Law enforcement is faced with challenges on a daily basis in Santa Barbara. At times we need to redeploy resources in order to provide the best service to our city. We have a process in place called COMPSTAT that allows us to measure and analyze what we do on a monthly basis, in order to assist us in prioritizing our crime- fighting efforts, both in Patrol and in the Detective Bureau.
Over the last several months, we have been seeing burglaries of residences and vehicles go up, and that is a concern for us. I have made some adjustments in a couple of areas of the department which included redeploying people from one assignment to another. It has been successful – some arrests of burglars were made this weekend, in fact – and we are appreciative of the efforts made by all of those who are continuing to work this crime matter. We do not have a “crime spree,” just an uptick, if you will, in burglaries.
I want to assure the community that we are not doing away with Restorative Policing or the Tactical Patrol Force (Bicycle Patrol Officers) or our Beat Coordinators. What we will do from time, however, is redeploy personnel from various work groups/units to assist in areas where we feel the need is a priority. At times, that may include someone from the aforementioned units, but that redeployment would only be temporary, sometimes for just a few days.
Our Restorative Policing, which is critical work in overseeing the homeless protocols, as well as our Tactical Patrol Force and our Beat Coordinators, who deal with quality of life issues and community meetings, are very important, and as I mentioned these areas are not being eliminated.
Your police department continues to provide professional and dedicated service to all. Our number one priority is to keep everyone in our city safe, which includes working on some crime issues we feel deserve extra attention at particular times.
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Cam Sanchez is chief of the Santa Barbara Police Department.