CATHEDRAL CITY – With burgeoning residential and commercial growth along the I-10 Freeway, the City Council is exploring the possibility of adding a police substation in the north end of the city.

The Cathedral City Police Department is currently responsible for a 23-square-mile service area that in 2019, 54,791 people call home. The figure does not include seasonal residents or transient daily visitors. Today’s figure is nearly 3,600 more people than in 2010.

The number of housing units has also exploded. In 2010, there were 20,995. Today, there at 22,283, according to the U.S. Census and Esri.

There are 967 businesses in the city; 43 of them are cannabis-related.

Current response time to priority 1 calls is 6.8 minutes.

As the community and City Council weigh the possibility of a police substation, here is a snapshot of police activity in 2018:

  • Total Arrests: 1,990
  • Traffic Accidents: 1,018
  • Homeless Liaison calls: 492
  • Traffic Citations issued: 2,922
  • Criminal Reports Taken: 6,690
  • Submitted 1,928 criminal cases to the District Attorney’s Office
  • Processed 1,226 parking citations
  • Processed 2,822 traffic citations
  • 5,511 items of evidence processed
  • 182 firearms were removed from the community
  • 4,500 hours of mandated training

That is only a portion of the portrait Deputy Police Chief Tony Yoakuum has already provided the City Council. He is scheduled to meet with the City Council during a Study Session on Wednesday, May 22 to discuss the feasibility of a police substation.

Normally no action is taken on Study Session items, however, the City Council reserves the right to give specific policy direction and take specific action as necessary.

In past years, the police department has had several substations or community stations in various parts of the city, according to Yoakuum. Several factors caused the closure of these stations and the police department has not had the need to open another one.

The advantages and benefits included: improved cooperation between police and citizens; greater accessibility to the public; greater delegation of responsibility to middle managers; decreased travel time to and from beats; greater visibility in the community and perceptions of greater safety, according to Yoakuum.

Some of the disadvantages, according to Yoakuum, include: more complex coordination of staff and information; duplication of services; additional staffing costs and operating costs; decentralization of operations; and increased top and middle management.

An overview of the past police substations will be presented to the City Council. The staff will also identify the opportunities to further explore opening another community station if the community and the City Council want it.

The cost of opening a police substation is not yet known.

Image Sources

  • Cathedral City SWAT: City of Cathedral City