Santa Cruz is not by a long shot, your average city, why do we have an average or below average size police department?
Santa Cruz stands out with its warm climate, lots of open space for camping, liberal community with greater cultural acceptance of drug use and liberal courts, much higher than average alcohol sales stores and venues, and a large student population. SC is the county seat with the jail, medical, homeless and social services centered here, it’s our transportation hub and downtown is an urban center. The city hosts 3 to 5 million tourists visit each year which puts even a further burden on our police force.
The City Council received an overview of public safety and police department activity in the city at a recent study session on November 3, 2015. Chief of Police K. Vogel, Deputy Chief of Police R. Martinez, Deputy Chief of Police S. Clark, and PACT Program Manager S. O’Hara gave oral presentations and responded to Council member questions.
Council directed staff to bring back a report to Council regarding hiring a consultant to work with the Police Department (PD) to study proper staff levels, and directed the City Manager to report back on recruitment efforts at the PD.
Does Santa Cruz Need More Police Officers? Take a look at the numbers
At current population:
We would need → → → 117 officers ← ← ← to match 2000 officer ratio
We would need 109 officers just to match national average levels!
Some Additional Factors to Consider
- Total number of alcohol licenses authorized by the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) for the City of Santa Cruz is 121 .
- Total number of active alcohol licenses issued in the City of Santa Cruz is 262.
- → → → 141 alcohol← ← ← licenses over ABC authorized
77 Identified Serial Inebriates
- 8 non-city of Santa Cruz Inebriates
- 90% of Serial Inebriates in the county originate from the city of Santa Cruz
SCPD face many challenges including staffing levels, officer recruitment and retention, and an outdated and antiquated records management system. Of course, let’s not forget that crime statistics show that Santa Cruz is one of the most dangerous places to live in California.
Yes – Santa Cruz needs more police officers and we encourage you to contact our city council to support the funding that is needed for our city police department in the continuing efforts for a safe and clean Santa Cruz.