Police Chief speaks about study recommendations
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Nov 14, 2013 | 1450 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson Police Chief Tori Hughes spoke this week about a police study conducted by Matrix Consulting of Mountain View that appeared to be critical of police services, especially about city coverage on the night shift.

The study, which outlined the cost of the city contracting with other agencies for services or going with its own police department, identified what the consultants deemed inadequate within Patterson Police Services, as well as the current contract with Stanislaus County.

The study indicated that the city should eliminate one detective position stating detective caseloads were too light, leaving three detectives. They also wish to hire two more sergeants for night shift coverage and better supervision during the graveyard hours. It was recommended the eliminated detective be moved to cover traffic.

Hughes indicated that a detective had already been moved to traffic and two traffic officers were covering the city.

She said Tuesday Nov. 12 that she receives many complaints about traffic in the city and moved quickly on the recommendation.

“The majority of complaints I receive, either by email or phone are traffic related,” she said, noting she was expecting holiday traffic to increase due to the addition of a Walmart Supercenter and the Amazon Fulfillment Center. She said schools were also calling regarding traffic concerns.

“One thing that is increasing is our city is traffic,” she said.

Concurring with the recommendation for the addition of two nighttime sergeants, Hughes stated that operations and city coverage would be more efficient.

One problem the city runs into at night, Hughes indicated, was the loss of a patrol deputy when they have to transport someone they’ve arrested to the County Jail on Hackett Road in South Modesto to be booked.

When the deputy leaves, there is one less deputy patrolling, she said. Adding sergeants to the nighttime shift would allow coverage to continue even if an arrest is transported, she said.

The report also stated that there was no target by Patterson Police Services for the division of time by deputies between proactive—or crime prevention—and reactive or responding to crimes.

Departments should strive to have 50 to 60 percent of the time spent in reactive mode and 40 to 50 percent of the time spent in proactive mode, according to the study.

Hughes said the recommendations from the report will help Patterson Police Services handle hotspots when resources are needed and still be proactive in the long run, leading to more arrests.

Hughes, later in the meeting when the report was released Oct. 22, indicated that major crimes or part one crimes as reported to the F.B.I. had dropped over the last year by more than 13 percent.

Part one crimes include homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson. Detectives often investigate those crimes. But she said lower caseloads for them may be due to the work of patrol deputies handling less complex investigative work that doesn’t call for intensive items like search warrants.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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