Greenfield Police Department hosts Town Hall meeting; advisory committee members named
Posted: Wednesday, Jun 6th, 2012
GREENFIELD – The Greenfield Police Department has been active on the streets, but has also been placing efforts toward reaching out to the residents.
With the outburst of violence resulting in increased violence in the southwest side of town, the police department, with interim Chief of Police Eric Sills, decided to target the area with a town hall meeting on May 21.
Sills said, “We've had a couple different incidents and some people there in the area became concerned as to, 'why our street,' and what’s going on.”
The town hall meeting took place at the Oak Avenue School Cafeteria and was attended by about 70 community members and concerned parents. It was a two-hour meeting and attended by officers of the Greenfield PD.
“We sent flyers out with kids of Mary Chapa School and Oak Avenue School,” said Sills. “I did not envision it to be a city-wide event. It was meant to focus in on that neighborhood. It was requested through citizens who wanted some answers.”
Among the topics of discussion was the recent homicide case on May 6 that resulted in two arrests and one warrant out for arrest.
“We spoke about the 24 hour rule,” said Sills. “When you have a homicide like that, some of our best leads come within 24 hours. That’s what our guys did. We came back the next day and sat down with the detective and Sgt. Ceja and that led to a suspect, and soon we identified everybody.”
Resources for the arrest came from the probation departments, Monterey County Sheriff Department and the four South County cities. Sills said, “We used officers from Greenfield and Soledad to make the arrest in Salinas.”
Of the town hall meeting, Sills added, “We were able to explain what has happened and why it happened, take questions and provide answers. Just having a forum for people and the staff available to ask question was great. That’s why we have had such good feedback.”
As of now, there are no other town hall meetings scheduled, but Sills said, “There is some indication that we will have another one to educate family members to identify gang activity. A lot of times parents don’t know.” There are also plans to have translation for those people who don’t speak English.
Another thing developing in the police department is the citizen advisory committee. After holding their first meeting May 14, the member’s names have been released: Helen Singley, Juanita Ayala, Jose Vazquez, Nora Puga and Robert Lockwood.
For the complete article see the 06-06-2012 issue.