ample information on drug and substance abuse prevention and available resources for adults, teens, and families.


Unloaded Handgun Located on Campus of McKay High School - 10/10/18

Today, October 10, 2018 at approximately 3:30PM Salem Police were called to the campus of McKay High School after two students, located an unloaded handgun just off the sidewalk, on the school campus, in the grass, approximately 100 yards east of Lancaster Drive NE.  The unloaded handgun was not located in any of the school's buildings.  The two students who located the handgun, immediately notified school campus safety personnel, who in turn contacted the Salem Police Department immediately.  An officer responded to the scene, was there in less than five minutes, and seized the unloaded handgun.  A follow-up investigation will be conducted to try and determine who owns the handgun and how it got on campus.  The preliminary investigation has determined the unloaded handgun does not appear to be connected to any recent incidents in the area.

Lt. Michael Bennett, of the Salem Police Department was quoted as saying, "The fact these two students, who located the unloaded handgun and immediately took steps to ensure it was safely in the custody of authorities, are really true heroes.  Acts like this are overlooked every day, but sincere credit needs to be given to these kids.  We truly believe courageous acts like this are a direct result of the continued efforts and partnerships between the parents, school district, student body, law enforcement, and the entire community in an effort to keep our schools safe."  ###


Crash Involving Turned Trailer Temporarily Blocks Traffic in the 4500 Block Commercial St. SE (Photo) - 10/08/18

On October 8th 2018 at approximately 4:28PM Salem Police responded to the 4500 block of Commercial Street SE on a report of a crash involving two vehicles, one of which was pulling a small open box style trailer.  When officers arrived they found both northbound lanes of Commercial Street SE were blocked.  No injueries were reported.  Officers worked quickly to open one lane for northbound travel.  The cause of the crash is still under investigation.  The crash involved a white 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe, which was towing an orange open style box trailer and a red 2014 Ford Fusion.  The preliminary investigation indicated the driver of the Ford Fusion was exiting the Winco parking lot turning north into the special left turn lane.  At the same time, the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling northbound on Commercial Street SE and began to merge into the special left turn lane as well.  Both drivers are cooperating with the investigation and it is unknown whether citations will be issued.  A tow truck is in route to remove the trailer from the roadway and both lanes are expected to be open very soon.  ###   

Single Vehicle Rollover 36th Avenue SE - 10/05/18

On October 5th 2018 at approximately 4:45PM Salem Police Patrol Officers responded to a report of a single vehicle rollover, which occurred on 36th Avenue SE just south of Kuebler Boulevard SE.  Through the investigation and witness accounts at the scene, it appears speed and weather conditions contributed to the accident.  The vehicle was a 2009 Dodge Charger, that once it left the roadway, proceeded to roll at leas twice and ended up coming to rest on its roof.  A passenger was transported to Salem Hospital with what was reported to be minor injuries.  36th Avenue SE was closed for a short period of time, but is now open.  Officers are on scene and the investigation is continuing.  The driver remained on scene and is cooperating in the investigation.  Citations will be issued.    

Salem Police respond to suicidal man call. - 10/02/18

On October 2, 2018, at approximately 5:00 pm, Salem Police officers were dispatched to the area of 500 Church St NE on a report of a suicidal male. When officers arrived, they located a male who had already injured himself. Despite officers’ efforts to deescalate the situation, the male continued to harm himself. Eventually, officers using a Taser were able to subdue him and render first aid.

The male was transported to Salem Health for treatment. Due to the unusual circumstances of the incident and severity of the male’s self-inflicted injuries the Oregon State Police were called to assist in the investigation.  

The male has not yet been positively identified and there is no update on his condition. More information will be released when it becomes available.    

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Fatal Crash on Salem Parkway Involving Motorcyclist - 10/02/18

On October 1st 2018 at approximately 11:17PM Cody Alan Daniel Ellis, age 22, of Stayton, Oregon was riding a motorcycle southbound on Salem Parkway south of Cherry Ave NE, when he lost control of his motorcycle, was thrown from the motorcycle, and pronounced deceased at the scene.  Through investigation, it appears Cody was unable to negotiate a curve in the roadway, lost control, and struck the raised concrete curb.  Cody was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.  The Salem Police Traffic Control Team was called out to conduct the investigation.  Salem Parkway was closed in both directions for approximately three and a half hours.     

Salem Police Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety Campaign - September Results - 09/24/18

The Salem Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a vehicle-pedestrian safety campaign on September 14th, 2018. The goal of these safety campaigns is to enhance safety in our community through education to both pedestrians and vehicle operators. Locations are chosen based on crash and complaint data received by the department.

During the campaign, 68 drivers were contacted for pedestrian-related violations, with the majority receiving education and warnings. There were 22 citations/warnings issued for other violations and one cite and release arrest was made.

The locations designated for this campaign were Summer Street NE at Hood Street NE and Commercial Street NE and Columbia Street NE. These location was selected due to complaints of pedestrians nearly being struck by vehicles near the Boys and Girls Club and Highland Elementary School. Although Oregon law states that every intersection should be considered to have a crosswalk whether marked or not, officers chose to focus on education of drivers found to be in violation at marked crosswalk locations.

The Salem Police Department will also be working with the Public Works Department to address engineering improvements which may help increase crosswalk visibility/safety at the above intersections, and will also continue to work on education and enforcement projects to enhance traffic safety.

This safety campaign is in partnership with Oregon Impact, ODOT and NHTSA in order to address pedestrian and crosswalk safety through education and enforcement.