Team Chico Police meeting

12 Nov

Thanks Jim for attending this meeting and sending us this report.  If only more people were willing to attend meetings, maybe we’d be able to force change in the way things work (or in Chico, the way things don’t work)  . Thanks for speaking up Jim.

Wednesday November 8th I went to the Team Chico Police public safety meeting held at Round Table Pizza on Pillsbury. It was mostly a PR type event, several officers and the Chief were there. They talked a little about better security around your business and home. Video cameras were strongly recommended as a deterrent. I have had them at my house for over 10 years.

The Chief said that they will be fully staffed in the coming months with the inclusion of the three park rangers.  So I asked what full staffing means and is that enough. The Chief said that full staffing is what the City Council has approved in the budget, and he gave a political roundabout answer to my second question.

 

They promoted use of the Nextdoor app and the Chico PD app. Be sure to note the serial number of bikes, since that can make a big difference when they stop a transient. The officer said they often run the serial number of the bums bike. Unless there is a report of it being stolen they can’t do much. Same with all your personal property, note the serial number and take photos.

 

They also asked to call the non-emergency number to report any suspicious activity; 897-4900.  They asked to call the non emergency number to report nonemergency suspicious activity. You will still need to fill online reports of theft.

 

Several people made comments about how the bike path is a big crime problem. One apartment manager asked if the bike path could be closed. The Chief said that we would have a very hard time closing the bike path with the pro-bike attitude in Chico, he wants more TV cameras to monitor the problem areas. However he noted that they don’t have the staff to monitor the cameras in real time.

 

Overall I felt like it was a less fulfilling than I expected, however I’m not sure what I expected.

 

Jim Matthews

I boldfaced the non-emergency number because that is big news to me. For the past year or so Chico PD has encouraged the use of their online reporting mechanism, and I’ll tell you right now, that sucked. The citizen was expected to log in, give personal information beyond their name and address, and select a password – oh gee, we all need more passwords cluttering up our lives!  The online reporting scheme sent a pretty clear message to citizens from Chico PD – “We don’t care about your petty problems…”

I guess it’s okay to report a theft online – it’s already happened, and then I assume I’d have a copy of the report. 

I don’t know about cameras, they can  be expensive, and they don’t stop crime, they just get a furry picture that might or might not be identifiable. I see more of them around town, we’ll have to see if that brings up the number of arrests. 

Good question Jim – how much staffing is enough? They’ve given those numbers in past, based on population, and we’ve always been within three officers of full staffing. A question I would like to ask is, will the chief take a pay cut and be willing to pay more of his own pension to guarantee full staffing?

Nextdoor was a disappointment for me – for one thing, they asked me for my social security number to sign up, when I wouldn’t give that, I was sent a post card with a code number to sign up. That’s security? And after I’d already been signed up for weeks, they sent me a notice that said I had to agree to let them mine my personal information and monitor my online activities so they could sell that information to advertisers.

The entire time I was on Nextdoor, I saw more people’s comments directed toward selling some sort of service/products than I saw comments exchanging information about crime. My next door neighbor uses Nextdoor to advertise parties at which she sells stuff like cosmetics and housewares, and my ex-tenant uses it to sell Avon. 

Only a couple of neighbors used it to report stuff like, shed broken into, package stolen at Christmas time, etc. One person posted every “suspicious” person who walked by his house, but that wasn’t helpful. 

All the police “app” amounts to is faster access to the online reporting mechanism. Just put 897 – 4900 on your speed dial!

Sure, record your serial numbers, take pictures – if only for your insurance company, cause the cops aren’t going to get your stuff back, that’s laughable. I don’t own a $2500 bike, so who cares, right?  Most of the stripped bikes I see are less than $150 bikes, and they’re all over town. There’s one hanging in a  tree out at the new subdivision on Hwy 32 East.

Anybody out there with a story about a cell phone or other small electronic device or cash stolen out of a car or house and returned by Chico PD? These people steal stuff that fits in their pocket.

Speaking of what what a “pro-bike” town we are, did Chief have any statistics on how many law abiding citizens actually use that bike path that runs alongside North Valley Plaza and Pillsbury?  It has never been safe, I was accosted there 30 years ago, and I’m sure many people have bad stories about that section of the trail. If it’s going to be allowed to remain, then we should have cops on bikes. All the trails in town should be covered by cops riding in teams on bikes. Having bike trails that are not patrolled by police is just setting up a special highway for criminals to access neighborhoods and then get out quickly.  But Chico PD won’t do bike patrol, and if they do, they want extra pay, like they  get extra pay for speaking Spanish or taking a canine in their car. 

The cops don’t seem so “pro-bike”, I have to wonder where the chief gets that bullshit. I’m guessing he’s got a can of it under his desk. 

I’m sorry to make fun, but this meeting is no different than meetings I have attended in past. They’re telling us crime is our problem, they just come along to take a report afterwards. 

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4 Responses to “Team Chico Police meeting”

  1. Jim November 12, 2017 at 8:38 am #

    Cameras aren’t that expensive. I bought my system from a US company*, four HD cameras & digital recorder for less than $200. Watch for black Friday specials. Installation is easy, just run the cables behind the gutters and I was set.

    I disagree that the Chief or any officer should take pay cuts. Good police are hard to recruit and should be paid sufficiently.

    I would like to see the rest of the City employees take a pay and benefits cut. Transition to CalFire which will save the City enough for full fire staffing. Public safety should come first. There are a lot of cuts we could make elsewhere in City Government.

    We should demand the City take responsibility for the crime on the bike path. For the reason you stated it’s become a corridor of crime. Either have 24/7 police on bikes to patrol the bike path, or close it down. It’s no longer acceptable to ignore this issue.

    *supercircuits.com

    • Juanita Sumner November 12, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

      Thanks for the info on cameras Jim, I’ll look into it before I make judgement on the price or effectiveness.

      I do think all our staff salaries are out of whack. I’d rather have more cops, working regular 8 hour days, no more overtime, no more crazy pensions. All their contracts are full of perks that would shock privately employed people if they knew.

      Yeah, I think we should have a centralized fire safety system like CalFire, I wish we could look into it without the pro-fire department bullies shutting down the conversation.

      And I agree on the bike path – they ignore the issue, they are allowing an avenue for crime.

  2. Jim November 15, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    By the way, I use Nextdoor on my PC since I didn’t like the app. I didn’t have any of the issues you describe that way.

    A couple weeks ago there was a report of a car break-in about a block from me. I checked the video to see if anyone was checking out my cars overnight. Didn’t see anyone.

    • Juanita Sumner November 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

      so you never got the privacy notice saying they sell information about your personal habits?

      I don’t want to babble on about my negative experience with Nextdoor. I really wanted it to work out, it didn’t – the biggest problem being, nobody in my immediate neighborhood signed up, so it was fairly useless to me.

      And it’s no substitute for being able to report crimes directly to the police, and having them respond in a timely fashion.

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