By Roxanne Williams
There are many concerns from the residents in our city, but one issue that takes the forefront as I’ve talked to voters is safety, and this matter is urgent.
Emotions in neighbors have elevated from feelings of abandonment and exasperation to rage. For example, one resident told me about an incident that happened on the border of San Bernardino and Rialto. A man was beating a woman on the street, so neighbors called 911. The dispatcher told the caller that the police were extremely busy and would arrive in 3 hours. Alarmed at this response, the neighbor saw a nearby Rialto police car, and asked the officer to intervene. The officer told the resident it was not Rialto’s jurisdiction, but that as a courtesy they would apprehend the male suspect and hold him until San Bernardino police arrived. Many residents are fed up and tired of the slow or no response times for calls. Over and over, they are demanding more police patrols in the neighborhoods. The perception is that law enforcement is rarely seen. Some have just given up.
There are many consequences of not acting on this urgent matter, but most importantly, we are leaving our senior citizens at risk and failing to protect our families and children.
There is still hope and a solution. For that reason, I have made safety a number one priority of my campaign. If more police are urgently needed and the city is in bankruptcy, how can residents realistically expect better safety within the constraints of an overburdened budget? In my opinion, the city should hire CSO officers (non-uniformed staff at a fraction of the salary) for the part 2 (non-violent) crimes, thereby CSO can quickly respond to calls/reports for burglaries, car thefts, stolen bikes, etc. This would free up the patrol officers to respond to part 1 (violent) crimes.
Also, businesses should form Business Improvement Districts (BID) and pay into a pool for private security. Those businesses could then have a rapid response for panhandling, shoplifting and nighttime vandalisms. As the businesses patrol themselves, this would allow the police to concentrate on the part 1 crimes. Thus, when 911 is called, there would be a more rapid response for your safety.
To find out more, visit my website at www.RoxanneCanWin.com. I hope to have your support on November 3, 2015.