Residents demand for larger police force
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Jun 20, 2013 | 3927 views | 3 3 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson residents answered the call to attend a special public safety meeting on Monday June 17 shortly after undergoing kidnappings, shootings and distressing calls over the weekend. More than 20 residents attended and though they all had many different opinions on how to help local law enforcement, they made one universal request known — they wanted more cops on the street.

The staffing levels have remained largely the same over the last 15 years — two deputies in the city for every night and day shift, said Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes.

Hughes also states there is a third K-9 unit patrolling the city in the afternoon and evenings during the weekend when crimes are most likely to occur.

City manager Rod Butler — while not able to give specifics, due to ongoing negotiations — said the city is looking to target extra deputies for times when crime is on the upswing. The city of Patterson is currently in negotiations with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department to renew a contract for police services. A five-year contract is currently set to expire June 30, however, the sheriff’s department and city of Patterson have agreed to extend the service contract through September to finish their current negotiations.

More than 20 residents attended the forum Monday evening, airing their concerns over rising property crime rates and police response times in the city.

“How do we acquire more of a police presence in the community?” Patterson resident Arnold Regalado asked early in the forum.

The city’s economic growth and transformation over the last five to seven years requires more police officers, he said.

Councilman Larry Buehner agreed that the city needed more cops.

“We need at least a couple more police,” he said. “We need more help.”

Unfortunately for the city, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is unable to recruit more police due to cuts made in the police forces’ salary and benefits, Hughes said. Other police agencies in the state pay more and have better benefits, which attract potential police force away from our local area, she said.

Patterson High School Principal Dave Stubbs said the issue of more police comes down to money.

“Right now, we have to do with what we have,” Stubbs said. “You can go anywhere in this valley or in California and they’re having the same discussion.”

Mayor Luis Molina said part of the problem is building a sound relationship. Building better relationships with neighbors could help with curbing the amount of crime, Molina said. People don’t know their neighbors as well as they once did. As a result, communication doesn’t occur, he said.

“We need to make an effort to engage our neighbors,” he said.

Toney Henry, vice principal of Creekside Middle School, said she had a recent run-in with gang members affiliated with the Norteno street gang.

She said she observed youth smoking and drinking in her neighborhood at 8 a.m. Because she knew them by name she called them over and told them to cease drinking and smoking publicly in her neighborhood. She said they stopped, respectfully.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said to the crowd.

Councilwoman Sheree Lustgarten reinforced the idea of knowing surrounding neighbors.

“Throw a neighborhood barbecue on National Night Out,” she said, noting the day for people to celebrate and get to know their neighbors is Aug. 6. “We need to build relationships.”



Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
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PattersonPride
|
June 20, 2013
Mayor Molina is right. We need to get to know our neihgbors. More often then not, joined neighbors are a better deterrent then the police are when it comes to stopping crime. Sacramento neighbors joined together and started using a new App called: "Next Door". Google/Bing it and start using it. Tell all your neighbors, let's take our city back from the criminal element in Patterson before it's too late!

Read more: Patterson Irrigator - Residents demand for larger police force
PattersonPride
|
June 20, 2013
Mayor Molina is right. We need to get to now our neihgbors. More often then not, joined neighbors are a better deterrent then the police are when it comes to stopping crime. Sacramento neighbors joined together and started using a new App called: "Next Door". Google/Bing it and start using it. Tell all your neighbors, let's take our city back from the criminal element in Patterson before it's too late!
alkohauliq
|
June 20, 2013
I agree we do need more officers , but when I say that I mean new ones all together . A few of them which I wont say by name our extremely prejudice and unkind . If your a latino or die hard 49er fan wearing any red your pulled over or pulled aside and accused of being in a gang . Ive even been pulled over and I quote "just to see who was driving this car" my car was brand new off the lot at the time with my mother in the car. That needs to stop and I feel new officers and a fresh start would be better for citizen relations in the city. Living here 20 years I only see things getting worse .


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