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River Islands deal provides police
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River Islands, when it is fully completed, will be a massive achievement in expert planning. 

And a perfect example of that was evident last month when the Lathrop City Council gave its blessing to a development agreement amendment that specifically spelled out how many police officers the new growth is responsible for – one new officer for every 1,000 residents that will call the new community home. 

Yes, that number is somewhat down below what the rest of Lathrop is shooting for when it comes to putting officers on the streets.

But an agreement that Califia – the original landowner and developer that purchased and sat on the property until the market rebounded – struck with the City of Lathrop over the use of sewer spray fields that it controlled in order to allow development around Mossdale to proceed allowed for a one-half officer reduction in the formula. The council’s decision solidified those numbers moving forward.  

And the developers want to have a seat at the table when it comes to discussing new law enforcement technology that may be utilized in River Islands or other portions of the community and therefore inadvertently impact residents that live there. 

As part of the agreement, River Islands representatives will have the chance to sit down and learn about new items on the horizon in an informational setting only – all decisions about purchasing and implementation will be made solely by the council and hinge heavily on the information provided by city staff and Lathrop Police Services. 

The semi-partnership is somewhat in the sense that the development community rarely has any interest in police operations outside of making sure that the money from sold houses gets to its appropriate place. Given, however, the size of the project and how dutifully the construction is being carried out, administrators and planners want to take extraordinary steps to ensure safety for residents in an area that currently has limited access. 

Any future changes to Lathrop’s general plan numbers regarding the city’s policing ratios will adjust the development agreement accordingly – adding and subtracting from that one officer base number if it becomes necessary. The half-officer exemption is an agreement, according to Lathrop City Attorney Salvador Navarrete, that will apply accordingly because of the nature of the agreement that had already been struck. 

Construction continues to boom at River Islands – a somewhat self-contained community on the south side of the San Joaquin River that is development a community identity of its own as residents, some of whom have been waiting some time, are moving into their new homes and creating the kind of vehicle traffic that was one time reserved only for construction crews.