Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula Advocates for Funding for Local Police Departments
(Sacramento) - Today, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) testified before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety and requested funding for local public safety facilities in Fresno County. He is asking the state to provide nearly $10 million to help make desperately needed improvements to local police departments. The last two state budgets have included funding for improvements to local public safety buildings in communities that have outdated facilities.
The 2015 state budget included $5 million for improvements to public safety infrastructure.
Last year, the Legislature approved $10.15 million for local public safety infrastructure in Huron, Selma, Firebaugh and Mendota.
This year, Assemblymember Arambula is requesting $9.24 million for the cities of Firebaugh, Parlier, Orange Cove, and Selma. Specifically, Assemblymember Arambula is requesting:
- $740,000 to allow the City of Firebaugh to purchase the Fresno County Superior Court. The courthouse is owned by the Superior Court of Fresno County but is no longer used as a court facility. The superior court closed over six years ago. The Firebaugh Police Department is in tremendous need of a new building; and the vacant court house is the perfect space. The police department’s current facility is in such poor condition that it requires millions of dollars in repairs, which the city does not have.
- $4 million for the construction of a new police department in the City of Parlier. The existing police department once served as a senior center and a preschool. Although improvements have been made over the years, the building was never designed to be a functional police department. Police employees at the facility have been exposed to several attacks including an incident involving automatic weapons that were fired into the building and an arson attack and vandalism of police equipment parked in the unsecured parking lot.
- $4 million for a new public safety facility in the City of Orange Cove. The Orange Cove Police Department currently operates out of a facility that is approximately 2,800 square feet which it shares with the Orange Cove Fire Protection District. The police department uses a temporary shipping container for storage and evidence storage. There is one room that serves as the lunch room, locker room, live scan and interview arrest room. It is also the briefing room.
- $500,000 for the Selma Police Department to upgrade its communication system. Last year, the state approved $4 million for the City of Selma to construct a new policing facility. The city would like to include a Communication/Data analysis component to the project. This includes an Emergency 911 communication system, a non-emergency system, back-up facilities to ensure no service disruptions in emergency situations, city-wide video-policing surveillance system, and an in-house crime analysis/data collection system.
Below are links to audio of Assemblymember Dr. Arambula:
Assemblymember Dr. Arambula presents his request to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety. (6:42)
Assemblymember Dr. Arambula says local police departments need more resources. (:20)
Assemblymember Dr. Arambula says the money will make small towns safer. (:13)
Assemblymember Dr. Arambula says local police departments are barely holding things together by making do with whatever resources they can find. (:19)