Jul 31, 2014 7:53 PM
A giant crowd turned up at Sequoia Middle School in Redding for Chief Paoletti's town hall meeting to address crime.
The attendance number exceeded the capacity of the auditorium, and many had to be turned away.
Citizens who attended Chief Paoletti's meeting are looking for a solution to slash the number of property and drug crimes surrounding them.
The crowd was all cheers tonight -- ready to take back the town they once knew.
Getting there won't be easy, but people of the Redding community know where they'd like law enforcement to start.
"I'm concerned for our community...all these AB 109 parolees are getting shipped into our area and the transients as well...it's not the place i grew up and I wanna see it go back to that way."
It's not all black and white, according to the law enforcement panel which joined in on Chief Paoletti's meeting.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of Northern California saw a $400 million cut in their budget -- most people believe AB 109 allows prisoners to be released -- but it's actually the overcrowding due to the budget..that some 400 prisoners are now on the streets of Redding.
During tonight's meeting, Chief Paoletti said much of Redding's crime boils down to two things -- the police department being understaffed -- and jails not having room for any more offenders.
"As a citizen taxpayer I'd like to see someone propose a one-cent tax that would go specifically for public safety..."
Mayor Rick Bosetti has already introduced the idea of a half-a-cent sales tax that could bring an extra $10 million to the Redding Police Department.
The big question is: Even if the police department could hire back the 22 officers they lost to budget constraints, where will they place them if the jail is already at capacity?
"This is the beginning that we have this conversation as a community because to take responsibility as a community together we can begin to find a solution..."
Chief Paoletti emphasized community involvement as one of his new strategies to tackle crime.
The police department's traffic unit will now do bike patrol twice a week in downtown and hilltop drive areas -- the chief also mentioned the possibility of adding volunteer patrol.
2 days ago