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Roseville City Council adjusts budget to battle human trafficking

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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The Roseville Police Department is teaming up with Stand Up Placer to battle human trafficking. On Wednesday, Roseville City Council approved the police department’s grant from the county.

The police department was awarded state funding via the Placer County Health and Human Services Department for an amount not to exceed $73,500. This was awarded to help combat human trafficking in Placer County and Roseville. The budget adjustment approved unanimously by the council will help cover overtime personal expenses, travel costs, transportation, lodging, meals, supplies and equipment. After each undercover operation is conducted, the city will be reimbursed by the Placer County Health and Human Services Department.  

Roseville Police Chief Jim Maccoun gave a presentation on how narrow the focus has become for his department.

“Recently, our officers have conducted undercover sting operations because of concerns that our retail centers were being used to recruit victims. Those accounts have proven to be false,” Maccoun said. “Fortunately, it's very rare for human trafficking victims to be recruited in Roseville.”

Roseville Police Captain Marc Glynn detailed an operation he said will effectively combat the human traffickers.

“Our crime suppression unit will be a victim-centered approach focused on supply and demand. The ‘supply’ will involve undercover operations where we rescue the victims and arrest the pimps,” Glynn said. “The ‘demand’ part of it is where we will set up sting operations where we use ‘reverse Johns’ (in an effort to entice and catch the traffickers). This operation will be a positive move in the right direction.”

The grant will cover $12,500 for equipment and $61,00 for personnel costs.

“I’m really appreciative how (Roseville Police Department and Stand Up Placer) are working together,” said Councilman Scott Alvord. “You guys (Roseville Police) are catching them and you guys(Stand Up Placer) are taking care of the victims.”

Stand Up Placer is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering survivors and victims of human trafficking.

Stand Up Placer CEO Jenny Davidson also praised the cooperation between the city and county.  

“I want to thank the council for their support they have for the Roseville Police Department and their combined mission to combat human trafficking,” Davidson said. “In 2017, we served over 140 victims, 30 percent of those juveniles and those numbers are climbing. This is something we need to be proactive on and I’m super grateful for the partnership we have with the Roseville Police Department and we work on scene with them during sting operations. Thank you, council, for your continued support and the hard work of the police department.”

Roseville Mayor Susan Rohan also expressed her appreciation.

“I understand that this grant is coming through the Placer County Health and Human Services Department. I think this is fantastic and should be mentioned,” Rohan said. “That’s a perfect example of good collaboration between the city and the county.”   

 

In other news  

- The Nela Luken Park at the Village Center received a budget adjustment and award of contract in the amount of $182,799 to fully fund the project from available resources in the West Roseville Neighborhood Park fund.  

- City attorney Bob Schmit’s contract of employment was extended and approved with no salary increase. City Manager Dom Casey’s contract was approved to a five-year term with a salary of $259,018. “I think the city is in good hands when I leave with Dom and Bob,” Councilman Tim Herman said. Rohan commended them: “Congratulations to both of you on this and thank you for your hard work.”

A special presentation was also given on the repeal of Senate Bill 1 (the gas tax bill) for a resolution for Roseville City leaders to officially oppose the bill repeal. Staff indicated that it would have significant fiscal implications for the city in regard to maintaining its transportation- related activities and projects. Staff recommended the city officially oppose the repeal.  

The majority of council shared Councilman John Allard’s sentiment. “As a person who worked in the legislature for many years, I was not happy with how this bill was drafted,” Allard said. “Our transportation system needs to be expanded. Sometimes you have to take off your partisan hat off. I don’t represent liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, I represent residents of Roseville.”

Vice Mayor Bonnie Gore was the only dissenting vote as she supports the gas tax’s repeal.

“I don't like to see taxes go up on our residents,” Gore said. “This will hit families up to $800 a year. The state consistently did not provide the gas tax it was supposed to provide years ago. Legislators are going back to take more money out of residents pockets and we as Californians already pay the most gas taxes in the nation. I don’t support this gas tax.”