Neighborhood Protection and Public Safety
There can be no more important priority for government than protecting the safety of its citizens. Everyone deserves to live in safe and quiet neighborhoods. Everyone wants to feel secure in their homes and on the streets where they live. The number one job of government is to protect people and property. I understand that without safety, there is no quality of life.
My priority is to provide the best public safety possible. That is why I have continuously supported adding new police officers and worked to add a two-dog K-9 unit in 1996. We are very fortunate in our community to have a program, “Pennies for Police Dogs,” initiated by several community leaders in our town; and, to have a community member step up and fund an additional canine unit – increasing our K-9 unit to three dogs. I led the fight to keep and modernize Novato’s 911 Dispatch. When city officials tried to outsource Novato’s 911 Dispatch to save money, I dug deeper in our budget and found the money to save it because I knew our emergency dispatch was too important to cut. This year, we will be installing a Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) System to save money spent on renting the County’s system.
Novato is growing. Property crimes are on the rise. But our Police Department has fewer sworn police officers today than we did in 2003, prior to the build-out of the Hamilton area. Sure, budgets are tight. But criminals do not stop committing crimes in tight budget times, and Novato should not cut public safety services. We need to fight drugs and alcohol in schools, and put more cops on the street.
Several years ago, we created a “Neighborhood Response Team” based in our police department to focus on specific needs within our community. This was a three–year grant, and, we have committed with Measure F funds to continue this highly responsive team. However, these Measure F funds are dwindling .. we need to continue to look for other revenue streams to hire more officers.
I want to see Novato’s low crime rate stay low, and get even lower. You have my word that I will always put your safety at the top of my list of concerns.