Feb 26, 2014 1:16 AM
It was standing room only as residents of Shasta and Tehama Counties came to the Cottonwood Community Center Tuesday night. The sheriffs of both counties hosted a town hall meeting in order to answer questions and connect with the community. "We can listen to constituents. Listen to problems. Respond to them in an efficient way and it's better to come out to their home territory than for them to come to us. I think people are more comfortable opening up and talking about real issues that affect them in these types of settings," explained Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt.
One of the main concerns people had were the amount of thefts going on in their neighborhoods. Officials told residents to be proactive and told them not to give up. Law enforcement said to install extra lighting, trim back bushes, and to make sure homes and businesses are locked and secured. "Try to make your place unattractive to thieves. That way you're not a victim and they'll move on to someone else," said Hencratt.
Another hot topic during the night was AB109, the prison realignment law that allows early release for inmates. "We've had to implement programs for our inmates who aren't the worst of the worst. So they're not in jail. We have electronic monitoring and we have work programs going. We’re trying to account for as much of these people's time during their day as we can when they're under our jurisdiction," explained Hencratt.
The sheriffs want residents to know that no matter what the crime or circumstances, they can always give them a call. "Don't be discouraged and don't stop calling us because we still need to know when people are stealing your property. Just because you think our resources are tight or the jail is overcrowded, keep calling so we can try to continue to solve the problem," said Hencratt.
Sheriff Hencratt said they can't be the fix all for everything but with the support and help from the community, they can make a difference.