District 3 Race: Ideas for Creating Safer Neighborhoods

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz


THE NATOMAS BUZZ invited the seven candidates running for the District 3 city council seat to participate in a series of articles wherein they answer questions submitted by readers. Today’s question asked,

“What are some specific examples of increasing police response time? Can you think of other ways to prevent crime and be proactive in creating safe neighborhoods?”

Here are the answers submitted by the deadline, in the order they were received. Candidates Ellen Cochrane and Rosalyn Van Buren did not submit answers by the deadline.

efrenguttierrezEFREN GUTTIERREZ
First re-open the police mini-sub station, like we had on Northgate Blvd, in the early 2000’s. Secondly ask that we have more POP Officers that will walk / ride a bike in our community.

If elected I have two ideas that will improve police response times. 1) I will improve staffing levels so that property crimes in progress will be quickly dispatched.cyrilshah As we have seen too many times in Sacramento, home invasions can very quickly become violent or deadly crimes. 2) I will work to directly route 911 calls from mobile phones in the city straight to the Sacramento Police Department rather than sending them to CHP first. The extra layer of communication can be removed to immediately improve response times. As a Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commissioner, I helped rebuild some of our toughest neighborhoods, make them safer, and create new economic opportunities. As your council member I will use similar strategies to revitalize and build upon the great sense of community that exists here. It’s vitally important that we all feel safe in our homes and neighborhoods.

jeffharrisJEFF HARRIS
Cultivating relationships with the police that work in your area is a key factor in shortening response times. This is best accomplished by collaborating with the police through well-organized neighborhood watch programs. The more useful information that is supplied to the police from engaged neighbors, the more successful they can be in crime deterrence and response. Additionally, when the police receive an elevated number of calls from a specific area, they can justify allocating more resources to that area. This has worked very well in River Park, which has an effective Neighborhood Watch program that I have been active in since 1995. The Problem Oriented Policing (POP) program is an excellent example of this type of collaboration, and must be restored with Measure U funds. The police are good at responding to crime, but engaged neighbors are essential in crime prevention.

adamsartainADAM SARTAIN
There are many short-term and long-term ways to improve police service to better meet neighborhood need, and they go beyond easy statements like: “Hire more police!” What can help quickly is to get this district invigorated towards better communication between residents and Sacramento’s law enforcement. As a part of the neighborhood/business improvement district plans I’ve previously discussed, I’d like to return to a stronger neighborhood watch and help facilitate organizing of such activities through my office on the council. There are many opportunities in the community to meet with the police force. Given conversations I’ve had in the community in the recent past, more people would get involved with if that event’s promotion is enhanced.

During this campaign, I’ve developed a strong relationship with Sgt. Mann with the Sacramento Police Department and learned that my proposal for a joint Police/Fire and Paramedic services center in South Natomas would greatly improve response times by police units and helicopter dispatch. The center would also provide an access point for anonymous input by area residents. I will work with owners of all major neighborhood centers to achieve cooperative policing of city and local business properties. If elected June 3, I will move forward with my 311 and online neighborhood watch system previously discussed. My joint City/Community Task Force will provide opportunities for input on this important partnership by all parties. I am also fully supportive of local social service programs that work with some of our most challenged residents.

This Tuesday, June 3 is election day. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and if you are in line when the polls close, you will be allowed to vote. For more elections information, visit the Sacramento County website here.


  1. Ellen Cochrane says

    Greetings Natomas: I missed the deadline for the but still would like to share my ideas on police response time.

    When I led East Sacramento Preservation neighborhood group I hosted a National Night Out party every August. Law enforcement leaders, elected officials and patrol officers, visited us and mixed with the neighbors. This helped bring the community together. From this yearly party all sorts of connections were made, block groups formed and friendships forged. If you know your neighbor, your neighborhood will be safer. I believe strongly in community based policing and getting into the neighborhoods, on foot and bike (and even horse). As far as response time, small substations, like the one that was removed from the strip mall at Truxel /San Juan, should be revived and expanded through out the area. Real community policing is done through officer presence and relationship building in neighborhoods. None of this is easy, officers face huge urban challenges, but being in the neighborhoods is the best way to work on the issues.

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