Local government is working for the people and protecting them mightily in Cathedral City, according to Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis.

In one of his recent newsletters, he proclaimed that, “Local government still works.”

“While dysfunction by our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., continues to take place, here in Cathedral City, I am focused on delivering results for constituents,” he said.

He proceeded to tick off a list of numbers to support his claim. This year, he said, Cathedral City has:

  • Decreased incidents of burglaries, larceny and auto theft by more than 20 percent.
  • Decreased incidents of overall crime by 21 percent.
  • Provided funding to add six police officers and nine firefighters/paramedics.
  • Increased the number of solar panels in city-owned car ports, which will save Cathedral City over $109,000 annually.

“We did all this and more while balancing our city’s budget,” he said.

So, how did he arrive at the numbers and is crime really down in Cathedral City?

Yes, according to Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics for 2016 and 2017 and Deputy Police Chief Travis Walker.

Comparing the first six months, January to July, of 2016 with 2017 shows that were:

  • Three homicides in 2016; two homicides in 2017
  • 16 rapes in 2016; six rapes in 2017
  • 158 burglaries in 2016; 121 in 2017
  • 249 larcenies in 2016; 199 larcenies in 2017
  • 235 motor vehicle thefts in 2016; 179 in 2017

It is a snapshot in time but the numbers do not lie. Crime is down in Cathedral City.

It is no accident.

The city added four police officers, one crime analyst and six cadets for the new cadet program for a total of $676,825 per year.  The city also hired nine firefighters/paramedics. The first year will cost the city about $1.2 million. The city will be reimbursed for $584,276 of that cost by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities.

“Due to the economic downturn in 2008 and forward, Cathedral City was forced to do two Reduction in Forces (RIF’s) causing understaffing in many departments,” Pettis said.  “Now that revenues have grown and stabilized along with the projected cannabis revenue and the awarding of the SAFER Grant for additional Firefighter/Paramedics, the City has been able to staff back to recommended levels.”