" Being short a police officer position is obviously creating a work load issue for us" stated Chief Paul Nanfito for the Red Bluff Police Department. Unfortunately, it's a workload that could have been avoided. The Red Bluff Police Department was supposed to receive a grant for 261,000 dollars last year. Along with them, 34 other agencies including the Trinity County Sheriff's Department were waiting for their grant money too. An accounting error at the U.S. Department of Justice sent all that money to 45 other departments that shouldn't have received funds.
" We were disappointed naturally because we are four police officer positions down right now and that grant award last year would have reduced that to three" Nanfito said. The grants are part of President Obama's " Recovery Hiring Program" which awards funds to law enforcement agencies that are short staffed and need more officers. Red Bluff has been operating on an extremely tight budget and has even created a website where people can report petty thefts and vandalisms. In doing so, it limits the involvement of an officer. The department has also recently re-applied for the grant.
Chief Nanfito says if his department does not receive the grant once again, both the budget and officers could be affected. The Department of Justice says that those who missed out last time will be on the top of the list when the next allocations are made. " I'm very confident that we will receive the grant, but it's by no means assured" Nanfito explained.
Several local departments who received money they did not initially have coming to them include the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department who was granted 615,000 dollars along with the Willows Police Department who received 255,000 dollars. All 45 agencies who received the money are allowed to keep it for their departments. Red Bluff will know by October whether or not they will receive funding by the end of the year.