Ride Along Highlights Need for Additional Antioch Police Officers

40

The residents of Antioch have a very important decision to make on Tuesday November 5 as to whether or not they wish to support a ½ cent sales tax measure to hire 22-additional police officers or they can reject it and wait longer for a crime solution.

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to participate in a ride-along with a team who was going to provide proactive enforcement to Antioch where they would hit the “trouble areas” within city limits.

This is a vital unit in crime fighting and reduction because they are the unit who is proactive in seeking out crime before it happens or is even reported. The unit focus on suspicious behavior on the streets which includes drug dealing, thefts, weapons,  locating wanted persons, along with serving warrant arrests and a variety of other tasks.

Simply put, these guys prevent crime whereas black and white units react to crime upon it being reported. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, they no longer have this special unit in a regular rotation and enforcement nights are a rare thing these days.

Here is a brief recap of what I observed—keep in mind, this was not a Friday or Saturday night, but the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week.

At roughly 3:45 pm, the unit headed out of the police station to begin its first task of the night which was a warrant search for a AB109er who was released and met with his probation officer Tuesday.

It should be noted, as we left the police station, Antioch PD had 36-calls waiting for officer response.

IMG_9401IMG_9411

After making several request for whoever was home to open the door, there was no response and police forced entry with guns drawn. A pitbull came rushing out of the home but fortunately he was friendly and officers took care of it ensuring it stayed out of the street . After searching the home and a probation officer completed paperwork and begin to file a warrant because the subject he interviewed yesterday was in violation of his release by providing a false home address.

IMG_9417 IMG_9408

By 4:15 pm, we were roaming the Sycamore and L Street area making several stops for potential drug dealing and folks who believe to have weapons on them. On one stop, it appeared to be a routine stop turned into a vehicle with prescription medicine violations which is a felony while a second man involved had a warrant for his arrest in another county. One man was arrested while the other was taken to jail for transport.

IMG_9421 IMG_9442

While observing a group who gathered in the Sycamore area, officers observed a white vehicle driving recklessly and swerving in and out of lanes. Officers immediately began pursuit and tried to bring the vehicle to a safe stop as he proceeds to make a left off Sycamore down L Street before making a right on  11th Street. Still driving recklessly, he was brought to a stop on 10th and G Street before getting out of his vehicle and attempting to run from police—he was apprehended immediately. The person was not taken to jail, but was charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest.

IMG_9469 IMG_9465 IMG_9489 IMG_9462

Shortly after that incident, police took part in another vehicle chase on a suspicious vehicle before bringing it to a stop on the G Street on ramp headed west on Highway 4.

IMG_9505 IMG_9497

After several more arrest, by 6:30 pm, we made our way across town to the Cavallo and East 18th area where we observed several potential drug dealings. After a period of observation and waiting for available units to clear prior calls, police moved in on three subjects. Upon the search, police uncovered a large amount of cash and marijuana.

IMG_9518 IMG_9511

IMG_9517 IMG_9521

By 7:00 pm, my ride along ended, however, the unit stayed out there and I was informed that the very next call they found subject with a gun and others with drugs. Within a three hour window on a Wednesday night, there was nearly10 arrests with drugs seized.

It should also be noted that later in the evening, there was a pitbull who was shot and killed by officers after an attack on four residents.

The takeaway from the evening is that this type of enforcement should be occurring on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  Prior to the unit being dismantled due to budget cuts, there would be a dedicated unit who their sole purpose each day would be roam the streets looking for “bad behavior” and arrest them—this would occur daily. Funding from Measure C would bring the unit back into action.

For example, Antioch is currently without the following units:

  • Traffic
  • Special Exclusion Unit (Proactive enforcement)
  • Narcotics Unit
  • School Resource Officer

Antioch residents and police deserve better to ensuring crime is reduced and bad behavior goes elsewhere. With Measure C, the funding puts in place the return of many programs and enforcement that prevents crimes and help get drugs, weapons, and bad behavior off the streets.

Antioch has a choice during Tuesday’s election to get proactive and take their city back by supporting police and saying enough to crime, or they choose to do nothing can continue to be reactive all in the name of saving a ½ of a penny.

Current Sale Tax Rates

  • Antioch (current) 8.5 or
  • Antioch (post Measure C Antioch should it pass) 9
  • Brentwood 8.5
  • Pittsburg 9
  • Oakley 8.5
  • Concord 9
  • Walnut Creek 8.5
  • Richmond 9
  • Orinda 9
  • Moraga 9.5
  • Oakland 9
  • San Jose 8.75
  • San Francisco 8.75

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
[email protected]


40 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of action for the middle of the week. You are right, I want this type of enforcement everyday if we can! Clean up the streets and we all win and eventually police will be able to fund themselves without a tax. Let’s help them so they can then help us.

  2. Well Antioch resident, does this give you a clue? down 36 calls when the shift starts????? Your police officers need help.

    • hello barbara,
      36 calls “down” for how many cops? what kind of calls? there is no information in that statement. just scare tactic.

      • Karl does it really matter what type if calls they are? They are short staffed. How would u like it if there was a stranger in ur house and the dispatcher tells u it will be 10 to 15 minutes before an officer is available?
        I guess if the ride along information does not show you how short staffed they are.. There is no use in even trying to educate u on the issue and u r blind!

        • Doesn’t matter what kind of calls are holding, the point is that there are 36 calls for SERVICE.

  3. 36 calls down is nothing to be proud of in the middle of an afternoon. I am thankful for all APD does for my community and believe they need help. I don’t think anything is going to change in Antioch until police are able to get in proactive mode versus this reactive mode because we all know how that has worked out for the city. Support our police department on Tuesday.

  4. Please vote for Measure C. We need more law enforcement in this city. Thank you to Mr. Burkholder for all his reporting!

  5. If I thought I could trust this council or any future council to spend this general fund money strictly on police I would vote for it. Simply because it is not guaranteed funding I refuse to vote for it. We are a city still operating on deficit spending which is growing and will be in a deficit of about 4 to million or more in 2014/2015. We have unfunded pensions higher than 80 million and growing every time an officer retires and most of them are if they have 25 years in. We have funded money sitting in the police budget right now for officers. When an officer retires we do not “unfund” the position. The chief has money to hire officers. He just doesn’t want to hire veteran military men like the federal government asks us to do. He will retire himself in a couple of years so we need to plan for that.

    • Julio,

      I disagree with you. You say you cannot trust this council but do not give a reason? I am curious why you do not trust them when all five have said its going for police services and hiring 22 officers.

      • hello jim,
        none of our council members have said a thing, none of them has presented a spending plan. what you are hearing are the out of town financial campaign sponsors, and special interest groups.

        • even the editor, out of town person i may add, tries to run our city. let me ask you this…when the cashier at a retail store wants a raise..do you work with him a shift to see how much abuse he/ she has to take?

      • Give a reason? Have you not followed local politics for years? City Council majorities have been notorious for throwing money down rat holes. This initiative has the money going into the general fund where it can be spent on anything. What’s more, the people who will be selected to “audit” the expenditures will be appointed by the same people who will spend them. How convenient.

        • I have asked for a reason and you state they have been throwing money down rate holes. What rat holes are you event talking about? I asked for a reason you have provided me with none.

  6. I was on the fence about this as to the lack of guarantee it would DEFINATELY go to police and nothing else. After reading this, and living in what used to be the beautiful heart of downtown Antioch, turned ghetto central, I will now be voting in favor of this. At this point, any extra money the city can generate would go for the good of its citizens. I truely hope it helps because we desperately need it.

    • hello dana,

      the city just needs to start collecting money whats on the books. but they don’t. we have a rental inspecting program on the books, which would bring millions, but the city does not collects.

      • tax first-
        rental fee next. Could not have both on the ballot at the same time…. Please go to the council meeting and express the need for rental fees.. Once we get that program up and running code enforcement will be staffed along with more police!!!

  7. This should be reported in the Contra Costa Times so that more people in the community can read this.

  8. We do need more Police on the street. We have a huge drug and crime problem. I would vote for a new tax if I was guaranteed it went directly to the Police Department. This is always a problem when a third hand touches money. Like many non profit organizations and government,they skim off the top resulting in only a fraction going to the intended cause.

  9. At some point, you have to have some faith in your elected officials to do the right thing. I have that faith and I hope that they don’t disappoint me. In my opinion, if the measure passes and the money does NOT go to hiring 22 new police officers and to benefiting Antioch to assist in reducing crime, my council-people have lied to me and to my community. I don’t think we’ll stand for that at this point. The council will do the right thing. We have to do something NOW. This city is teetering on the brink of no return. If we don’t do something now, the opportunity will have passed us by and then, there will be no hope at all. BART is coming, people. And with it, a new generation of criminals. Don’t doubt it for a second. We absolutely NEED these 22 officers and we need them now.

    • @ N.Towne
      Even the President has lied. I put faith in him and look where it got us. Health insurance that costs more for the same thing.That’s a tax not saving twenty five hundred a year like he said.How is that working for you? I agree that BART will add to the crime in town but there needs to be a direct statement saying those funds of the added tax will go 100% to the police. If not you and me will just be paying more for nothing.There needs to be a guarantee on the ballot language or a council resolution committing to the guarantee.Even then never trust a politician.They will tell you anything you want to hear and say it was a misunderstanding.

      • ECV’s Brother,

        Many of us wish you lived in Antioch. But the truth is, You don’t. That makes you the liar, not the elected officials.

        Keep posting dummy.

  10. ECV’s Brother. You are exactly right. Mrs Rocha was first in line in a council meeting asking for money for her youth people for summer jobs that do not exist.

    drf This has been written up in the Times several times in the three or four months.

    Antioch has not collected fees from businesses for so many years I don’t believe we can retroactively collect. These fees collected would mean we do not require a new sales tax. STAFF has to do its job and COUNCIL needs to make sure money due the city is collected. Rental business fees have not been collected since approximately 1965 correctly or at all from apartment owners and single family rental owners.

    • Marty is right in mentioning the lack of collecting rental business fees. If the council really was concerned about maximizing revenue, it would have enforced this law that has been on the books for years– eliminating the need for a ballot measure to increase sales tax. For that reason, I will be voting NO on Measure C. The council needs to be held accountable to the public in explaining why business rental fees are not being collected.

      • So while you are holding the “council accountable” you are willing to let the crime in Antioch continue at an unacceptable level? I think it is the voters that have the ultimate accountability on this one.

        Do the right thing and give APD the resources to keep YOU safe.

  11. I am all for additional law enforcement out in Antioch. They really could use the extra help to turn the town from Oakland back to the nice town it once used to be over 12+ years ago.

  12. This tax revenue will go into the general fund and therefore it can be used for anything. Antioch has been mismanaged for years, do you really think they’ll do the right thing? You know the definition of insanity.,,,, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  13. They have lied to everyone just by producing election material that promotes hiring officers and DOES NOT tell it is general fund money to be used for anything this city needs. Like paying the deficit it is running on. They le by omission folks and that is perhaps the worst lie of all. We are millions in the hole, down the hole Jim, and this money really won’t begin to help.

  14. till today, crime is down by 22% (without adding any more staff) so let me ask this, to what % level will crime go down, by hiring 22 new additional officers, 10, 20 40, 60%? how long will it take to hire 22 officers? the money comes in about june 2014. what does the word “immediately” stands for? the city will hire 22 leos on nov 6? are those 22 standing in line somewhere?
    those questions, and many more should have been on the table…

  15. Antioch police department needs more officers! I think paying an extra half cent is not asking that much. I’ll be voting YES on C!

  16. Wow !!! Burkholder goes on a ride along in 2013 and discovers the police department needs more cops ….. Well gee, no “stuff” Burkholder, WHERE WERE YOU THREE OR FOUR YEARS AGO ???? The deal with pending calls (the number and length of them) has been an issue for about the same amount of time ….. You have to understand that when the POP team was pulled from the Sycamore Drive area under Chief Moczulski’s watch, and was never reinstituted in later years, the problems began to slowly creep back up to what they are now — do your “Cub Reporter” research in that area …..

    Why do you think Measure C is a solution ?? If the money was guaranteed for the police department it would be, but when you have City Council members saying beforehand they will take that money to put all of the furloughed city employees back to a 40 hour work week, and fund “youth programs” and then Code Enforcement well you do the math.

    Apparently certain members, if not all of them, think that funding “Mommy and Me” classes at the Water Park has been AND WILL continue to be more important than PROPERLY funding a Police Department.

    There are NOT 22 people sitting in the wings waiting to go to work as police officers, so no one will see the impact — if in fact 22 cops are actually hired — immediately (as advertised in the campaign literature) …. That in itself takes a lot of time testing, interviewing and testing again the applicants not counting the time new hires (whether they are laterals or new hires) to get through the process.

    To “BUY A CLUE” I am not saying how to win an election, just presenting facts before you all get sucked in to voting yes on C.

    Jeeeeeez !!! When are people going to realize that this tax is NO guarantee of better public safety. I should know, I recently retired from the police department (Antioch) after being there for 20 years, and being a cop for over 23 years total !! I think I would know how, or should know how the operation works ….. When money goes into the General Fund it is there for the council’s use, whatever it might be — street repair, hiring more people, etc. What they say, and what might happen in the future (another sudden economic downturn perhaps) are two different animals !!

    What the City of Antioch wants to do (BUT THEY WILL NOT TELL ANYONE) is put all the displaced workers who are currently experiencing Furlough Fridays back to a 40 hour/5 day workweek, and beef up Code Enforcement. Those things in and of themselves are NOT bad things, BUT when you promise the public that 22 officers will be hired should this pass is WRONG ….. It is almost akin to False Advertising.

    Does anyone on this blog know how much putting everyone in the city back to a 40 hour workweek, boosting Code Enforcement, along with hiring 22 police officers costs ??? Oh yes, I’m sure there are those that will say if the city employees all take a pay and benefit cut then it will happen …. Well that ain’t gonna happen, the employees have all had budgets balanced on their backs, while the City Council authorizes $200,000 to be spent on this special election.

    I will kick this dead horse again ….. The police department has already been authorized to hire officers WITHOUT Measure C money, but because they are having a very difficult time finding suitable applicants who can make it through the hiring process, they cannot fill those positions, so instead they are using a lot of the money they have authorized for hiring to pay overtime to officers currently working the streets (NOT A GOOD THING) — believe it or not, that is totally justified !!

    The Audit Committee is there to just make sure the money is spent on projects (yes hiring is one of those) in Antioch …. It is NOT there to make sure the money goes specifically to one group or the other, then it would become a specific use tax.

    I cannot change anyone’s votes, but before you all take Measure C in “hook, line and sinker” do some thinking and research what exactly the city has in store.

    Tax Measures that depend on sales tax revenue are always risky because one cannot forecast on how well the economy does, and food products are not taxed.

    The police department will never be fully staffed because there are always resignations, retirements, terminations, injuries and it takes a long time to fill those vacancies.

    There is NO guarantee that the money generated from Measure C will ever go to the police department. If you don’t believe what I wrote, ask Cantando, he will tell you the same thing — There is no guarantee of police funding as a result of Measure C.

    • Vince, you have a comprehension problem. Let me make this as simple as simple gets.

      2/3 approval will not happen in this economic environment. Particularly when people(to include the City Clerk feeding you info) are bad mouthing government in general and public employees in particular.

      You can wish upon a star all you want. 1) Vote for Measure C and take your chances and do your best to assure the funds go toward the intended purpose. 2) Vote down Measure C and get nothing and improve nothing.

      There is no option 3 that you guys keep insisting on. The measure will not be rewritten for a 2/3 approval attempt. By the way, harping on the $200k cost for the measure is LAME. It would cost the same if the measure was written in terms you agree with. Are we to presume you would then not be complaining? That makes your outrage phoney. Further it makes your outrage look absolutely stupid. The Measure as written has a much better chance of passage. Meaning less possibility of wasting the money. 2/3 approval requirement is almost sure to lose.

      There are few absolutes in life and almost no guarantees. Seems several of you can’t grasp that fact.

  17. Wow Vince, you sound like an angry little man sitting in your mommy’s basement. What are you 5 ft 3? Eat ice cream all day in only your underwear?

  18. Buy a Clue,

    I don’t have a comprehension problem, you apparently do, because you among others have interpreted things will magically get better if Measure C is passed … well that’s a comprehension problem.

    Measure C is the City Council’s way of getting out of making the decisions they were elected to do. That way when the measure fails, and they start laying off more employees or declaring another triple secret economic emergency they feel they won’t be blamed.

    This is a BAD tax and if you are one of the “City of Sheep” who will go along blindly and approve this measure because Cantando, Harper, Fuhrmann, and Ho say it is a good thing, then just go ahead and do that, but don’t bitch when “22” (that imaginary, magic number) of cops don’t get hired and put on the street right away as you all are being lead to believe what will happen should Measure C pass.

    I love debating these topics with people who attend “Coffee with the Cops”, “City Council” meetings and so forth, and think they are experts in matters of police staffing. When the City of Antioch is crying bankruptcy in about 2 years, and laying off cops, they will be wishing they never spent $200,000 on this “special election”, and I’m sure you — Buy a Clue, will be the first one in line calling for the recall of the entire City Council.

    Me, I voted NO on Measure C already, but I won’t let it cause me to lose any sleep whether it passes or goes down in flames …. I will think just like the city council members and say, “Well, it is the will of the voters … Next item on the agenda please”.

Comments are closed.