FAIRFIELD — An April 22 town hall for residents to discuss concerns about crime comes as Fairfield City Councilwoman Catherine Moy says about 20 residents have contacted her concerning crime and a few have said they’re thinking about moving out of the city.
“People are scared,” Moy said. “There is fear out there.”
Moy, who with Councilman John Mraz is having the 6 p.m. town hall at the Civic Center where Police Chief Walt Tibbet will speak, said most of the recent crimes have happened in neighborhoods with high-density, lower-income housing.
Homes along Grande Circle and East Travis Boulevard are among areas hit hardest by crimes that include a shooting on Orchid Street that sent four teenagers to the hospital.
“Crime is very complicated,” said Moy, who lists as among key contributors to Fairfield’s problem, the 2011 state realignment that critics call an early release program for prisoners.
The councilwoman said younger criminals are responsible for most of the crime in the city and that Fairfield’s location along the interstate is another factor.
“Vacaville is farther up I-80 from Richmond or Oakland than Fairfield,” said Moy.
Moreover, realignment sends more prisoners to the county jail in Fairfield, where they are released after serving their time, she said.
Fairfield is trying to hire more police and has 120 budget positions with between 5 to 7 vacancies, Moy said. Recruiting officers is difficult because of the demand in California when cities like Stockton will hire 50 officers, she said.
About four years ago, the Fairfield City Council eliminated 12 positions, Moy said.
“I opposed it,” she said. “I told them crime was going to increase.”
Moy praised the Police Department.
“Our police officers are doing their job,” she said.
The City Council has listened to Chief Tibbet, Moy said.
“Anything the police chief asks or needs we give it to him,” she said.
Still, she said, many residents are concerned and demand safe neighborhoods and streets. One woman said her daughter, who attends Grange Middle School, is scared to death after a lockdown at the school during a shooting at Grande Circle.
Children shouldn’t be scared to death, Moy said.
Most of Fairfield doesn’t experience the crime that hits Grande Circle or East Travis Boulevard, she said, but residents remain concerned.
“They are still angry,” she said. “I am, too.”
The town hall meeting will take place in the council chamber at the Civic Center, 1000 Webster St. in Fairfield.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.