For the last six months, the City of Redding has been working to improve public safety by focusing law enforcement resources on issues deemed most important by the public.
“We've done the sweeps,” city manager Barry Tippin said. “We've invested in technology with drones and electric bikes. We've engaged security companies to help tour the river trail system.”
But as successful as those efforts have been, Tippin says they're ready to take the next step.
“We've reached a point where we're starting to plateau on what we can achieve in those improvements,” he said. “So the next step really is to engage the community about what we do next.”
That's why Tippin and his staff have been reaching out to the public in a series of Facebook posts and surveys to gauge the public's understanding on issues affecting the community and dispel misconceptions some people might have.
“And so it's really important that we have that dialogue with the community because where we go from here is really up to the people who live here,” Tippin said. “And we need their input, and their best input is going to come to us if they have the right information to formulate those ideas.”
For Amanda Smith who's had several of her public safety suggestions implemented by the city in recent months, this new approach has been a welcomed change.
“Before, part of the frustration and the reason we ended up at things like recall was because no one was responding,” Smith said. “No one was listening. I would go there and be emotional standing there begging for help and there was no response.”
Tippin says jail space was probably the number one concern by the more than 1,100 people who took the first survey, followed by mental health services and more police officers on the street.
And while Tippin says they'll have to discuss how to address those concerns, Smith says the community needs to help and do its part to be proactive against crime.
“We just have to work together and keep doing our part too,” Smith said. “Now that the city is listening, we need to step up and do our part.”