Hearing on public safety grant set for Tuesday
Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the use of a $100,000 public safety grant that the city of Porterville is slated to receive during the upcoming fiscal year.
The hearing will take place during the council’s regular meeting, to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall, 291 N. Main St.
For the past several years, the city has received the grant funding from the state of California, through the Citizens’ Option for Public Safety grant program. The city is again in line to receive the money, which has traditionally been earmarked for two community service officers in the Porterville Police Department’s patrol division. The officers handle nonviolent calls, such as petty thefts, burglaries, vehicle thefts and cold reports.
The grant will be used for training, equipment and overtime costs; a “manner in proper adherence with the requirements” as required under Assembly Bill 1913. The bill, passed in 2000, appropriated $121.3 million for continued funding of the COPS program, which provides supplemental funding to counties, cities and special protection districts for local law enforcement services to enhance public safety.
On Tuesday, the council will open the matter up for public hearing.
Porterville Police Chief Chuck McMillan said while the public can certainly provide input, not using the money for the department’s intended purpose would have ramifications.
“The issue is if it’s spent someplace else, the funding for those two positions, which are vital to our organization, would have to be funded through some other source,” McMillan said. “In the last several years of our budget development, we’ve anticipated this COPS money will be there.”
City staff is recommending the council authorize the use of the money to offset costs for the two officers assigned to the department’s patrol division, including necessary training, equipment and overtime costs.
Also on Tuesday:
- Police officer badge pinning presentation will be held.
- The council may authorize city staff to advertise for bids for the repair of West Street, damaged during the December 2010 floods.
- The council may authorize city staff to prepare a draft ordinance, accommodating “cottage food operations” as a home occupation business. The city staff’s request comes in response to Assembly Bill 1616, a new law that became effective Jan. 1 and allows community-based food production in home kitchens, commonly known as “cottage food.” The ordinance would be considered at a future meeting.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.