Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) was joined by police chiefs from Corcoran, Avenal and Lemoore last week to unveil for the first time the conceptual designs and blueprints for the proposed public safety infrastructure improvements and projects planned by the three departments.
The 2015-16 California state budget included $5 million for the Kings County cities that will enable law enforcement agencies to better serve the public.
“I have worked tirelessly with local law enforcement to secure vital funding resources for the Central Valley and today we will get a glimpse of the plans for these funds,” said Salas. “The $5 million for public safety and emergency infrastructure in Valley cities will enable law enforcement agencies to improve emergency response and ultimately, keeps us safer.”
Darrell Smith, chief of police in Lemoore, said Salas understands the impact law enforcement agencies will experience as a result of future growth and the commitment to serve local communities. The work of Salas and the local coalition in fighting for the state funding will benefit each of the involved communities.
Local public safety facilities have struggled to adequately support recidivism programs past what is being employed by the county probation department. The new budget funding will help provide the proper resources to address deficiencies and improve law enforcement efforts.
“The need for public safety infrastructure improvements in Corcoran has been a priority for many years,” stated Police Chief Reuben Shortnacy. “Assembly member Salas came through in a big way with the funding that he fought for on our behalf.”
Corcoran Police Department had sought $6 million to construct a new police department building. The plans had first been drawn up in 2009. The city eventually was awarded approximately $3.83 million, after Gov. Brown took his budget-cutting pencil to the request.
Avenal was awarded funding for an emergency operations center and Lemoore’s request was for underwriting a dispatch center.
The project plans presented at the Tuesday press conference highlighted the expansion and upgrade of the current facilities. A side benefit will be the creation of local jobs while the projects are being completed.