Redding police chief proposes neighborhood policing unit

Mar 17, 2015 7:46 PM by Charlene Cheng

How Redding evaluates the police department's performance is relatively simple.

It's based on two main metrics, crime rates and response times, both of which are on the increase.

"What you see is the calls for service. So they've gone from roughly 83,000 in 2011 to 94,022 last year. And there's that response time, from roughly nine minutes to 16 minutes," Chief Paoletti said.

Since he took the helm in 2011, the size of the department has stayed the same.

98 sworn officers for 60 square miles, and a daytime population of over 100,000.

Some shifts have been cut down to as little as seven officers responding to calls.

"I think it should be double per shift, but you're talking about 100 officers in patrol and an increase of 50, so where's that money come from?" Chief Paoletti asked.

He's asking the city council to dig deep into reserve funding, meant for emergency needs.

Specifically, $1.2 million to fund four additional officers to create a neighborhood policing unit.

"So you pinpoint and you have them focus their efforts to try to decrease those calls for service and decrease those calls for service for patrol officers," Chief Paoletti said.

When faced with budget cuts, the department was forced to dismantle community programs and proactive units, laying off both sworn and non-sworn officers.

"Investigations used to be 22 officers, it's now nine. We've cut traffic in half, we only have two guys on motorcycles instead of four. We're cut to the bone and there's nowhere left to cut," Chief Paoletti added.

He warns that a failure to grow will only result in driving the metrics up even higher.

"We've already stopped responding to non-injury traffic matters because they've basically civil matters. That's 1,800 calls for service that we're not going to respond to anymore. Is that good customer service to the community? No it isn't. But is it a necessity? Yes it is," he said.


Most Popular