Community Service Officers – an idea whose time has come in Riverside

With the passage of Measure Z in the fall of 2016, the city has planned to rebuild the Riverside police force.  This expansion will be mostly sworn law enforcement officers.  According to the RPD another 60 officers are needed to adequately cover the city of Riverside.  An article in the Press Enterprise on 12/29/16 quotes Riverside police Capt. Larry Gonzalez as claiming it could take 8 to 10 months to hire an officer transferring from another agency and even longer for new recruits.  While the hiring process is moving forward perhaps there is another option with less waiting and less cost.

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Ward Action Teams

Sunday (2/26/17) the PE ran a story introducing Riverside city manager’s new program known as “Ward Action Teams” (WATs).  From the description, it appears that a team from city hall will conduct neighborhood outreach and enforcement actions in a more streamlined, less red tape way.  These teams would comprise staff from “an array of city departments, the council member for each ward, and the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.” This sounds like it might be a repackaged Riverside Neighborhood Livability Project.  It could also be an end around to

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