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Jake’s Takes

President & CEO Update

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A Zero Tolerance Zone for Crime

Since the Great Recession of 2008, the Redding Police Department has been making the slow climb to restore the number of officers on the streets. According to Police Chief Bill Schueller, RPD had 119 sworn officers in 2007, covering the 61 square miles of the city. Today, the number is 105 sworn officers with seven of those positions sitting vacant, bringing the active total to just 98.

police badgeRedding City Councils over the past 12 years have remained consistent in their efforts to prioritize public safety spending from the limited general fund budget. It is the budget that once again has brought forth a potential sticking point regarding the opportunity to establish a 2nd Neighborhood Police Unit (NPU) focused on patrolling Downtown Redding and some of the Sacramento River Trail system.

Some of you may be wondering what exactly a Neighborhood Police Unit is. Here is a statement about the current and effective NPU from the City of Redding website:

“The Neighborhood Police Unit is comprised of four officers and one sergeant who are free from general calls for service to conduct proactive enforcement in order to help keep our community safe. The Neighborhood Police Unit often works with local businesses, neighborhood watch groups, and concerned residents in an effort to identify and capture individuals who negatively impact the quality of life in our community.”

The way has been paved literally and figuratively for a 2nd NPU to be focused on Downtown Redding. Not only have many of the streets in the core been repaved with new asphalt, brick pavers, and raised, pedestrian-friendly intersections, a generous landlord, and Chamber Member, has provided commercial space at no cost to the department to establish and occupy a substation within the Foundry Square on California Street. I should also mention that another Chamber Member, Chris Cable of Caliber Office Furniture, has donated thousands of dollars of furniture to the substation.
The Downtown NPU would be made up of 4 additional officers, primarily patrolling the neighborhood on bicycle and on foot, developing relationships with local businesses and a rapport with people living on the streets – connecting them with services available and, when necessary, enforcing the law. The annual cost of these positions (including salaries, benefits, and equipment) is projected to be $600,000.
We know from our Chamber-led “business walks” that our business community is in favor of equipping our local law enforcement with the resources it needs to get the job done for the citizens of Redding. We, along with the City of Redding, and many other partner organizations and investors are excited about the $300 million dollars of redevelopment taking place in the Downtown core. This transformation-in-the-making is going to enrich our community and be a source of pride and, I hope, lifts our own self esteem. People of Redding and Shasta County, you are worthy of it!
However, it is essential that among these “new, shiny things” a real and perceived sense of safety be upheld in this transformed part of Redding for those living, working, investing in, and patronizing local businesses – whether those patrons are from within our community or visiting from other parts of the state, country, or world. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
These are some of the reasons why we encourage you to join with us in letting the City Council know that we are in support of the funding of the new NPU. To contact the members of the Redding City Council, please CLICK HERE.

Shouldn’t there be places in our city that are zero tolerance zones for criminal activity?

Jake Mangas
President & CEO
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