June 24, 2014

Chief Vogel Hits the Local Newstalk Airwaves

Chief Kevin Vogel took to the local radio airwaves this morning.  Along with his trusty Deputy Chief sidekick, the two dusted off their "radio voices" and were guests on KSCO’s Good Morning Monterey Bay with Rosie Chalmers. 

These two have worked together their entire careers and have over 55 years of local law enforcement experience between the two of them.  

 The Chief talked with Rosie on everything from the upcoming police department budget, staffing levels, July 4th preparations, Safety Enhancement Zone and fireworks enforcement, to the department’s use of Social Media to catch crooks….like this blog.    

On the budget, the City Council is expected to complete the final budget approval for our Fiscal Year 2015 budget.  In that, the police department is focusing on strengthening our core services and long overdue equipment replacement.  The department will also be restructuring some of our civilian personnel to improve efficiency and better meet needs.

On overall police staffing, we are proud to announce that we are fully staffed in the sworn police officer ranks.  This is the first time in many, many years we have been able to make this declaration!  We will pause for you all to do the wave!!!  We have actually hired 16 police officers over the last year.  We currently have a team of 4 attending the police academy.  They are expected to graduate the academy and placed in the field training program in September.  We are recruiting for Police Records Technician and Police Property Attendant positions.    

On July 4th, this is an “All Hands on Deck” situation for the department throughout the entire July 4th weekend.   We will have teams deployed in and around West Cliff, Main Beach (Boardwalk) and Seabright areas…..We will also have added patrols to the rest of the city to address our regular onslaught of calls for service.  Fireworks enforcement is a particular concern this year with the extremely dry conditions surrounding the city.  Throughout the weekend, the police department will respond to literally hundreds of fireworks calls in neighborhoods.

The City Council will be considering a citywide Safety Enhancement Zone for the July 4th weekend to address the increased fire danger posed by fireworks this year.  The Safety Enhancement Zone creates a “Triple Fine” for certain Municipal Code violations, including fireworks.  The measure is intended to serve as a deterrent when individuals consider the cost of a fireworks citation.

Finally, our use of Social Media has been a huge success with our “Name That Thief” feature.  We are running about 75% success rate with tips on theft suspects placed on the blog from surveillance photos.  Great job Santa Cruz!!!  The department also completed our first Virtual Ride Along last week, Tweeting out the day’s activities for Officer Carly Cross on day shift.

Keep naming those thieves, and keep tuned to our blog and Facebook to see what we are up to.