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 firstname.lastname@example.org.