Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando was all smiles this morning as he walked into the police department and down the halls knowing that he will soon be able to begin putting additional boots on the ground to his police force.
Residents of Antioch voted in overwhelming support of a ½ cent sales tax yesterday in the tune of 68% in favor. With the measure passing, it will allow the Chief to hire 22-additional police officers on top of the 15-positions he is currently trying to fill.
“People in the police department are very optimistic from the vote and are glad to see the support from the community,” said Cantando. “Everyone was in a great mood and happy that it passed and now be able to hire and provide a quality service of officers to our community. It is very wonderful, I am very optimistic that we are going to attract more officers because they see we are financial solvent.”
As for the naysayers who are worried the council will go rouge in the spending of Measure C funds, the chief believes it won’t be a problem and the council will do the right thing and spend the funds where promised.
“I believe the money is going to be spent for police officers and I encourage them to watch the oversight and even apply,” said Cantando.
It should be stressed the hiring of new officers will not be immediate, but will take some time. Chief Cantando states they are already in the hiring process.
According to Cantando, they have officer’s already in background checks which makes it easier to hire—having the additional 22-positions makes it easier. He stated they have at least 5-laterals in background and just completed oral boards with 4-laterals.
Here is the Chiefs message:
Since becoming your police chief a little more than 2 years ago, I have made it a top priority to bring the citizens of Antioch and the Antioch Police Department closer together. Realizing the importance of a shared vision and a collective goal, I felt it was imperative to keep open lines of communication so we as an organization knew what was important to you, and you knew that we truly cared for your concerns and were doing everything in our power to make Antioch a safer community. Yesterday, you spoke loud and clear about the future you want for the City of Antioch. Measure C was approved by an overwhelming majority!
I would first like to thank Mayor Harper and the entire City Council for the dedication, perseverance, and courage it took to bring this measure to the voters. I would also like to thank everyone who worked to spread the word and educate residents about the need for Measure C, including the Chamber of Commerce, Antioch Police Officers Association, Assemblyman Jim Frazier and many others. Finally, I must thank you, the voters, for having the faith and confidence in this department to make Antioch a safer community.
The passage of Measure C is not the final solution. It is merely the beginning. Now is the time we take action. We will reach out to lateral and entry level officer candidates, looking to hire the most qualified people as quickly as possible. We will work to bring on more Community Service Officers as sales and property taxes continue to rise and support the General Fund. This will help to free officers time so they are able to work proactively and be available to respond faster to Priority 1 emergency calls for service.
We also look forward to putting officers back in our schools, reestablishing specialized response units to reduce violent crime, and reestablish our Traffic unit to fully address quality of life issues in OUR community.
Thank you for your continued support!
Chief Allan Cantando