The Graystone Park neighborhood — the site of a vicious early morning attack on a 71-year-old disabled man as he was taking his daily walk last month — now has three more surveillance cameras in place.
Three Ring Bell Wi-Fi cameras were purchased and installed by the Manteca Peace Walk committee that organized the community show of solidarity against crime and racism that attracted more than 500 people to Graystone Park the Sunday following the attack. Two suspects were quickly identified and arrested in the attack thanks to home surveillance camera footage Manteca Councilman Gary Singh secured for Manteca Police Department investigators by going door-to-door.
Strategic locations where the cameras were installed were chosen by neighborhood residents. The cameras were installed Monday.
The neighborhood is already part of a Neighborhood Watch Group but after the incident last month and the community expressing a desire that it “really wanted to be eyes and ears for each other”, the decision was made by the committee to purchase the cameras.
Parminder Sahi in an email noted “this pilot project initiated by Manteca Peace Walk in this neighborhood will be reviewed after 90 days and see what other tools and measures can be used to promote safe neighborhoods.”
The effort represents the quintessential American spirit of pulling together of a community and not relying 100 percent on government for all the answers.
In that vein, perhaps if Manteca can get back to the point where it had over 100 active Neighborhood Watch Groups where people looked out for one another and became versed enough in their neighborhood routines to serve as the ears and eyes for law enforcement maybe a sizeable dent can be made in “low level” crimes that people are frustrated about.
While the crime rate for major felonies have been in a steady decline in terms of crimes per 1,000 residents , that hasn’t been the case for misdemeanors.
Neighborhood Watch Groups, as an example, were harnessed in 2006 by Manteca Police to help reduce the prospects of vehicles being stolen by providing information to group captains who then communicated with neighbors in their group that almost 1 in 4 vehicles being stolen in Manteca either had their keys left in the ignition or were left idling while owners went back into their home or made a quick stop at a convenience store to grab coffee.
A record 798 vehicles were stolen in Manteca during 2005. There were 322 vehicles stolen in Manteca last year.
As for cameras this might be the year that Manteca finally delivers on a promise first made in 2009 that the city would install security cameras in key locations around the city specifically in problematic parks.
It’s safe to say that even if Manteca had 100 officers as opposed to the 73 they will have when an additional officer is hired at the start of 2019, the city would be hard pressed to have enough officers on the street even if they had 100 officers given they have to cover 365 days a week, 24/7 working 10 hour shifts over four days. That doesn’t even begin to factor in sick days, vacation, worker’s compensation injuries, or being tied up in court.
That’s why the Manteca Peace Walk committee is right in that we all need to be part of the solution and not expect our tax dollars do all the work.
Speaking of tax dollars, that 73rd police officer will cost Manteca taxpayers between $82,861 and $100,761 a year in salary. Factor in benefits and retirement costs and you’re talking $150,000 plus.
up more endorsements
Manteca City Council hopeful David Breitenbucher in the past few weeks has picked up the endorsement of Congressman Jeff Denham, San Joaquin County Supervisors Bob Elliott and Chuck Winn plus San Joaquin County Board of Education trustees Ken Vogel (former county supervisor) and Vern Gebhardt.
He was also endorsed last Monday by the Conservative Republicans of San Joaquin. On Tuesday, he was endorsed by the California Republican Assembly — San Joaquin Chapter. That was before being endorsed by the San Joaquin Republican Party Central Committee making him the only candidate endorsed by all three San Joaquin County Republican organizations.
Breitenbucher was also selected to serve on the Republican Central Committee as an alternate for member George Riddle.
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