First, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the great community of Cathedral City as your newest Chief of Police. It is truly an honor to serve such a fine community and work with the outstanding men and women who make up our Police Department. On their behalf, please accept our gratitude for your support. Retired Chief George Crum is to be commended for his efforts in enhancing the service that the department provides our community during his tenure, and the partnerships that he helped build.
The importance of partnerships between a police department and the community it serves cannot be overstated. It is through these types of partnerships that a high quality of life and low-crime rate can be preserved for those who live and work in Cathedral City, as well as those who visit our great community. This is my on-going commitment to you as your Chief.
I am happy to report that the most recent data that we reported to the FBI shows a 27% decrease in Part I crime for 2017. This marks our third consecutive year with a significant reduction in crime. The Part I crime category includes the following crime categories: Homicide, Robbery, Rape, Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Larceny, Arson, and Motor Vehicle Theft. Through effective traffic enforcement strategies, and the utilization of Grant funds obtained from the California Office of Traffic Safety, we also saw a significant reduction in traffic related fatalities last year.
Since our last community update, our officers have stayed active with our community engagement efforts in a variety of ways. During the Spooktacular Event held at the Civic Center, officer showed off many of the tools used to help keep our community safe, while also conducting child safety seat inspections, and giving away bicycles and bicycle helmets to several lucky young people. Officers also participated in the inaugural Snow Fest parade, and City Hall Tree Lighting ceremony. The elves you saw in the parade, and spreading joy downtown that night, were members of our Police Cadet program. The Police Department held their annual “Shop with a Cop” event at Target, and treated 36 local children to a morning shopping experience that included seeing Santa arriving at Target in the Bearcat, breakfast, and then a generous shopping experience with members from our department. This event is made possible through donations received from local businesses and our money our officers donate to help make a difference for some of the children of our community.
While keeping in line with our current Strategic Plan, the department will continue to undertake programs that will allow us to be responsive to the needs of our community while fostering mutual trust. Some of these programs will include on-going traffic safety campaigns, growing our Neighborhood Watch groups, and launching a Community Police Academy in 2018. The community academy will be designed to help educate members of our community on all that your police department does to protect the you, and help answer your questions about the profession. We will also be conducting a variety of new community engagement events in 2018, to help keep you better informed about department happenings. Look for Coffee with a Cop, and Coffee with the Chief, events throughout the year.