Public Safety Impacts Since Willows PD Closure

It's been nearly a year since the Glenn County Sheriff's Office took over law enforcement for the city of Willows. Here's a look at how things are going.

Posted: Jun. 15, 2018 4:19 AM
Updated: Jun. 15, 2018 9:13 AM

WILLOWS, Calif.-- July 1st will mark 1 year since the Willows Police Department closed it's doors.

Last year, Glenn County Supervisors decided to put law enforcement into the hands of the sheriff's office.

The goal was better service at a smaller cost and while there's a learning curve, many in the community say, 'So far, so good!'

"I really haven't noticed a huge impact and I think it's working quite well; it would be nice to have 2 departments, but it seems like with just one now they're responding quite well,' said resident Dan Roach.

Others worry that although public safety hasn't suffered, it’s still not great.

"I know that we still see them around, frequently, but I'm sure that they're understaffed," said resident Gary Sinlenass.

The City of Willows pays the county $1.3 million a year and all 9 former Willows Police Officers transitioned to the sheriff's office.

City Council Member Jeff Williams say residents were fast to recognize and bring to council one concerning issue - a decrease in traffic enforcement.

Seargant Brandy McDonald explained that typically, the sheriff's office contracts with the California Highway Patrol to enforce traffic safety, so they're now training to step into that role in Willows city limits

The sheriff's office is also purchasing two additional radar guns to help with traffic enforcement.

Sgt. McDonals says the new team in place, with the addition of former police officers, continues to learn from each other and work together well.

Former Police Chief Jason Dahl projected the move is saving the city $300,000 a year.

The Glenn County Sheriff's Office is also bringing on 4 new deputies; they'll be sworn in next Wednesday at the County Supevisor's Chambers in Willows.

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