CHP - Community Assistance Programs
CHP officers are highly trained, sworn Peace Officers with statewide jurisdiction. In fact, General Order 0.1 specifies the secondary mission of the CHP as " ... in its role as a major statewide law enforcement agency, supports local law enforcement and stands ready to assist in emergencies exceeding local capabilities."
Local law enforcement agencies in several California communities were being overwhelmed by an armed, highly concentrated criminal element and, at best, were only able to respond in a reactionary fashion to the most serious crimes. The situation was so alarming that officials from these communities contacted Governor Pete Wilson for assistance. The need for a greater uniformed presence was apparent and the Governor responded by directing the CHP to provide these beleaguered communities with law enforcement aid.
The commitment of CHP resources provided an added law enforcement presence in these communities and allowed local agencies to direct their resources toward suppression of major crimes. The success of the Community Assistance Programs initiated in 1992 paved the way for additional assistance programs to target high crime areas. In 1995, the CHP expanded the program and provided the following communities with personnel and resources to support local law enforcement agencies.
City of East Palo Alto
Overall crimes decreased 13.7% in 1995. East Palo Alto recorded 12 homicides in 1992, compared with six for 1995 The primary focus of the five CHP officers assigned to East Palo Alto was auto theft which continued its downward trend with a 29.4% reduction. CHP activity also included 476 total assault arrests, 252 felony arrests, and 1,056 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests.
City of Banning
Law Enforcement assistance in the City of Banning began on August 15, 1994 for a 90-day period. The program was extended at the approval of the Commissioner for another 90-days and completed on February 15, 1995.
City of San Bernardino - "Operation Safe Streets II"
CHP enforcement assistance was requested by the City of San Bernardino in August 1994 and known as "Operation Safe Streets." In 1995, the program was extended for an six month period under "Operation Safe Streets II," with a withdrawal date of December 31, 1995. Enforcement assistance was provided to the San Bernardino Police Department and the Sheriff's Office. The CHP had a positive effect on reducing the local crime rate, increasing felony arrests, DUI alcohol and drug arrests, and stolen vehicle arrests and recoveries.
City of Isla Vista - "Isla Vista Foot Patrol"
In November 1993, the CHP joined forces in an enforcement assistance program with Santa Barbara County Sheriff and University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Police Department. The program called the "Isla Vista Foot Patrol," continued into 1995. Two CHP officers were paired with allied agency officers to provide a visible presence and support to local citizens and businesses. Enforcement activities included DUI and felony arrests, traffic accidents and stolen vehicle recoveries.
City of Fresno - "Operation Fresno III"
In April 1995, the Mayor of Fresno requested through the Governor's Office that the California Highway Patrol provide additional law enforcement assistance to the City of Fresno under "Operation Fresno III. CHP assistance had proven successful on two previous occasions: The initial assistance program "Operation Fresno" that ended in October 1993, and Operation Fresno II, which was activated April 1, 1994 and continued through May 29, 1994. CHP activity during Operation Fresno II included 139 felony arrests, 63 weapons seized, 310 DUI/drug arrests, 206 curfew arrests and 1,451 vehicles impounded.
City of Clearlake - "Operation Safe Streets"
CHP officers were assigned to general law enforcement duties in the City of Clearlake for a period of eight months under the "Operation Safe Streets" program. The program was implemented as a temporary measure to help the Clearlake Police Department address the city's increasing crime problem, while funding was sought to augment the city's understaffed police force.
The "Operation Safe Streets" program, which was responsible for over 350 felony and 733 misdemeanor in-custody arrests, and 600 vehicles impounded for DUI/drugs or license violations, demonstrated the effectiveness of four to six additional police personnel on the city's crime problem.
In a special election in February 1996, Clearlake voters overwhelmingly endorsed a measure to add a 1/2% sales tax in the city in a special to fund eight additional police officers, virtually doubling the existing force. City and County officials credited the "Operation Safe Streets" program with a major role in the passage of the initiative.
City of Vallejo - "Operation Safe Streets"
On April 1, 1995, the CHP began a General Law Enforcement Assistant Program in the City of Vallejo. The incoming Chief of Police of the Vallejo Police Department (VPD) requested CHP assistance because drive-by shootings, "shots fired" calls, homicides, assaults on police officers, drug dealing and gang activity had all reached critical levels. CHP's mission during the deployment was to provide high visibility traffic law enforcement and support the Vallejo PD in emergency situations.