Wednesday Mar 24 2010
Gaming money helps police combat crime
By: Gina Garbolino City View
A grant from California’s Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund is helping the Roseville Police Department prevent crime and keep the city safer in difficult economic times. The $34,154 grant, which was awarded last May, is helping the Roseville Police Department provide after-hours investigations, crime prevention patrols, youth services, equipment and maintenance. The Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund was established by the state and based on an assessment on tribal gaming machines that were in place prior to 1999. Grants are distributed to local government agencies to mitigate the effects of tribal gaming. Placer County’s Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee, in conjunction with the United Auburn Indian Community, reviews applications and makes recommendations to the State Controller’s Office about which applicants should be awarded grants. Priorities for funding have been established by the state, and include such things as law enforcement, fire services, health, water supplies, environmental impacts and youth programs. Roseville’s grant provided overtime pay for police stakeouts in areas experiencing a high number of burglaries or other crimes. In late January, an officer on a grant-funded stakeout spotted a suspicious person loitering among parked cars in a motel parking lot late at night. The officer found the suspect with burglar’s tools, an illegal switchblade knife and stolen property. That suspect, a previously convicted felon out on parole, is still in jail awaiting trial. Other grant-funded patrols increased police presence in targeted areas, and led to arrests for warrant charges and DUI. Grant funds were also used to pay detectives working after hours to solve major crimes. Because of the city’s ongoing budget challenges, the police department has reduced overtime use by 30 percent over the past two years. The Indian Gaming grant gave the police department the flexibility to put extra officers out in high-crime areas, and allowed investigators more time to pursue leads in major crimes. Indian Gaming and other state grant funds are also helping Roseville Police Department better serve at-risk youth. The department recruits university student-interns who are majoring in social work or counseling, and assigns them to work with troubled youth and their families. Because the department is able to swiftly and effectively intervene the first time kids get into in trouble, we see a very low rate of juvenile recidivism. We appreciate the United Auburn Indian Community’s support of Roseville’s grant application. Their partnership is helping to keep Roseville a safe and healthy community. Gina Garbolino is the mayor of Roseville.