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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
By Michael Burkholder