Dec 17, 2014 8:04 PM
The Anderson Police Department swore in three new members to its force at Tuesday night's city council meeting.
This after a sales tax measure to fund police efforts passed in June, but the police department won't be able to reap the benefits until 2015.
Lt. Rocky Harpham says 2015 is going to be a year of change -- beefing up street presence and providing more targeted policing will be the main focus.
"Beau", a furry, energetic nine-month-old canine, is the latest addition of the crime-fighting family and the second police dog to join the Anderson Police Department.
"Beau will be a dual-purpose dog, which is both narcotics and he's going to be doing handler protection and apprehension."
The police department also welcomed two men in blue who are no strangers to city of Anderson.
"Chris Chimenti has been a resident deputy up in Lassen County, and he comes to us with a little over a year experience...Robert Richardson has been working up at Weed PD for the last year, year-and-a-half..."
They are the first to be added to the police force in years, bringing the total number of full-time sworn officers to 18.
Lt. Harpham says the police department had a full staff of 22 officers between 2006 and 2008 before the economy dipped.
"We had no officers on special units including the drug task force or anything along those lines...and we ran minimum staffing at all times."
Harpham says crime in Anderson is a never-ending battle.
"There's always drug cases, there's always property crime, homelessness..."
He says next year the department plans to add a part-time "problem-oriented" policing unit and assign an officer to the drug task force.
"That's one of the main key factors, is having a more visible deterrent because we've got more bodies on the street."
Anderson's sales tax rate jumped by half-a-cent after the measure passed.
The increase is expected to generate one million dollars annually, and 50-percent of that share will automatically go to the police department.
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