An Op-Ed by John Valdivia – Mayor, City of San Bernardino
Think about a situation where you might encounter a law enforcement officer. For most people, the situation they imagine is negative.
In San Bernardino, local police are changing that perception while making our community a safer environment to live and do business. We’ve restructured the force, and these efforts are already paying positive dividends for San Bernardino.
The City has partnered with the San Bernardino Police Officers Association to bring a new playground to Littlefield/Schultis Park, and we are encouraging members of the community to get involved to make this a reality, including taking part in the bbq fundraiser hosted by the SBPOA coming up September 26th to support the project.
We want people in San Bernardino to have opportunities to interact with law enforcement in positive settings. SBPD pop up tents are appearing regularly at spots throughout San Bernardino and mounted patrols are distributing resources to our neighbors on horseback.
Community members are invited to attend regular “Coffee with a Cop” meetings to share their concerns or just chat. This summer, San Bernardino officers held a back to school block party, invited local religious leaders for a summit with clergy, and held a banquet for future members of the force.
We’re also addressing homelessness and public safety by connecting homeless individuals with resources to help them turn their lives around. San Bernardino is fortunate to have strong partnerships between city leaders, nonprofits, and law enforcement that are making our community safer and creating positive alternatives to crime. Despite budget challenges, no law enforcement officers have been laid off and in fact we are putting more officers on the street.
Finally, we’re using technology including social media and a GoRequest app, which enables people to file a report and track their report to resolution all from their mobile device.
Improved public safety is essential to turning around San Bernardino’s image and attracting visitors, investment, and jobs. A safer community is one where our businesses can flourish and our children can achieve their potential.
We also recognize such a vision is a team effort. We invite you to take part in the progress underway. Next time you see local law enforcement hosting a block party, setting up a pop up tent, or patrolling on horseback, we hope you’ll say hello and thank them for their hard work for our community.