There is a crisis in Oxnard, a crisis in leadership. Our leaders have told us that a budget crunch that threatens essential services such as police and fire protection has caught them off guard. The city has said everyone must cut back. But where do they start? With the essential services that we as citizens of Oxnard are accustomed and entitled to?
Recently, I went on a police ride-along and saw the problems our city faces. I saw drug busts, possibly random shootings and gang stabbings. The backup officer I accompanied raced back and forth across town answering calls. He was the only officer providing backup in south Oxnard. It also has come to my attention that during the week of Oct. 23, from 2 to 6 a.m., there were only four officers patrolling our entire city! The city has eliminated the truancy officers, causing daytime burglaries to rise. We could use two more police dogs, but current staffing can't man the positions.
It has been reported that the police overspent their budget. True! But there is no way for the police to project overtime hours spent in court. In a recent two-week period, officers put in 220 overtime hours to follow through on criminal charges. Let's get our priorities straight by calling or writing the City Council.