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By Mike Hazlip—
Newly appointed Citrus Heights Police Chief Alex Turcotte spoke at a monthly Auburn Boulevard Business Association (ABBA) meeting on Tuesday at Fireside Lanes bowling alley, saying overall crime is down but raising concerns about violent crime in the district.
Turcotte said overall crime is down 25%, with burglary down 60% and stolen vehicles down 80%. The chief also referenced double-digit drops in “quality of life” concerns, such as loitering and blight.
He said violent crime is up however, reflecting trends seen nationally. Turcotte said ABBA has seen 11 to 15 more incidents of violent crime compared with last year. Two of those were shootings over the summer at what Turcotte referenced as a local nightclub.
The Sentinel reported on two incidents in May near the 7440 Club about a week apart. Turcotte said police are working with the business owner to ensure safety of the community.
“We want our businesses to be successful and make money, but when they’re attracting that kind of nefarious activity, we have to do our part to try to drive that down,” he said, describing various measures such as education and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. “We definitely have structures in place to come back around and try to make sure that stays consistent and drops.”
Business owner Rich Hale asked Turcotte what can be done to reduce crime in the district. While Turcotte said tougher crime laws would make a difference, he encouraged business owners and residents to continue reporting crime.
“I don’t care if the guy’s out again in a couple hours: if there’s a criminal doing criminal activity, we’re going to continue to lock him up. We’re going to continue to do what we can,” he said.
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