The California City Police Department has received a grant from the Department of Justice, making them the only Kern County agency that benefited.
The DOJ awarded nearly $120 million to 184 law agencies. California agencies received over $11 million, and Cal City got $125,000.00.
According to Police Chief Eric Hurtado, that money will go towards the departments current school program. They currently have an officer that patrols schools part time; this grant will allow that officer to do it full time, giving the department a permanent presence near the community's youth.
"This is an important grant right now," Hurtado said. "If we did not have this grant in place...we'd lose that bridge between the police department and the children of the city."
The officer will be splitting time between California City High School and the local middle school and elementary schools.
Kevin Guillen is the officer who will be affected by the grant; he's already been patrolling the schools, but the grant will allow him to do it full-time for the next three years (at least).
"[The kids] will come and talk to me wherever they're at, whatever problems they're having, and it's great. It really is," Guillen says.
Chief Hurtado said the grant allows police to get familiar with students and the community, which can be important when they're taking calls.