Tough times have forced the Parlier Police to get creative in their effort to keep the community safe. Due to budget cuts in March, the department has been reduced from 14 sworn officers to 10.
CBS47 took a ride with Officer Robert McGuire. He likes to begin his shift by patrolling the perimeter of Parlier.
“Just to get a feel for what’s going on. Especially on a Friday or Saturday night when you know there’s going to be parties or something is going to be happening,” said Officer Robert McGuire of the Parlier Police Dept.
Getting a lay of the land is critical, especially with fewer officers on the streets. Despite community protest four months ago, the city chose to lay off 30% of its officers in an effort to save money.
Parlier is a place with a good share of gangs, guns, drugs and occasional violence, but according to Chief David Cerda, his department is weathering this storm pretty well.
“You know we haven’t seen a significant increase in gang activity in our community. I think that’s a big attribute to our officers’ dedication to keeping that community safe,” said Parlier Police Chief David Cerda.
Officers are now more strategic than ever. Patrols cars are constantly on the move to stay visible.
“You’ve got to make yourself seem like there are more of you than there really are to deter anything bad from happening,” said McGuire.
The department leans on resources like the internet for folks to report certain crimes rather than have an officer respond. There’s a $100,000 gang grant which allows Parlier Police to team up with other agencies for extra firepower. They also rely on the experience of veteran officers when investigating crimes.
“We kind of know who we’re going after and who to look at as far as possible suspects,” said McGuire.
There may be less help which makes the job more difficult, but officers can’t afford to focus on the negatives.
“Our main duty is to protect lives and property and that’s what we’ll strive to do,” said McGuire.
The city also laid off three people in the police department’s office, so it’s getting help from volunteers called Citizens on Patrol. You can get involved as a volunteer by calling (559) 646-6600. You can also download an application by clicking the link listed above.
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