CHICO, Calif. - Chico Chief of Police, Matt Madden, announced last week that the Chico Police Department has created a new police unit.
Now that the Chico State campus is empty, police are switching their resources and hoping to cut down violent crime.
Due to the coronavirus, the Chico Police "C Team" will no longer be patroling the south campus of Chico State. Instead, they have created what is called the "Violence Suppression Unit."
“It is hybrid unit to where there are going to be detectives, but it is going to be a hybrid and investigative and proactive unit that concentrates on violent crimes in the city such as shootings, stabbings, felony level batteries, and robberies, such as home invasion robberies," said the commander for Chico Police Department, Greg Keeney. "The hybrid approach to it is that they are going to focus on those crimes committed by organized crime groups, such as gangs.”
Keeney said that no extra money was needed to create this unit.
“There has been an increase in violent crime, especially when it comes to drive-by shootings and stabbings, so we have seen an increase in those numbers,"said Keeney. "The burden to investigate those crimes falls on our general detectives who are typically tasked with investigating sexual assaults, domestic violence cases, and things like that. We needed another unit to help them and take that burden off of them.”
People in Chico shared their thoughts about this new unit.
“I think it’s awesome that there is more police force that are available for violent crimes to be able to help, because Chico is not what it used to be, unfortunately. So it is nice that it is more hands on and more people available for anything," said Chico resident, Dani Petersen.
The proactive part of the unit will respond to violent crime calls and do their normal investigations, Keeney said.
“Additionally, they are going to go out and do these compliance checks with parole and probation to make sure to make sure that people are compliant with the terms with their probation," said Keeney. "Specifically, with those who are on parole or probation for violent crimes."
The unit started their training last Wednesday and are now out responding to calls and investigating violent crimes.