Mraz: Crime tied to state prisoners release

By From page A3 | February 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — All of California is going through what the city of Fairfield faces and Vacaville is no better off, says Councilman John Mraz, who linked crime to the state realignment that freed more than 40,000 felons.

“This city is not ruled by fear,” Mraz said of Fairfield.

He said at the City Council meeting Tuesday that the federal government told Gov. Jerry Brown that state prisons held too many convicts. The prisoner release that followed has left felons uncontrolled.

“There’s no one watching them. No one,” said Mraz. “We find them when they commit another crime.”

Mraz worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years, including serving in the Fairfield Police Department from 1965-86.

The councilman called on witnesses to crimes to step up and help police.

“If you turn a blind eye,” Mraz said, “you don’t solve anything.”

He said, “Our police officers are faced with a Herculean task.”

Naomy Rojas, 16, of Fairfield, was found dead early Saturday after a reported shooting on the 1400 block of Phoenix Drive. Police said Rojas died of an apparent gunshot would. Three people were injured Monday evening in shootings near the intersection of Clay Bank Road and Sanderling Drive.

Police Chief Walt Tibbet spoke after Mraz and other council members commented about crime. Tibbet told the council, “We take this very seriously. We take this very personally.”

Tibbet said one of the reasons police were able to arrest a suspect after Monday’s shootings is that people came forward to report the man hiding.

Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro said before the police chief spoke that we’re all tired of innocent people killed or hurt. Vaccaro said police are working around the clock, but added of combatting crime that, “Our Police Department can’t do this by itself.”

Mayor Harry Price called for Fairfield “to come together as a community.”

Councilwoman Pam Bertani said of the city that, “We are a united front here.”

“As a community we will get through this together,” she said.

Councilwoman Catherine Moy spoke about”heartbreaking” crime – and referred to the quality of 17 youths she helped to interview for nine positions on the city’s Youth Commission.

“There is more good going on in Fairfield than these incidents that break our hearts,” she said.

 Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 16 comments

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  • elleryFebruary 19, 2014 - 1:29 am

    I don't see any light at the end of this tunnel.

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  • Skeptic ScroogeFebruary 19, 2014 - 5:10 am

    Fairfield has too many reasons for felons to move here. Make these homeless shelters accountable for whom they are housing! Stop with the handouts, felons come here because we are welcoming them with open arms!!!

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  • GOODGUYFebruary 19, 2014 - 6:38 am

    Thank you Jerry for making our state dangerous, putting the lives of innocent people at risk so you can "Balance the budget"! It's time for change back to the old California that was tough on crime! Fact is California has allot of criminals and they need to be imprisoned! Stop releasing these Monsters! The people of California demand criminals to remain behind bars where they put them in a jury of their peers!

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  • Joshua (@Joshacham)February 19, 2014 - 9:58 am

    I have to wonder what the federal courts are thinking. There are too many criminals in prison in California? Well, yeah... we're the most populous state compared to any other in this country, of course we're going to have a higher than normal criminal activity. This order started under The Governator and continues under Moonbeam. I just think we're releasing the wrong criminals because the ones that have been released, quite a few of them have gone on to commit the same crime. The low level offenders like pot dealers and thieves need to be released rather than rapists and the such. Some of them are getting released to house arrest, but they have figured out how to get out of the leg monitors! There's no good that comes with what the federal courts did to us.

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  • Tax PayerFebruary 19, 2014 - 6:54 am

    No, not Jerry, the federal government through their courts ordered him to empty the prisons. That way they can prey on us and still get to vote for liberals. A conspiracy of sorts!

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:01 am

    This is probably the first time the chief refrained from saying "we don't have the resources." Oh, but Vaccaro said it for him. This is not Brown's fault he is responding to federal orders and is doing his job. Full time traffic patrols would likely catch a lot of these folks before they act up again.

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  • Legend1949February 19, 2014 - 7:25 am

    It might help if California changes to a "Must issue state" Since crime is on the up swing older folks like myself would be hard pressed to defend myself, my wife, daughter, baby granddaughter from some kid that just learned how to be a real criminal and was released from prison

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 19, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Mraz and his porker pals are out to build a porker cop empire because he can't address the root of the problem----the welfare and illegal alien underclasses brought to you by the same foul government that now bemoans the crime and nuisance problems they themselves caused!

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 19, 2014 - 8:09 am

    Dumping more money into both cops and more welfare will only add fuel to the fire.

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  • JBFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:09 am

    I ask you what are the good council people doing to make Fairfield a better city? Answer not much. Council person Bertani states we are a united front,but yet she speaks of possibly running for another position before her term is up. She has herself in mind, that is all.

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  • paqkleaderFebruary 19, 2014 - 9:31 am

    This shooting that happened a few minutes ago at leisure town and alamo as being reported by city of vacaville PIO smells of more early release felons...scumbags

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  • RalphFebruary 19, 2014 - 11:43 am

    At what price. many people have been effected by these craz maniacs..for to long.

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  • Dexter FowlerFebruary 19, 2014 - 3:19 pm

    And here I thought Measure P would take care of all the crime. Taxes raised for nothing yet again! Thanks Sheeple.

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  • just a thoughtFebruary 19, 2014 - 5:22 pm

    I know everyone here wants to act like the early release is the issue here but that is not so. These issues Fairfield faces with crime goes back way before the current wave of early release. Lack of an effective police department and a city council that provides no reason for pride in the community are larger factors. One needs to look no further than the fact that the two murders this year were both witnessed by many people yet ffpd still cant effectively get any info.

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  • Former ResidentFebruary 19, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    It would help if the cops were a little more competent and could solve crimes and if the DA was competent and could secure convictions. Solano County is a joke when it comes to the criminal justice system

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 19, 2014 - 7:44 pm

    Why doesn't Harry, Pam, John, Catherine et al hang a sign on the freeway that beckons ''Welcome To Detroit Chicagoland Oakland'' or something?

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