Taft Police Department to start citizen volunteer program, amid crime rise
Residents want more police presence around city
Last Updated: 92 days ago
TAFT, Calif. - The Taft Police Department has begun to put together a citizen volunteer program to start patrolling neighborhoods around the city.
According to police, in the past year there has been a steady increase in property crime, especially burglaries and vandalism in the downtown business area.
Many residents have asked for a solution to the crime and have even blamed it on the lack of patrol presence around the city.
"We see police maybe once a day," said Ocar Manuel who works at "Used to be Paul's Bike Shop" in downtown Taft.
In the three years that Manuel has worked at the bike shop, the business has had two break ins.
"They took about 18 to 20 boards and that worth about $1,200," said Manuel.
Police are hoping that this added task force lower the crime rate.
"They'll walk through neighborhoods or also drive and patrol through neighborhoods or business areas looking for suspicious activity," said Lt. Peter Aranda.
The residents will have to go through a strict application process that includes background checks, mental stability and physical evaluation, before being selected.
Police also hope to equip residents with patrol cars and uniforms in order to boost police presence around the city.
The program is aimed to begin by January 1.
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