Home Antioch Antioch Councilman to Propose Increasing Police Department by 2.5% Each Year Until 170 Officers

Antioch Councilman to Propose Increasing Police Department by 2.5% Each Year Until 170 Officers

by ECT

Over the weekend, Antioch City Councilman Mike Barbanica released a video proposing an increase of the Antioch Police Department officers by 2.5% until they reach the state standard of 1.48 officers per 1,000 residents.

Antioch currently is allocated for 115 officers. Under the Barbanica proposal, Antioch would increase each year until it his 170 sworn officers.

His video (see below) was pre-recorded and was released the same day fellow councilmember Tamisha Torres-Walker went live on Facebook calling for the hiring of 4-officers.

During his 10-minute video, he highlighted how during the election, he wanted several things:

  1. Upstaffing for public safety
  2. Increase size of code enforcement
  3. Purchase body cameras for police department

“From the moment I was elected to the time it actually happened, I made six formal requests to get body cameras on the agenda,” said Barbanica noting that other members of the council supported this and it was a 5-0 vote. “I did want to take it a step further and unfortunately that got voted down, but I am not going to give up. A step further was upgrading our current technology for tasers.  That current technology is old and antiquated and its important in my opinion have other options, what are called less lethal options than a firearm. Less lethal meaning officers have another tool that they can utilize.”

Barbanica noted they currently have these, but they are old and breaking down and they do not even have parts anymore.

“The big key was synced automatically with the body cameras,” stated Barbanica. “So we know when an officer gets out of their car at anytime, if that body camera is not accidentally activated, if they don’t push the button and the taser comes out, it automatically starts the footage, plus it goes back 30-seconds. That is what I was pushing for. We already have the tasers, I just want to upgrade the technology. I want to capture everything on video.”

He continued by explaining he spoke with Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton who he says shared she was surprised they did not get approved. He says she told him not to give up and to keep trying to get them.

With code enforcement, Barbanica says he asked for doubling of staffing—which was approved in a 4-1 vote. He called it needed anyone can just drive through the community to see the need.

“Seven code enforcement officers for 100,000 people is not enough,” said Barbanica.

He then went over numbers during COVID-19 when police departments had “stand down” order which meant not much proactive details.

He says Antioch Police responded to 92,550 calls for services in 2020 which included:

  • 10,943 reports
  • 3,387 arrests
  • 12000+ traffic stops
  • Nearly 5,500 citations
  • 1,400 cars towed

“Keep in mind, this is during 2020 when people were home,” said Barbanica. “In looking at the numbers, there is a lot of activity within the community.”

He called himself not only pro police, but pro community.

“Does it really effect an officer tremendously if we hire 5, 6, 7 cops, does it really effect the officer. Not as much as you think. But who does benefit is the community,” said Barbanica. “I do applaud prior councils for bringing these numbers to where they are at now, I don’t want to overlook that, it’s been multiple councils that have gotten us to this point.”

He said coming from law enforcement, he looks at it where they are at compared to state standards or per capita which is 1 officer per 1,000 people.

“The state standard from a recent grand jury report, statewide is 1.48 officers per 1,000 people. In Contra Costa County, the average is 1.09 officers. In Antioch, 1.01 officers. We are not only below state, we are below county standards as well,” explained Barbanica.

He continued.

“I believe we as a community deserve better than this for public safety and this isn’t to benefit the police department, its for all of us living in a safe community. It brings residents in, businesses in, jobs in, helps keep our children safe, our families safe,” said explained Barbanica. “I believe we need to get up to that 1.48 number.”

He proposed the council commit to increasing the police department officers by 2.5% each year until they hit the state standard. He also said they needed to get the 6 SRO positions back that they rejected after winning a grant.

He said he would bring the proposal to council soon and was seeking support.

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10 comments

Street-Sweeper Jul 19, 2021 - 5:34 am

Great idea! But have a spine and make changes, like you promised.

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Robert C. Jul 19, 2021 - 7:43 am

This is a conversation that needs to be had, but not by posting videos on social media. Is the entire city council ignorant of what formal council agendas and meetings are for?

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Jeanine Wagner Jul 19, 2021 - 4:02 pm

With the increasing crime in this city, thanks to an influx of ghetto rats, we need a lot more than just 170 police officers. For starters, we need three times that number.

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Becky Ames Jul 20, 2021 - 2:19 pm

Our police force was adequate before we had this influx of criminal elements from God-only-knows-where who have descended on us like cockroaches. Just like cockroaches, they need to be “exterminated” one-by-one. Just what has the population of Antioch done to deserve this?

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LoveableCurmudgeon Jul 21, 2021 - 4:06 am

Antioch has outgrown its old rural status and the PD is woefully inadequate to deal with the problems associated with being a city. Mike Barbanica has been awesome, so far, as a council member and I can’t wait for him to step forward to challenge Lamar. Antioch needs Mike’s leadership. He has my full support

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Tick Tock Jul 21, 2021 - 10:36 am

Share specifics as to why Mike is awesome…I will wait.

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LoveableCurmudgeon Jul 21, 2021 - 4:07 am

Ghetto rats…..well, now. Aren’t you special? We don’t need an army. We need a police force that represents the size of the city.

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Loretta M Sweatt Jul 21, 2021 - 6:27 pm

Mike, you’re the best person that’s happened to Antioch City Council in a long time! Yes we need like 500 Police Officers, so you’re off to a good start! The latest technology, weapons, armor, and bullet proof police vehicles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do!

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Viking Queen Jul 22, 2021 - 5:08 pm

Yes, LOVEANBLE! That’s exactly what they are. The parent(s) of this vermin have moved here under the Section 8 disaster and brought their gang member kids with them and we are seeing the results. The problem is that the city council members from the past (say, 50 years ago) let more and more developers in here and they ruined this city with overbuilding! Cities like BOULDER, COLORADO kept this from happening by blocking more development and are doing great! This kept the gang members from DENVER moving in. None of the problems like we have here exist there. I have relatives who live there and they don’t even have to lock their doors at night. I’d move there in a split second, but I cannot handle the elevation…. but I love the winters.

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JEANINE WAGNER Jul 24, 2021 - 5:10 pm

Yes I am special, LOVEABLECURMUDGEON! You got it! I am not in this city to work on ruining it. I actually work on making the ghetto sewer rats as uncomfortable here as I can. They already ruined a number of the cities in the bay area and now they are working on ruining our’s. My people have been here since the late 1800’s and we will fight to rid our city of the criminal element even if it takes the feds to be invited here to clean it up. Two major bastions of crime are the Sycamore and Cavallo enclaves. Keep in mind that there are more of us law-abiding people than the other bunch. I have my great-grandparents and grandparents tell me how idyllic Antioch was until the influx of criminals.

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