FAIRFIELD — An expanded gang injunction, help from the California Highway Patrol and the benefits of tougher sentences in federal court would assist Fairfield’s fight against crime, two City Council members said of proposals they announced Friday.
John Mraz and Catherine Moy said the measures – which also involve higher bail schedules in Solano County Superior Court and working with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office to serve warrants and investigate some cases – are proven to combat crime.
“They’ve all worked here or elsewhere,” Moy said.
The two council members praised Fairfield police.
“Our police are doing a great job,” Moy said. “We just want to give them more tools.”
Mraz said injuries, disability and city finances have left the department short 15 officers. He said the advantages of federal prosecution include prison sentences that can be three times as long as state court.
“By the time they get out,” he said of convicted defendants, “their grandchildren are old.”
The CHP’s help would include enforcement of vehicle code laws that could deprive gang members of their cars, Mraz said. When the CHP finishes, the only gang sign people know is the upraised thumb for hitchhiking a ride, the councilman said.
Moy said the gang injunction first used by the city against a Northern California gang can be used against members of a Southern California-based gang she said is a major contributor to crime in Fairfield.
“We need to literally handcuff them the way we did the other gang,” Moy said.
“I don’t like to use their name. They like to see their name in print,” she said. “They consider it a matter of pride if their gang is mentioned.”
Mraz and Moy earlier this month called for increased bail schedules and cited a report showing bail in Solano County Superior Court is among the lowest in California.
The 2013 report by the Sacramento-based Public Policy Institute of California includes a county-by-county review that places Solano among 14 counties whose average bail is at the bottom in the state.
Superior Court judges of each county are responsible for preparing, adopting and annually revising a uniform countywide bail schedule.
The anti-crime program announced Friday comes as the Fairfield City Council is set to take up a proposed Mayor’s Commission on Crime when the council meets Tuesday.
Mraz has called the commission proposed by Mayor Harry Price “smoke and mirrors” and said he won’t participate in the panel. The councilman said Friday he’ll abstain from voting on the commission.
A report by interim City Manager Sean Quinn about the commission said the panel follows up on a resident’s suggestion at the April 29 town hall meeting about crime in Fairfield. The nine-member panel would include representatives of homeowners associations, the chamber of commerce and nonprofits.
The commission work about issues surrounding crime would be completed in September.
Mraz questioned the panel and what he said is the expectation that nine people who have nothing to do with fighting crime will produce brilliant ideas. Mraz served in the Fairfield Police Department from 1965-86.
Price could not be reached Friday for comment about Mraz’s statements about the proposed commission.
The council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 1000 Webster St.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.