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Today's Question: What Would You Do To Reduce Crime In Pleasant Hill?

With three drug-related shootings in the last year, what would you do to bring down violent crime in the city? Here are the candidate's answers.

The eight Pleasant Hill City Council candidates met earlier this month to give their views on issues facing the city, and to answer why they would be the best choice to fill the three vacant seats in November. Pleasant Hill Patch was there to record the action.

But we want to hear what you think about these issues. So once a day, we’ll post a question, provide the candidates’ answers, and ask you what you think about those issues. This is your city, and your Patch. Weigh in with your point of view.

There have been three drug-related shootings in Pleasant Hill in the past year. How would you support the police department in dealing with this kind of crime prevention?

Matthew Rinn:
We have to fill those vacant police positions right away, make sure salaries are scaled with the surrounding communities, and retain the officers we have. It also takes vigilance from the citizens. We’ve averted a lot of robberies lately, thanks to the efforts of our citizens.

Jessica Braverman:
Police often cannot be there to stop the bullet during a drive by shooting. I think part of it is businesses uniting. If there was a business watch, like a neighborhood watch, that would help. I’ve also been taught that we need to be good eye witnesses.

Jeremy Cloward:
I have also noticed more crime recently, but still Pleasant Hill is quite a safe town. When people are struggling they tend to resort to these kinds of crimes against property. Specifically we can fill the vacant police positions, and do what we can to improve local economy.

Jim Bonato:
Pleasant Hill is safe place to live. People trust our police department and are happy with it. They’re doing a very good job in protecting its citizens. I don’t have the answers. I would seek the chief of police and talk to him about what he thinks is important about stopping the crime. Neighborhood Watch is excellent program for reporting to other neighbors.

Tim Flaherty:
We have four or five vacancies on the police force right now, and we may have a problem filling them because our salaries are not competitive. We need a fully staffed police force. Once we have that, we won’t see these incidents. It’s also a product of the times. There are more people with more free time on their hands. We all have to be more vigilant.

Mike Flake:
To get quality neighborhoods, we need to fund a lot of the infrastructure that’s dilapidated. We need to fill the vacant police department spots. What about a reserve force? Also give them incentives if they live here or an adjacent city.

Ken Carlson:
No, I don’t want to live in the city where I work. Yes, staffing all the vacant positions, and providing them with tools and training they need. If we’re not competitive, we’re going to be a training ground for officers where this will be only job they can get, they’re going to get their training, and they’re going to move on to better salaries and benefit packages. There’s already a reserve program. It doesn’t support crime fighting. Everyone has to play a part in their community.

David Durant:
We have a reserve force, and a tremendous number of volunteers for the police department. Every community goes through this in bad economic times, but if you look at the numbers, this is a remarkably safe place to live. Of course we have to have an adequately staffed police department, and we have to be competitive. Now that we’ve gotten past negotiations, we have to look at adjustments to increase the police force and its effectiveness.  

Those are the candidates’ thoughts. What do you think? 

Jessica A. Braverman, Esq. October 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Reducing crime in Pleasant Hill will take several important steps: (1) We must be sure our police have great staffing and equipment (and K-9) to respond quickly when action dictates-our police officers must be in excellent physical shape to respond as many criminals flee on foot; (2) We must have an active and orchestrated neighborhood watch and business watch, which will deter crime in a big way when everyone is looking out for each other; (3) We must educate and reach out to our citizens on how to best crime proof their homes with solid locks on side doors for example, timers on lights and other tips; (4) We must all be aware and report suspicious activities, give accurate descriptions on cars and people; (5) We must put measures in place to help our businesses who are repeat targets of crime (along CC Blvd.)- perhaps cameras and extra police patrol (6) Educating and keeping our youth out of trouble- having positive things for them to do- having our new teen center is a step in the right direction; (7) Continuing the instant alerts to our citizens when crime occurs so all know where and what is happening. As your councilwoman, I will work with our police, our businesses and our neighborhoods to put these steps in place.

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