When I first was seated on council, my stated priority was to increase uniformed presence. Along with my colleagues, we increased our sworn officer force by twenty. At the same time, we supported increased community policing, implicit bias training and de-escalation training that allows our officers to protect and serve our community in the manner we expect. In addition, I initiated what is now known as the “Ambassadors”, which are non-sworn personnel who provide an extra uniformed presence and act as a multiplier for our regular police patrols. The expansion of this non-sworn presence bolsters our commitment to community policing and customer service.
Our Fire Department provides excellent safety and medical response throughout our many stations in the city. Our recent Thomas Fire, Debris Flow and Loma Fire revealed the true quality of our public safety personnel, and serving in the Emergency Operations Center and watching these men and women perform was humbling and gratifying. Climate change has made public safety’s mission even more critical and omnipresent.
Our Mayor and council have not been supportive of public safety and constantly debate peeling away funding to satisfy a passionate anti-police movement. Not only is that logic horribly flawed, it is a violation of the precept of their highest and promised civic priority, which is public safety. Well-staffed and well-equipped public safety departments cannot be compromised.