California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 15

City Council with an idea to create a new unit within the Patrol Division with a Community Oriented Policing philosophy that would attempt to use a multi-faceted approach at slowing the disturbing rise in crime . This unit would not be driven by calls for service , giving them the ability to address known high crime areas , while remaining flexible enough to work on emerging crime trends .
Our City Council and city leaders were intrigued and provided Chief Paoletti the approval to allocate four new police officer positions for two years , utilizing reserve funds , to create the “ Neighborhood Police Unit ”. One Sergeant , one Corporal and four Officers were selected to begin their new assignment on January 4 , 2016 . Redding Police Department Crime Statistician , Mike Murphy , with input from Neighborhood Watch Groups and Business Watch Programs , identified several priority areas of concern . Hotels and motels with high numbers of calls for service were identified as the top priority for proactive enforcement .
One motel , The Redding Inn , was already known by all of the patrol divisions to be an especially high crime area of drugs and violence . This location was in our downtown area and naturally became a primary target for enforcement , not only because of the ongoing criminal activity , but because of the concerns voiced by surrounding business owners and citizens . Open drug dealing , prostitution , violence in the streets , burglaries and thefts , all pointed at The Redding Inn ’ s long term tenants as the primary source . Cheap rooms rented with cash , without showing ID , and no credit card or deposit required , invited a criminal element to move in and take over . Dilapidated conditions , lack of upkeep , broken windows and unhealthy living conditions became the norm . Motel management and staff were instructed to not call police for any reason , yet this motel still had the highest calls for service by far of any location in Redding ( over 400 calls for service between 2014-2015 ). This was the result of calls from concerned citizens , neighboring businesses , victims and patrol officers stopping to address open criminal activity .
The Shasta County District Attorney ’ s Office , Senior Deputy District Attorney Anand “ Lucky ” Jesrani , heads-up the Consumer Protection Unit . The Consumer Protection

“ Cheap rooms rented with cash , without showing ID , and no credit card or deposit required , invited a criminal element to move in and take over .”

Unit provides assistance to individuals who live , shop , or do business in Shasta County . When investigations reveal illegal , fraudulent , or deceptive practices by a business , the unit may pursue criminal and / or civil actions under Business and Professions Code ( B & P ) § 17200 et . seq .,
DDA Jesrani offered several innovative ideas for addressing criminal activity at business locations such as The Redding Inn , including civil prosecutions . A civil prosecution can be an effective means of getting a business to cease their unlawful activity . The primary goal of a civil prosecution is to protect consumers , but it also protects honest businesses that comply with the law and helps ensure a fair marketplace . Authority for filing civil prosecutions comes from B & P § 17200 , which is California ’ s unfair competition law .
WINTER 2016 | California Police Chief 15