Police increase effort to curb crime, violence in Chico

Jan 26, 2016 12:30 PM by News Staff

In an effort to get a better handle on student parties and other gatherings that just get too big in the south campus area the university police are teaming up with the Chico Police Department to sign a public safety agreement.

Dozens of city leaders and downtown business owners were on hand Monday to witness the signing of the historic document.

City leaders said the agreement doesn't just effect students. For police, the south campus had been a problem area for quite some time. Now that University Police will be aiding in responding to calls, Chico officers can focus more of their resources on the rest of the city.

Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien said the last several years has brought a shift in attitudes and the way police need to enforce laws.

“It went from simply kids having fun to a violent culture,” he said. “Something needed to change.”

Chico's party culture, while it may not be coming to an end, tamer days are in store.

University Police and Chico Police are forming a united front in tackling issues near Chico State, by signing a joint public safety agreement that will better outline how the two units will work together.

“If were able to create a safer campus environment that means we can move resources to the rest of the city that may not be covered,” O’Brien said.

The main tenet of the agreement is that now, University Police officers will be able to respond to off-campus disturbances.

University Police Chief John Feeney said not only will reports be shared between both departments, the mutual aid will lessen the impact on city resources.

“It’s about changing behavior not about getting people in trouble and get people kicked out of school,” he said. “Go have fun and not cause problems for the rest of the city or your neighbors.”

Over the last year... the city has enacted stricture rules aimed at changing the south campus area, including an unruly gathering ordinance.

The new ordinances are a strong message to our students that there’s a responsibility on their behalf to be good citizens of the city of Chico while they are here in Chico, the chiefs said. It's not just about holding students accountable for their actions... it's about improving public safety

Chico Mayor Mark Sorensen said the areas of the city primarily inhabited by students account in large part to the emergency city’s calls

“This area were talking about north campus and south campus accounts for 60% of assaults in the entire city of chico,” he said. “That’s ridiculous and unacceptable.”

In addition to violent crime, the police forces said break-ins and vandalism are on the rise.

“We expect to see University Police Department be a much more effective partner in helping,”

Both chiefs said as far as student’s academic careers go, if cited they say that will be subject to a student judiciary committee.


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