The Antioch Police Department put out some very relevant information after many comments and questions through social media were expressed due to the recent activities within Antioch. As many are probably aware, there have been two deaths and many shootings in the past 48-hours.
In a statement yesterday, Chief Allan Cantando explained how the police department is using all of its available resources to reduce crime and to bring on more police. It received a fabulous response not only from social media, but the news media as well in sharing just how dangerous crime has become within the city.
I wanted to pass along this information as not everyone has a Facebook account as it may help shape the discussions that members of community are now having as the city works forward in a long-term solution. This is a fine example of the Antioch Police Department in taking an active role in educating the public.
The value of Social Media is amazing! The posting APD made yesterday reached 8800 people through Facebook! Various media sources picked up on the story and gave exceptional coverage to the bay area to convey our message.
Many of you provided many useful and positive comments. Others made comments or asked questions that indicated more explanation was necessary. I would like to take just a moment to address a few because this type of communication is extremely valuable.
- Crime is cyclical. In the first quarter of 2013, our Part 1 crime was down compared to the same period of 2012. I am hopeful this trend will continue. The Antioch Police Department is focused on reducing crime in our community.
- There is a shortage of police officers in California. The media has been covering this story for months. The City of Antioch is competing with other agencies that are looking to recruit qualified officers. Kudos to the Antioch City Council for making us competitive in this endeavor. As a result, we have drawn talented Lateral Police Officers from other police agencies.
- We have asked CHP for resources. This is not an option as they have staffing issues as well. When CHP did assist a neighboring city on a limited basis a few years ago, they provided traffic enforcement services, not street level suppression as we do during our special details and regular patrols.
- We have also approached the Sheriff’s Office for resources to no avail. They too are facing staffing shortages. The Sheriff’s office does continue to assist us as their resources allow during some of our special enforcement details.
- The National Guard does not provide policing services in a model that resembles municipal law enforcement.
- We are thinking “outside the box”. We have implemented programs that are “best practices” models, and will continue to model best practices as resources allow. Our most recent program “We’re Looking Out For You” received National media attention. See our FB for more details.
- Although there is no scientific formula, there is a correlation between reduced police staffing and increased crime rates, reduced arrests, and increased response times.
- The Antioch City Council is acutely aware of issues within our city. They are currently working on funding measures to increase police staffing well beyond our current authorized positions so that we can respond to safety issues like the other cities in our county.
Lastly, I want to thank all of your for taking the time to get involved. The more you know about what is occurring, the more likely you will continue to stay involved and work to solve our community issues.
Other cities in our county have faced similar challenges within my tenure as a Police Officer. I have no doubt that we as a community will be able to accomplish anything as long as we continue working together.
Chief Allan Cantando