Coffee with the Chief was held at Coffee Nutz on Foothill inRialto. It was a great time sitting down with Chief Farrar and Captain Deanda. About 15 – 20 people were there to openly dialogue about their local community. It began with the chief introducing himself and it took little time for people to dive right in. Owner Andy Carrizales was one of the many in attendance. There were also members from the Human Relations Board, two massive Neighborhood Watch groups and regular residents.
The President and Vice President of the Human Relations Board were there to get some answers on the possibility of a Chili Cook Off between the Fire Dept. and Rialto PD.
Chief Farrar said that he had not received their contact requests. With reference to the Cook Off and it would depend on if the city was going to have their battle of the badges this year where they do have a chili cook off. The matter would be further researched and an answer would be given at a later date.
Linda Chapman from the Human Relations Board announced that a customer service survey was done on Rialto PD and that the results and report were in the works.
Chief touched on some of the ways the police department was using resources wisely and keeping things like SWAT, The Helicopter Program, and Drug and Gang Enforcement available to the City ofRialto. Using these functions in conjunction with neighboring cities likeColtonandFontanaallows the costs to be shared and intel to flow more freely. Figures were also shared on what our K-9 program has accomplished. In the last year they have seized 1.2 million dollars in property and taken 1 million dollars in drugs off the street.
Chief also spoke about the effects of the state’s Early Release Program on local communities and crime. Rialto PD has one adult and one juvenile probation officers assigned toRialto. Having this resource, Rialto PD hopes to stay on top of the early release inmates and be there to enforce their probation rules when they break them.
Chief spoke about the importance of getting graffiti off ASAP and would check into complaints that TAGS were staying up for 5-6 days after being reported. If you have graffiti that isn’t being removed after you call it in you can call Public Works Official Tim Sullivan at (909) 421-7229.
Many ways to foster positive relationships between our police and the youth were discussed: They included small community afternoons to reach out to the youth in a more positive manner in conjunction with the Area Command Meetings, having game trailers out at the meetings might draw more families and give the parents the ability to sit and get important information without worrying if their kids are bored, having hot dogs, chips and a drink could eliminate the need for families to cram dinner in before coming to the meetings.
Finally the topic that I enjoyed the most was the fact that this chief’s goal was to be more transparent than any before. Capt De Anda said he directed Sgt’s to go around to people in the community and give them some information on what is taking place (in their neighborhood after an incident) so that people’s fears and imaginations wouldn’t run wild and the community would feel like they are a part owner in public safety working alongside the police not separate or against them.
These meetings are a great way to get involved, have a voice and be more informed about what is happening in the community. I would invite everyone to come out to the next meeting on July 10th. It is time well spent.