By Mike Hazlip—
Citrus Heights police plan to add two new staff positions focused on curbing rising retail theft, using a $2.7 million state grant.
Citrus Heights Police Lt. Wesley Herman said in a Nov. 9 City Council meeting that the department plans to add a part-time detective who will be focused on organized retail theft, along with one full-time information center operator.
The three-year statewide grant was a competitive process with 114 applicants, with funds aimed at detecting, preventing, and solving theft-related crime as well as enhancing police technology and staffing, Herman said. The department received the full amount requested in the application.
The department plans to use the funds to add license plate reader cameras, live 911 technology, and a mobile trailer camera system, according to the lieutenant’s presentation.
Councilwoman Jayna Karpinski-Costa asked about recovering stolen property, and Herman said he hopes working with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s office will result in prosecutions, but added that “the front line is going to be our patrol officers and our impact detectives that are out there on the street.”
Herman said retail theft has “continued to cripple” businesses and said it has made it “extremely difficult to remain open and profitable.”
Several council members also echoed concern about the rise in retail theft statewide.
“This stuff is killing businesses, it’s absolutely killing businesses,” Vice Mayor Bret Daniels said. “This is the response that needs to happen. It’s unfortunate that we have to spend dollars to do such a thing but it’s just reality.”
Mayor Tim Schaefer called retail theft “out of control” and added his own personal observations of a Safeway in Fairfield that had steel gates used to lock items. He said the store’s manager told him it was a choice between closing the store or adding the security measures to help curb theft.
Police enforcement plans for Citrus Heights come amid recent public comments by Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper blaming corporate policies that he sees as hindering police work. Cooper also blamed the voter-approved Proposition 47 for making thefts of less than $950 a misdemeanor.
By Mike Hazlip—
Citrus Heights police plan to add two new staff positions focused on curbing rising retail theft, using a $2.7 million state grant...
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