Chico Police Hustle to Address Crime with Minimal Staffing

Part of the solution has to be help in reporting from the community, according to the Chief of Police.

Posted: Apr 12, 2018 3:46 AM
Updated: Apr 12, 2018 10:28 AM

Chico Calif.-- It has been a busy week for the Chico Police Patrol Division and the deparment is facing several challenges in order to stay on top of it all.

Police were called out Tuesday morning to a home near Neal Dow and and East 1st Avenue to a domestic dispute that ended in an arrest - and that was after recovering a stolen vehicle at 7th and Mangrove just hours before - and a high speed car chase just a few hours before that.

When it comes to overnight staffing at Chico PD, there's always 1 sergeant and perhaps 6 or 7 officers on duty covering the entire city.

Chief Mike O'Brien says sometimes those resources are enough and sometimes it's not.

In fact, Tuesday the department turned to the sheriff's office for backup.

To address the staffing challenge, Chief O'Brien has a number of plans in the works.

"I look at the big picture - we try to shift resources according to where calls for where and when calls for service are coming in and we're going to shift resources accordingly and we do that all the time, we're going to shift a patrol team in the next couple of weeks to deal with violent crime, they're going to be really focused on productivity for about three months," said O'Brien.

O'Brien says that while the budget isn't looking to get much bigger, we as community members can be a part of the solution.

"The see-something-say-something mantra is very important - we can't be everywhere at once. When the community sees something that is remiss, we want them to call us, not take an action that puts them in jeopardy, but call us so we can go out and deal with it," said O'Brien.

Chico Police handle about 200 calls for service a day and the number of calls each year is growing by about five to ten thousand.

O'Brien says he cannot control the city budget and hire more officers than funding allows so, he has to be tactical - he is working with the police officer's association to make the most of the staffing that he does have.

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