CALLS UP 24.9% SINCE 2014

Man­teca adds only one po­lice of­fi­cer in 3 years

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT

Man­teca Po­lice in 2017 han­dled 24.9 per­cent more calls for ser­vice than in 2014 de­spite lower level is­sues be­ing shifted to on­line re­port­ing.

Po­lice han­dled 42,069 calls for ser­vice last year com­pared to 33,683 in 2014. Mean­while the city added just one of­fi­cer as the city grew by more than 4,500 res­i­dents.

The jump comes af­ter a five-year stretch from 2010 to 2015 of an­nual calls for ser­vice fluc­tu­at­ing be­tween 33,031 for the low­est year and 34,517 for the high­est.

What’s more telling, how­ever, is what the calls en­tail. While crime gen­er­ally per 1,000 res­i­dents has been on a down­ward track there has been a nu­meric in­crease in crime in­ci­dents plus a sig­nif­i­cant up­swing in war­rants served typ­i­cally re­quir­ing mul­ti­ple of­fi­cers based on the na­ture of the crime in­volved. There were 1,683 war­rants served in 2017 for a 39.8

per­cent over 2014 lev­els and a 23.57 per­cent over 2016.

War­rants, like calls for ser­vice, had been fairly even from 2010 to 2014 rang­ing from 1,087 to 1,258 an­nu­ally.

Writ­ten re­ports — that typ­i­cally take of­fi­cers’ time away from pa­trolling — were are up 11.9 per­cent in 2017 reach­ing 7,445 com­pared to 6,653 in 2014. Of­fi­cers have com­put­ers in their pa­trol units that al­low them to write re­ports with­out hav­ing to do them all at the of­fice. Even so, of­fi­cers typ­i­cally have to catch up on re­port writ­ing due to call vol­ume.

The surge in de­mand for ser­vices is put­ting a strain on Man­teca Po­lice re­sources that has 66 au­tho­rized sworn po­lice po­si­tions. The city added its first ad­di­tional sworn of­fi­cer po­si­tion in three years in June when the cur­rent bud­get was adopted.

Po­lice Chief Jodie Es­tarziau said at a coun­cil meet­ing ear­lier this month that re­cruit­ing for of­fi­cers with ex­pe­ri­ence to re­place those that have re­tired has pit­ted Man­teca against other cities of­fer­ing up to $20,000 in sign­ing bonuses.

The 2008-2009 city bud­get had fund­ing for 83 sworn of­fi­cers in­clud- ing 11 from the half cent pub­lic safety tax. How­ever due to va­can­cies and lag time that has tra­di­tion­ally been built into the hir­ing sys­tem, Man­teca never filled all 83 po­si­tions. The fund­ing for those po­si­tions were con­sumed by over­spend­ing through­out the gen­eral fund with rev­enues plum­met­ing due to the Great Re­ces­sion with in­come ex­ceed­ing ex­pen­di­tures as the city can­ni­bal­ized re­serves to bal­ance the bud­get.

The city has con­cen­trated on restor­ing re­serves to 25 per­cent to cush­ion against an­other down­town.

In the past when a new po­si­tion was bud­geted, the city typ­i­cally waited un­til half way through the fis­cal year be­fore al­low­ing de­part­ments to fill po­si­tions. The Great Re­ces­sion’s im­pacts hit Man­teca as 2008-2009 un­folded. By the 2011-2012 fis­cal year the city had dropped to 55 sworn of­fi­cers when 12 of­fi­cers were laid off due to bud­get cuts.

It took Man­teca seven years to re­store the po­si­tions that were ac­tu­ally filled. They have yet, how­ever, to match the 2008-2009 bud­get that al­lowed for 83 of­fi­cers.

At the June 12 bud­get hear­ing, Coun­cil­man Mike Morowit pro­claimed staffing lev­els must be pumped up not­ing, “To me it isn’t right not to add of­fi­cers as that is the num­ber one com- plaint I hear from cit­i­zens that we need more po­lice.”

The coun­cil at that bud­get work­shop said they wanted to con­sider pos­si­bly adding a 67th of­fi­cer when the midyear bud­get up­date is made on gen­eral fund rev­enue and spend­ing trends. That typ­i­cally takes place this month.

Po­lice Chief Es­tarziau had re­quested four ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers in ad­di­tion to other per­son­nel but city man­age­ment staff — with the coun­cil’s con­cur­rence — de­clined to fund three of the four of­fi­cers re­quested in the cur­rent bud­get.

The bud­get — when looked at as a whole — also has other staffing de­fi­cien­cies that the city has yet to re­cover from re­ces­sion cut­backs such as the street crew that was slashed in half.

The spend­ing plan for 2017-2018 has 66 sworn po­si­tions in­clud­ing 15 funded by the pub­lic safety tax. Man­teca’s pop­u­la­tion in 2009 was just over 66,000 res­i­dents. To­day Man­teca is at 77,000. That is 11,000 more res­i­dents with 17 less au­tho­rized sworn po­lice of­fi­cers.

Cities typ­i­cally aim for one of­fi­cer per 1,000 res­i­dents. Us­ing that yard­stick, Man­teca is short 11 of­fi­cers.

Bul­letin file photo

Man­teca Po­lice are han­dling more calls with the same num­ber of of­fi­cers in 2008.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.