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Shafter council holds off on police crimes analyst

The Shafter City Council denied a resolution on Tuesday to hire a crimes analyst that would be stationed in the Shafter Police Department. According to Acting Chief Randy Milligan, the analyst would identify crime patterns, trends and hot spots using data analysis techniques. This person would also research and evaluate data related to criminal activity and calls for service. Crime prevention and problem-solving would also be a part of the position.

"The function of the position would include criminal investigations, apprehension, crime prevention and reduction strategies," Milligan said. He also said that he or she would support the operations sections to make patrol activities more efficient.

Currently, the property technician is filling these duties, which takes a lot of time. Milligan said that the need for a dedicated crimes analyst has been overdue.

Before the item went before a vote, Mayor Chad Givens asked if this position is truly a 40-hours-a-week position. Milligan said that the person would also do other duties as needed, such as perhaps manning the coming Gossamer Grove area substation. Givens said that it may be a position that the city will probably grow into, but that he didn't see an immediate need.

Mayor Pro-Tem Cathy Prout echoed Givens's concern. She also said that the hiring was a little premature. At the end of the question period, the item was not put up for a vote.

In other council action, Mayor Givens presented a proclamation to the Shafter Cinco de Mayo Festival Committee and its Grand Marshal Diana Burnett for their dedication and hard work putting together the festival this year.

"Diana Burnett, over her career, served a number of assignments for the Shafter Police Department, including the DARE program, field training officer, reserve officer coordinator and trainer, and also worked criminal investigations and supervised criminal investigations conducted by detectives," Givens said. "I present this proclamation to Diana Burnett for her dedication and service to the Shafter community and congratulate her as the 2024 Cinco de Mayo Festival Grand Marshal."

In addition, the council also approved uyp to $15,000 to purchase trees for the city's Urban Greening Project. The trees would be planted in the city's parks, including Veterans Park and Mannel Park. They also will be planted along Lerdo Highway to act as a barrier to dust. The funding is coming from a $75,000 grant from the Urban Greening Emissions Reduction Program, through the California Air Resources Board.


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