Representatives from within the Riverside Police Department said they are more than half of the department’s five-year goals have been met. Chief Sergio Diaz said they are on track to reach 100% before the end of the term.
More than 46 specific goals were initially outlined. This included things like adding additional officers in addition to civilian staff. At the current time, 20 of the 30 officer positions have been filled. The challenge with meeting staffing goals, he said, is that many employees are reaching retirement age. A second challenge is that recruits need to have full background checks and complete the academy before they can be assigned to patrols. That process takes time and it is difficult to move people through the required steps in order to keep up with normal attrition rates.
Diaz is also happy to report successes in terms of expanding community-based policing efforts. This allows for greater communication between the department and residents. Another goal involved the moving of the dispatch center into an expanded space. That is scheduled to happen later this year.
The citizens academy has also been restarted, he said. Drug sniffing dogs have been purchased and a volunteer mounted patrol has been set up.
Future goals reportedly include the creation of a high school police internship program, reducing gang crime, increasing officer patrols and expanding communication efforts among emergency response groups.