Creating a Safer Sacramento
We must acknowledge together that crime has risen in Sacramento over the past few years. We must pursue a variety of enforcement and prevention strategies to change that arc.
More Officers For Our Community
As Mayor, I will ensure that our law enforcement officers have the tools they need to do their job and the training they need to be exceptional. As a result of the recession, our Police Department has been understaffed. I support the Mayor's proposal to fund 15 more police officers in 2016-17 and want our Police Department to be able to train and recruit more quality officers to match our city's needs. When elected, I will also work tirelessly to find efficiencies in the city budget and grow our economic base so that we have the money to fully fund and diversify our police force to better reflect our city's neighborhoods and demographics.
Gang Prevention and Intervention
To address gang violence, we need to strengthen the relationships between the city, our police department and neighborhoods. I applaud the Mayor's recommendation for more money for anti-gang programs, which is essential for long-term, ongoing solutions to gang violence. I fully support the Mayor's proposal to begin targeting gang prevention in fifth grade classrooms, starting with schools in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. If successful, we should expand this early intervention model through the entire city.
Gang activity doesn't stop at the city's boundaries. We must take a regional approach. Sacramento's Police department must work closely with the Sheriff's Department, Probation Department, District Attorney, U.S. Attorney and other state and federal partners. By sharing information and resources, we can break down barriers, solve problems and help end the ongoing cycle of gang violence.
As Sacramento develops into a hub for technology and innovation, I want our police officers to have the latest technology to combat crime and work with our neighborhoods. We should expand current technologies like ShotSpotter to help solve gun related crimes, stationary cameras to help deter criminal activity and social media networks like Nextdoor to help neighbors and police share information.
Before ShotSpotter launched in North Sacramento, approximately 85% of shots fired in the area went under-reported. I propose that we expand the North Sacramento ShotSpotter technology to South Sacramento as soon as possible.
As Mayor, I will use my office aggressively to urge city residents to sign up for Sacramento-Alert online to receive information about public safety emergencies via email, text message or phone call.
Investing In Our Youth
Crime prevention starts by investing in our youth. Kids growing up in tough and underserved neighborhoods should have access to quality mentoring programs, summer internship opportunities, before and after school programs, and clear paths for success. When our kids have positive options and our young adults have living wage opportunities, we can reduce the cycle of violence that plagues our most vulnerable communities. (See Investing In Youth position paper for more)
Providing The Right Resources
Police officers and first responders are being asked to deal with many of the problems associated with homelessness and mental health. Not only does this impact law enforcement, but it reduces the available law enforcement resources for other priority issues, like property thefts and residential burglaries.
We should have more than one mental health outreach worker serving the city. We need more navigators and other professionals who can help place people into housing and link them to health care, mental health services and other resources.
Activate the Power of Neighborhood Networks
When neighbors work together and the city is engaged and responsive, our community is empowered. When I was a new city councilmember in 1992, a deteriorating park off Elder Creek Road was a hotbed for crime and trash, including used needles. I was able to intervene, bringing together key stakeholders and empowering the community to close down a nearby drug house and take back our park. Many things have changed since 1992, but the power of united neighbors working along side a responsive, proactive and committed leader and police team is still a recipe for success.
As Mayor, I will activate the power of neighborhoods, by promoting new tools to connect neighbors and the city, like Nextdoor and Sacramento-Alert, while also reinvigorating proven strategies like Neighborhood Watch and city sponsored gatherings in our parks. I will also work to empower the Office of the City Attorney to aggressively prosecute absentee landlords who allow blighted buildings to become crime infestations. I will work with code enforcement, law enforcement and neighbors to ensure that our city is responsive, proactive and efficient when it comes to keeping our neighborhoods and parks clean and our residents and community safe.