In an effort to provide additional uniformed presence downtown during the holiday season, the Santa Cruz Police Department is announcing the temporary expansion of First Alarm guards downtown. The expansion will provide daily coverage and will supplement additional sworn staff assigned to downtown. The department will reallocate additional police officers downtown during the holiday season, a common practice over the last few years.
“We’ve found First Alarm to be a cost-effective way to aid officers in ensuring a safe environment during the holiday season” Police Chief Kevin Vogel said. “Since we’ve implemented the program last year, we’ve received universally positive feedback about their presence downtown.”
Chip, Executive Director of the Downtown Association said, “Having the consistent and professional presence of First Alarm has really made a great impact on the downtown area. The guards play a very helpful role for our businesses, patrons and visitors.”
First Alarm guards have been trained by Santa Cruz Police Department downtown officers in the local ordinances and utilize the police dispatch system to report problems as soon as they occur. The additional guard will work from Noon until 8:00 p.m. and overlap with the current guard's schedule. The funding comes from the salary savings generated by vacant police officer positions. The cost of this program is approximately $5,200.