Community safety meeting featured new police chief

The new Sacramento Police Chief, Daniel Hahn, spoke about community safety Oct. 2 in Curtis Hall. Jointly organized by Councilmember Jay Schenirer and Eric Johnson, SCNA president, the meeting brought in six speakers who made short presentations.

Chief Hahn started by saying he was glad to be back in Curtis Hall, which was the cafeteria at Sierra Elementary School when he attended as a kindergartener and first grader. During first grade, his family moved to Oak Park, where he grew up.

Chief Hahn served in the Sacramento city police department for 23 years before becoming the chief of police in Roseville in 2010. After a nationwide search, in August 2017 he returned to Sacramento as the new police chief.

According to Chief Hahn, the department lost 803 officers during the economic recession that forced many cutbacks in local government. These cuts reduced the number of Problem Oriented Police (POP) officers, the community and neighborhood-based police units that focused on neighborhood crime. Other severely reduced coverage included officers focused on narcotics, vice, and gangs. Chief Hahn pledged to “do what it takes to have a high-quality life in every neighborhood.”

“do what it takes to have a high-quality life in every neighborhood.”
—Chief Hahn

Captain Dave Peletta, commander of the South Command including Curtis Park, Land Park, and areas south to Greenhaven, had several tips to reduce crime. He strongly reminded neighbors to lock all windows, doors, garages, bicycles, and autos. Motion-detector lights are an effective deterrent to burglars. Home surveillance cameras capable of sharp photos are now becoming somewhat affordable (about $400–$500) and greatly assist police in capturing criminals.

Peletta told the audience, “You are the eyes and ears for the police. It is important to report suspicious circumstances to us, and to be specific as possible.” He urged the audience to report events with an immediate threat to persons or property, and crimes in progress to 911. The police nonemergency number, 264–5471, is best used when: the suspect has left, suspicious activities occur, reporting property crimes of theft or burglary and other non-urgent situations.

Online reports may be completed at https://www.cityofsacramento.org/Police/How-Do-I/File-a-Police-Report. An app for smartphones to contact Sac PD is available at no cost. It’s best to enter details including serial numbers and descriptions of stolen property.

As the moderator, Schenirer said: “The homeless situation is the number one issue for our community.” He introduced Emily Halcon, Homeless Services Coordinator for the city, who collaborates with a number of agencies in city, county, state governments, churches and other nonprofits. Call 311 to report homeless camps.

Sgt. Greg Galliano represented the Sac PD IMPACT team. Galliano said, “The IMPACT team involves police using best practices and compassionate policing to provide outreach and engagement services to the homeless population.” They partner with a number of agencies that provide services to address the problems of homeless persons, including drug and alcohol rehab, food, temporary housing, and other resources.

The final speaker was Barbara Falcon, Community Services Officer in the chief’s office. She offers a large number of training programs for the community including the effective long-standing Neighborhood Watch program. The training focus is crime prevention and teaching neighbors how to best help the police reduce crime. She also uses the NextDoor online program to provide the class schedules. Her contact number is 808-0813.

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