Come Nov. 6, Citrus Heights voters will have the chance to vote for two of seven candidates vying for seats on Citrus Heights City Council.
In an effort to inform readers and voters, we've asked each of the candidates what ideas they have for addressing and combating crime in Citrus Heights. Seven candidates are running; two seats are available.
Read their responses below:
"Combating crime starts with working with our residents, supporting Neighborhood Watch efforts, and making sure our police officers maintain a focus on neighborhood patrols. But we also need to better connect with our youth and foster positive relationships through partnerships with efforts such as the BRIDGES after school program. We must also recognize the effect crime has on our city as a whole when business-related crimes go unchecked.
"The most important assets of the City of Citrus Heights are its residents, families, taxpayers, and businesses and I will work hard to insure that our police department has the necessary resources to protect you to the greatest extent possible. I will enhance public safety by insuring we fully staff law enforcement patrols and not allow positions to remain vacant to save dollars.
"As a result, a greater number of officers will be more visible in our neighborhoods which will work to reduce crime and to respond to it quicker when it does occur. I will advocate that we take the lead on a regional gang task force that will aggressively enforce the law and protect our most vulnerable resource…our children. Citizens will know that Citrus Heights is a place where they and their families can live, work and play in a safe environment."
"I applaud the current City Council on taking the step towards stronger public safety. I agree that Citrus Heights cannot afford a bad reputation. The goals of Measure K, added police officers, state of the art public safety equipment, youth programs and residential street improvements, are worth achieving. It is imperative that City Council continue to find solutions for a safe and secure community. Measure K is one possibility. If the public has other ideas, then we need to listen and find a more universally acceptable solution. I think we all have the same end goal. The safest community in the region.
"My views on Crime are rather idealistic. I cling to the hope that early intervention is the primary way to decrease crime. Education, employment, healthy outlook on life – lofty ideals.
"How can a seat on City Council have any effect? Economic development. It’s been a struggle from the very beginning of the City’s existence and even more elusive in the last 4 years. I am very interested in what is or is not going on behind the scenes in our City government.
"Where can we give more support to staff, what kind of incentives are other communities giving? Where can we garner alliances to grow our job opportunities? No – I don’t have the answers, but I am an expert at finding out information and building a mutually agreed upon course of action."
"We can aggressively fight crime on two levels. It’s important to maintain a strong police presence in Citrus Heights that does not tolerate crime. (Give our police the tools they need to accomplish this effort.)
"We can proactively fight crime with youth mentoring programs that educate our young citizens about the dangers of associating with criminals. Criminals know no boundaries. While cities around us are cutting back on police and closing community centers, Citrus Heights is smart to be seeking ways protect and respond to the essential needs of its community members."
"First, Measure K will go a long ways toward combating crime. By adding officers, new equipment and new technology our police department will be able to do more in their never ending battle against crime.
"Next, an informed community is a safer one. Through the continued efforts of the neighborhood associations combined with neighborhood watch and the POP officers more eyes and ears will be on the street. To this end better communications across the city need to be employed."
"I think Measure K and adding Police Officers is a good start. I think engaging kids at an earlier age will lead them into a better life where they do not interact with the Police in a negative way as they grow up.
"I sit on the board of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps (SRCC) and I think non-profits that work with our youth to give them a purpose, a job, and teach them basic life skills are a good place for citizens who want to make a different can volunteer their time and give back to their own community. Take these items as a package and we can make a difference with our youth.
"As for overall crime, I will leave that to the experts in Law Enforcement who know best."
"There is no silver bullet in reducing crime as there are many different factors in determining the cause of the crime. Some of these factors are socioeconomic, drug dependency, and crimes of opportunity. Therefore we need to have a plan to address as many of these as possible.
"These all have to be combated in several different ways to reduce crime and the recidivism rate of criminals: For crimes of opportunity they can be fought with additional technology, such as license plate readers that detect if a vehicle is stolen, video cameras at businesses and high property crime areas to deter theft and make it easier to prosecute.
"For crimes associated with drug dependency, ensure those that have addiction problems are aware of programs provided by the State and County of Sacramento to seek treatment and divert those who should not be incarcerated.
"For socioeconomically related crimes we need to provide our youth and adults with opportunities through various groups with positive activities, such as those provided as volunteers within the city or with the Police Athletics League (PAL), youth sports leagues and various non-profits within the region."
Find out where candidates stand on Measure K here.
Candidate David Blackburn did not respond to emails from Citrus Heights Patch.
What do you think of the candidates' responses? Do you agree or disagree with any of the ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.