Quality-of-life should be a non-negotiable.
Increased property crimes
Although violent crime rates have dropped, there has been a significant increase in property crimes in our city. This problem continues to directly affect homeowners and businesses, creating unease in our community and affecting our quality of life. Of serious concern are both the increased number of early released offenders due to AB 109, and the loss of leverage for law enforcement to get offenders into substance abuse treatment due to the passage of Proposition 47. We have inadequate pre-sentencing jail space, which has resulted in an 80% failure to appear to court rate, and strained an already overburdened police department. Compounding this issue, the recession has hit Redding harder than other communities, resulting in decreased revenue to pay for an adequate number of officers. Redding is just now coming out of the recession, but our current staffing levels, particularly community service officers is inadequate for our population.
The City of Redding spends 36.7% of its budget on police and 26.3% of its budget on fire, for a total of 63% on public safety. We need a bigger revenue stream to increase funding for both the police and fire departments.
Grow the police force.
Both residents and business owners deserve to live and work in a safe environment, where people who commit crimes face consequences and are not allowed to continue destructive behaviors. I support efforts being made to increase the number of police officers, particularly community service officers on our streets.
Pursue justice solutions that gets to the root of the issues.
Expand the jail space to increase court appearances
I support working with the county to fund the renovation of the annex on Breslauer Way to provide pre-sentence jail space. We also need to increase the number of offenders to probation for pre-sentence monitoring. Currently, 80% of offenders do not appear in court. This cycle of catch and release with no consequences has to stop.
Pursue RESTORATIVE JUSTICE SOLUTIONS
I support the efforts of the Probation Department's ARC (Adult Rehabilitation Center) cognitive based program that requires a high level of compliance and monitoring, offering substance abuse treatment, vocational training, and GED certification. This program is very successful in restoring offenders back into the community with low recidivism rates. Our community is suffering from both a lack of jail space and under-utilized rehabilitation programs. When we send people to state prison, we lose funding for rehabilitation. The state has limited jail space available and prisoners are released back to us more hardened and disconnected from the community. To break this cycle we need to focus our efforts on rehabilitation, ultimately a cheaper and more successful solution.
MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT CENTERS
Realizing that people suffering from substance abuse and untreated mental health disorders commit a proportionately higher level of crime, I support looking for ways to increase much needed mental health and substance abuse treatment centers in our community. Communities like San Antonio have created strategic community plans for mental health and have significantly reduced crime, homelessness, and ER usage, with an estimated savings of $10 million annually.
One way or another we pay for crime. Let's make sure we pay for something that works.
Work with local organizations already making an impact.
STAND UP REDDING
Stand Up Redding is a neighborhood action group that is reducing crime. We all can take an active part in keeping our neighborhoods safe. Go to: reddingcrimewatch.com.
MERCHANTS CRIME WATCH
This organization is working to educate the public on the ongoing and changing tactics of criminal activity to help us prevent crime at home and our business. Go to: reddingcrimewatch.com/business for more info!
Grow the fire department force.
Our fire department has eighty employees, eight fire stations, and twenty-five fire engines, half of which are older than twenty years. The fire departments responded to 12,456 calls in 2014 (average of 34 calls per day); the vast majority of which were non-fire related emergency calls. I support the efforts to increase funding for seven staffing positions to bring us into alignment and industry standards.