Council: LP Park Police Storefront to be staffed, get new equipment

November 25, 2005
Santa Paula City Council

With an infusion of Weed & Seed grant money the former longtime volunteers staffing the Las Piedras Park Community Policing Building have been hired to continue operations of the police storefront.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesWith an infusion of Weed & Seed grant money the former longtime volunteers staffing the Las Piedras Park Community Policing Building have been hired to continue operations of the police storefront.The City Council learned of the changes at the storefront at the Nov. 15 meeting.City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz started the discussion by noting that new Police Chief Steve MacKinnon was starting the next day and “I want to say that Acting Chief Mark Hanson has done an excellent job. I’m glad” that Assistant Chief Hanson took over the department after the retirement of Chief Bob Gonzales on Sept. 30. “I want to thank Mark for his excellent service as chief.”Assistant to the City Manager Melissa Grisales told the council that an advertised recruitment had been launched to staff the park Community Policing Building.After candidate interviews were held Calla Dominguez and Jenny Bonilla were hired to be the storefront coordinator and assistant coordinator respectively.Dominguez will work at the storefront 30 hours a week and although Bonilla is scheduled for 20 hours weekly Grisales recommended that Bonilla’s scheduled be increased to 30 hours a week.
The federal Department of Justice Weed & Seed grant supplied $100,000 for storefront costs including an English as a Second Language teacher and after school coordinator for Las Piedras Park area children.The storefront also needs equipment upgrades noted Grisales.“Once again I want to thank the council for their support of the Weed and Seed program,” said Councilman John Procter who has worked with the SPPD and area residents for years to secure the funding.Procter noted that much of the equipment at the storefront is “like hand-me-downs” and that along with staffing new equipment would be welcome.Discussions with Assistant Chief Hanson about hooking up SPPD computer access with the storefront would help “make it the most viable satellite possible,” said Procter. “It’s not just an Internet connection” but would enable SPPD officers to work on reports and other documents while at the storefront and subsequently spend more time at the building.“Acting Chief Hanson was explaining to me that in the old days an officer could do the paperwork anywhere but now they have to be connected” via computer noted Procter.



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