FAIRFIELD — A police sergeant added to deploy a second street team and perform targeted neighborhood patrols seven days a week. Development of a police officer trainee program. Stabilizing Parkway Gardens.
Those are among city of Fairfield programs expected to be discussed Tuesday when a special community meeting about crime, homelessness and blight takes place from 6 to 8 p.m at Willow Hall at the Fairfield Community Center, 1000 Kentucky St.
The second street team begins operations in May. The officer trainee program, part of the July 1 budget, involves hiring people in a community service officer role for several years and then sending them to the police academy to become officers.
Police increased patrols at Parkway Gardens after a Jan. 3 fatal shooting. The city also installed additional cameras, improved street lighting and is adding a license plate reader to record vehicles accessing the condominium development.
“The city is willing to go far beyond what most cities are willing to do,” Police Chief Walt Tibbet said of Fairfield’s response to Parkway Gardens crime. “The city is willing to be innovative and very vigilant.”
A draft report about Fairfield’s response to crime states that causes of violence and crime are complex and often caused by behavior that develops at an early age.
No single or simple solution is available, the report adds.
A total of 2,530 children in the Fairfield-Suisun School District missed 10 percent or more of the first half of the 2013-14 school year, according to the report. The Police Department and school district are working to reduce truancy and chronic student absenteeism, the report adds.
Representatives of Fairfield-Suisun School District will attend the community meeting Tuesday.
Tibbet, discussing other efforts to combat crime, said Fairfield has about 140 cameras at intersections, parking lots and other sites and hopes to add another 60 cameras. The devices have been very helpful in solving crimes, he said.
“We’re not looking into people’s private activities,” he said.
Cameras aren’t monitored around the clock but what they record can be reviewed to help crime investigations, the chief said.
Mayor Harry Price said street lights along Travis Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue are among sites of the cameras.
“It’s prudent,” Price said. “We’re trying to ensure public safety.”
Monitoring people’s activities is nothing new. Price said that businesses use cameras in their operations.
“When you use your ATM you’re being photographed,” the mayor said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.