-By Police Chief Bill Goswick
Police-officer staffing’s been reduced below recommended levels for a city the size of Hercules. If passed, Measure O will help prevent deeper reductions in the number of officers patrolling neighborhoods and investigating crimes. Our police department’s decreased from 30 to 20 officers and lost neighborhood-watch and school-safety police positions.
Without additional revenue, Hercules will likely consider more cuts that will affect safety and quality of life. The cuts may include overall response times; reduction of officers for high-risk situations; emergency operations-disaster preparedness; department-wide training; and investigative efforts.
The City Council took action to place Measure O — Hercules Temporary Emergency Funding Measure — on the June ballot to allow our community to consider a locally-controlled revenue source that cannot be taken by Sacramento.
If enacted, Measure O will help stabilize revenue, keep Hercules afloat, and will help prevent further reductions in our police force. With more than 24,000 calls for police services annually, even one serious service call can deplete all available officers, requiring us to burden other jurisdictions that are also minimally staffed.
Please vote on Measures O and N (Measure N will allow sale of the Hercules Municipal Utility, a drain on the city budget).