Letter to the Editor from Retired Police Chief: Culture Doesn’t Change Overnight

On November 29, I attended the special city council meeting regarding public safety update. It was a refreshing and encouraging informational meeting for the most part. The Council, City Manager and Police Chief all pointed out there is yet much to be done to change the culture we as a community have been fearful of for the last several years.

It was my sense most of the people nearly filling the council chambers were encouraged by the updated reports of accomplishments given by the City Manager, Mr. Tippin, and Police Chief, Roger Moore. These accomplishments have been completed or started within the last 4 months of each of them being hired in their new positions. I feel Mayor, Brent Weaver, and most of his colleagues sensed a change was needed in public safety and the city in general.

The Council took a courageous move by hiring Mr. Tippin as a new City Manager in light of some criticism of some members of our community. In my opinion, Mr. Tippin is a man of vision with a fire in his belly to make Redding better. Mr. Tippin in turn hired a very competent new Police Chief in Roger Moore who in turn has a fire in his belly to see positive change in the Police Department. Both Mr. Tippin and Chief Moore are home grown but are very contemporary, have knowledge and insight of what the world around them is like.

I feel their vision and persistence with the continued support of the Council will lead us back to a sense of the comfortable secure culture this city once enjoyed. We must try to be patient. I predict that with Council support, the City Manager, Police Chief and other city staff with community involvement will see our quality of life continue to improve. Culture doesn’t change overnight.

Robert P. Blankenship, Chief of Police, Redding, CA., Retired

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14 Responses

  1. Grammy says:

    As a residence of Shasta county for 40 years I am just sad over the changes that are happening to our county. Business are being closed due to the homelessness. People begging at store fronts. And the guards!! Everywhere! Even at Costco. Human rights have given thieves the power to ripe off business without repercussions. Employees that just can not take it any more are getting fired when they try and stop the shop lifter. Where is the pride that people use to have? Are these criminals new comers or are they long time residence that have become homeless/criminals over the years due to circumstances? It is no fun shopping for Christmas when you have to be careful of any person around you that might be a purse snatcher (and why you lock your purse into the cart seat locks as soon as you exit your car.)
    I want my Shasta Country back. This is affecting property values!

    • K. Beck says:

      The problems you describe are happening all over this country. It is not just Redding and/or Shasta County. When you have mass poverty you have the conditions we see every day on the streets of Redding. It is not just Shasta County.

  2. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I agree that Tippen and Moore share a sense of urgency and focus on the tasks at hand—a refreshing departure from the hand-wringing and fatalism that we saw with some previous local leaders. Four months is far too short a timeline to judge whether or not the new perspective will translate into tangible results on Redding’s streets. If they do produce results, maybe Redding’s voters will reward them with some trust and, in short order, a means of adequately funding programs that *really* make a difference.

    A guy can dream.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      This gal can dream with you, Steve. Jon’s review of the last Council meeting made the future sound more optimistic than virtually all previous meetings he covered. I was heartened to learn that the ludicrous recall effort was not successful. The ballot box and good candidates make more sense than a very expensive recall election. My hopes for Redding’s future are with the efforts of Tippen, Moore, and the Council. The residents are counting on them.

  3. Rev.Christopher Whedon says:

    While I do not reside anywhere near you I agree with your outlook.The government needs to LISTEN first, then consider the correct actions to take whether it be the Police or the mayors’ office!
    Knowing the problems exist are only half of solving them, Action is the other half. This country seems to be in such turmoil lately because of all of the crimes committed in the White House by pretty much everyone there! Standing together is the only way to defeat crime and bad government, That and FAITH!

  4. conservative says:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/12/03/walters-could-california-be-seeing-the-onset-of-a-recession/

    The next recession will make crime and drugs much worse. The BEA numbers worried Dan Walters. CA annual growth rate 2.1%. WY 7.6%. NV 3.8%. https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2017/pdf/qgsp1117.pdf

    We often read on AnewsCafe that marijuana is the solution to the regional economy. In the next recession, the State of California may take almost all the profits. Large growers are easier to tax and regulate. The proceeds from Shasta county’s $100 million commercial pot growing industry and Humboldt’s $400 million may nearly all go to the State which can tax and regulate large producers.

  5. Hollis Pickett says:

    I remember moving to Redding in 1979…..about two years (or so) later, there was a murder on (if I recall correctly) S. Market St. of a real estate agent (female)……it was a huge deal – first capital crime in Redding in years…..my, how times have changed. And, we’re not the only ones, folks…..it’s happening everywhere. Which means you have to ask…….why……..it’s a crucial question.

    • Hollis Pickett says:

      Which (with thanks to Mr. Blankenship) perfectly illustrates his point…..this cultural change didn’t happen overnight……so – how did we arrive here?

  6. Frank Treadway says:

    Don’t forget folks that the CA Supreme Court ordered, followed by the Governor’s action, that CA reduce it’s overcrowded prison population. This is one of the direct results of what’s filling up Library/Carnegie Park, business doorways with AB 109 folks, followed by vagrants/transients, mental and substance abusing humans. Yes, it’s a tragedy that is now common to many cities across the CA/US, but we can’t become so disheartened that we forget we are the community, and we can continue to help our selves and our surroundings. Attend council and supervisor meetings, send emails to our elected officials, even call them and let them know your call actually represents 10 others who feel the same way. Instead of ranting, take personal action in a responsible and dutiful manner.

    • Tim says:

      The US Supreme Court upheld the order, along ideological lines (ex-Sacramentoan Kennedy being the swing vote). Kennedy was heavily influenced by California’s high suicide rates amongst the incarcerated: 22 suicides per 100,000 inmates in California vs 15 per 100,000 nationwide (11 per 100,000 outside of prison).

      Unfortunately, the treatment was worse than the disease. California *prison* suicide rates were actually about the same as the national average (15 per 100,000), but California *jail* suicides were astronomically higher (42 per 100,000).

      So what did Brown do to prevent the senseless self-extermination of the California criminal? He shifted prisoners to county jails where they are ~3x as likely to kill themselves!

  7. Missy M says:

    While I agree with much of your assessment…I have to disagree with your call for patience. In my opinion our “patience” has attributed to the mess our county is now in. The time for patience has long since passed. In fact, I believe it is our new found lack of patience that has spurred many of the new, welcome changes in the war on crime.

  8. Karen C says:

    Hollis, I think we arrived here because Redding lost the “be proactive” drive it used to have under former Chief Bob Blankenship. He was a leader, a visionary and strong believer in being proactive. He seemed to be able to lead his teams into the proper training and handling things a soon as they appeared. I know times have changed and cities are being forced into crazy rulings from higher authority, but we can fight back.
    People are losing their patience with the criminal element influencing every aspect of our lives. Our health, safety, and welfare are being threatened. Increasingly, I see neighbors taking criminal matters into their own hands, many times safety being forgotten.
    I truly miss the old way the Redding Police Dept. could operate, officers knew if they arrested someone, most times they would serve their due time. They had good funding, a healthy number of sworn officers, Community Service Officers, cadets, Crime Prevention Officers, a very healthy Neighborhood Watch Program which was taken care of and supported by a team of well trained volunteers and full-time officers working with them.

    I am very supportive of Chief Roger Moore, I finally have some hope, it has been a long time.
    Karen Calanchini, retired Volunteer Program Manager and proud to have worked with the Blankenship teams.

    • Tim says:

      We have “good funding;” in fact, we have more funding today than the good ol’ days, even after adjusting for inflation. Funding is not the problem – employee spending is!

      Year/Police budget (2017 dollars)/staff/calls for service:
      2001-2002: $22.6mm, 159 employees, 74k calls
      2002-2003: $25.0mm, 162 employees, 78k calls
      2003-2004: $26.3mm, 173 employees, 77k calls

      2015-2016: $27.2mm, 143 employees, 96k calls
      2016-2017: $27.5mm, 143 employees, 98k calls

      $18 of that $27 million went to employee compensation in 2016:
      Chief Paoletti $283,609.56
      Captain Moore $270,334.25
      Captain Wallace $264,485.50
      Lieutenant Brown $235,590.27
      Lieutenant Wallace $230,939.82
      Lieutenant Barner $225,856.22
      Lieutenant Brindley $222,491.91
      Lieutenant Schueller $214,070.46
      Sergeant Cogle $213,758.15
      Sergeant Bokavich $213,728.49
      Sergeant Wood $212,966.82
      Sergeant Bullington $210,954.66
      Sergeant James $208,983.45
      Sergeant Maready $202,127.41
      Sergeant Poletski $196,070.14
      Officer Kongkeoviman $194,664.78
      Officer Adams $194,405.25
      Investigator Llamas $191,210.92
      Sergeant Icely $188,319.56
      Investigator Torum $187,667.95
      Corporal Smetak $187,051.97
      Corporal Cole $186,053.50
      Corporal Solada $185,984.99
      Investigator Ellis $185,528.49
      Sergeant Mcginnis $184,617.01
      Officer Schmidt $183,882.74
      Officer Provencio $181,833.58
      Investigator Bishop $181,764.20
      Officer Rhoads $181,544.20
      Sergeant Montgomery $181,434.44
      Officer Duval $179,558.59
      Officer Smyrnos $179,339.77
      Investigator Harney $178,802.45
      Sergeant Forsberg $178,353.41
      Corporal Meadows $178,094.76
      Officer Little $177,374.26
      Investigator Garnero $177,121.40
      Corporal Jacoby $175,960.78
      Officer Williams $174,499.75
      Officer Sheldon $174,066.74
      Corporal Berry $173,644.08
      Corporal Woods $173,228.42
      Investigator Renault $172,492.77
      Officer Townsley $172,225.74
      Officer Berg $171,364.60
      Officer Moore $171,272.74
      Officer Kinneavy $170,819.85
      Officer Weaver $170,770.85
      Officer Landreth $170,253.61
      Officer Porter $170,005.76
      Investigator Harris $169,854.51
      Investigator Ware $167,856.55
      Officer Veilleaux $167,732.52
      Officer Hebert $166,664.04
      Investigator Dimatteo $166,391.38
      Officer Kimple $166,080.07
      Officer Snyder $165,859.54
      Officer Hunt $165,072.89
      Officer O’hern $164,779.68
      Officer Denham $164,767.18
      Officer Hollemon $164,546.66
      Officer Cowan $164,157.41
      Investigator Slagle $164,138.65
      Officer Rowen $159,956.16
      Officer Labbe $158,637.12
      Investigator Mills $158,331.09
      Officer Maxwell $155,661.92
      Officer Moore $154,431.75
      Officer Zufall $153,247.67
      Officer Heyne $152,694.77
      Officer Day $147,214.62
      Officer Rempfer $147,013.96
      Officer Tracy $143,452.09
      Officer Caldwell $141,786.59
      Officer Ferrin $140,163.14
      Officer Melcher $140,057.35
      Officer Guiducci $135,031.81
      Officer Siipola $134,151.73
      Officer Rouland $134,048.21
      Officer Rossi $134,041.98
      Officer Williams $131,329.45
      Officer Bland $127,498.78
      Officer Ketel $124,833.49
      Officer Mack $121,512.38
      Officer Hull $120,349.98
      Officer Stark $119,652.89
      Lieutenant Heston $115,893.82
      Service Manager Nance $115,410.26
      Officer Kuyper $113,684.92
      Service Suppervisor Egger $111,981.43
      Sergeant Mellon $104,286.02
      Technician Auberg $101,830.54
      Technician Ray $101,475.42
      Officer Gross $101,327.23
      Corporal Eoff $100,087.04
      Technician Wormer $98,304.44
      Officer Kofford $97,429.02
      Technician Strole $96,585.94
      Technician Frisbie $95,899.00
      Officer Peterson $95,062.76
      Technician Johnson $94,285.56
      Technician Mcdonald $91,385.50
      Service Supervisor Jantz $91,020.17
      Officer Wilkes $90,460.71
      Technician Perreira $88,733.71
      Technician Thompson $76,576.57
      Officer Johnson $76,172.16
      Technician Aitken $75,467.88
      Officer Kasinger $71,853.85
      Technician Silvey $61,828.49
      Technician Weinberger $48,991.51
      Officer Thomas $39,390.51
      Officer Stoker $37,264.88
      Technician Mccormick $34,926.78
      Officer Gallegos $34,735.64
      Officer Staup $34,500.00
      Officer Chapman $32,707.26
      Officer Sterret $27,427.56
      Officer Hembree $26,916.49
      Officer Wilbourn $25,435.95
      Technician Fullerton $20,855.04
      Officer Henderson $14,075.21
      Technician Duarte $12,181.95
      Cadet Meamber $10,362.12
      Cadet Quon $10,074.71
      Cadet Mcgrath $9,903.40
      Technician Womack $9,366.96
      Cadet Martina $9,161.91
      Cadet Jimenez $7,023.45
      Cadet Morgan $6,889.35
      Cadet Rasmussen $5,932.72
      Cadet Dahlberg $5,786.88
      Cadet Renteria $5,362.55
      Cadet Graham $4,712.76
      Cadet Morris $4,094.46
      Cadet Manning $2,480.00
      Cadet Moon $2,060.00
      Cadet Morrow $1,552.50
      Cadet Gaston $1,522.50
      Cadet Weld $1,219.79
      Technician Winter $218.82

      A full-time police officer costs $155,000/year according to the Bethel Neighborhood Police Unit grant estimates. Officer Garrett Maxwell happens to make that, so let’s look at how his pay has skyrocketed in recent years.

      2013: $55k salary, $40k benefits, $16k overtime, $3k other…$115k total
      2014: $69k salary, $42k benefits, $14k overtime, $3k other…$129k total
      2015: $73k salary, $43k benefits, $21k overtime, $4k other…$140k total
      2016: $76k salary, $52k benefits, $22k overtime, $5k other…$156k total

      Why has his compensation gone up 36% when inflation was only 3%?

      In 2002 the entire police budget – including cars, gas, etc – worked out to $142k per employee (again, in today’s dollars). Today the police budget works out to $192k per employee.

  9. Vi Lam says:

    After selling my Redding home of 14 years in 2014, I have travelled all over this wonderful country, with just one state left to visit. And yes, yes, there ARE places where the crime rate is lower, where beggers AREN’T all over a city, where people work hard and take pride in their community. Leaving was not only a choice and an option, but my life improved greatly. I was so lucky to be able to choose to longer put up with vandalism, multiple thefts & ever-escalating possibility of harm. Community commitment is being accomplished elsewhere now. Life is good!!!

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