The Redding Police Neighborhood Police Unit began on January 4, 2016 due to community concerns of a significant rise in crime in our city. The police department created a 6 officer sub-unit within the patrol division that would have the ability to do proactive police work as opposed to reactive, which had become the norm due to budget and personnel cuts over the past several years.
For the past six months, the NPU has been focusing their efforts in the Downtown area and Hilltop corridor by working in partnership with community based business groups, neighborhood watch groups, citizen community groups, and the Shasta County District Attorney Office in an effort to address growing crime trends. Working with patrol beat officers, sharing crime trend information and identifying specific criminals could not be done without the assistance of the patrol officers working their beats. During these few months, the NPU has been able to conduct surveillance and make arrests in high crime areas, focus on problem motels, arrest dozens of drug dealers, and has apprehended numerous wanted persons. They have served in excess of 20 search warrants resulting in the collection of several firearms, drugs, and stolen property. The Redding Inn was a leading cause of calls for service for police in the previous years, but with effort from the NPU and Shasta County District Attorney Office, it is now closed, reducing calls for service at that location by 100 percent. Similarly the Hilltop Lodge has been closed and destroyed, also reducing calls for service by 100 percent. It should be noted the Hilltop Lodge was not closed or destroyed as a result of the NPU efforts as this process had begun prior.
The three Motel 6 businesses in the City of Redding had been a significant source of criminal activity when the NPU began. Officers relayed their concerns and provided crime statistics to the Motel 6 corporate office in Dallas, Texas and a relationship began that has had positive results. Representatives from corporate headquarters came out to Redding on two separate occasions and met with NPU in person. Crime reduction ideas were shared and a training program for Motel 6 employees was implemented. In a few short months, calls for service at the Motel 6 properties have been reduced by 40 percent.
Since January, the NPU has made over 2,300 citizen contacts, of which 353 were on active probation, 68 on AB109 PRCS probation, 60 on CDCR parole, and 21 documented gang members. They have issued 283 citations and have now made over 500 arrests. As of July 20, 2016 the NPU has collected 304.6 grams of methamphetamine, 142.5 grams of heroin, 6.5 grams of cocaine, 24.8 pounds of marijuana, and numerous narcotic prescription pills. 12 firearms have been collected from criminals and 32 other weapons to include knives, billy clubs, brass knuckles, stun guns, and the like.
Redding Police Crime Statistician Mike Murphy has completed a comparison from the year 2015 to the same time period of 2016 and finds that since the Neighborhood Police Unit has begun efforts on the Hilltop corridor, proactive police contacts have increased dramatically. Traffic stops have increased by 73.9 percent and pedestrians checks have increased by 30.4 percent. Calls for service have been reduced by 13.3 percent. All crime categories have been reduced with theft being reduced by 30.5 percent. Auto burglaries and break-ins have been reduced by 13.7 percent.
In the Downtown area, Mike Murphy reports more success. Traffic stops have increased 66.7 percent and pedestrian checks have increased 21.0 percent. Calls for service have been reduced by 13.2 percent. Again, all crime categories have been reduced and theft has been reduced by 38.7 percent. Auto burglaries and break-ins have been reduced by an impressive 28.0 percent.
The Redding Police Department would like to thank those that have contributed to their success.
Neighborhood Watch, the Hilltop Business Watch Group, the Downtown Business Watch Group, and all the citizens that have provided much needed input and information. Special thanks also to the Shasta County District Attorney Office Senior Deputy District Attorney Anand ‘Lucky’ Jesrani and Senior Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafel for their expertise and hard work.