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Proactive policing key to 2010 success
Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton - photo by Photo Contributed
The Journal asked Turlock Police Chief Gary Hampton to look back at 2010 and ahead for 2011. The following is his perspective on the city’s past and future.  

Q. What successes did the Turlock Police Department have last year?

A. “Proactive and preventive policing strategies, first deployed two years ago, continue to prove successful.  Specialized units focused upon gang suppression and intervention, drug enforcement, traffic safety and crime prevention have significantly impacted and reduced criminal activities.  This progress has freed-up patrol officers to engage more frequently in proactive patrols.  The combination of proactive and preventive policing has certainly propelled efforts to enhance the quality of life in the community.”   


Q. What were the biggest challenges in 2010?

A. “Sustaining service levels, while continuing to pursue the reduction of crime, with fewer resources, has certainly been challenging.  Complicating this was an increased number of first time offenders who acted out of feelings of desperation — as they suffered financial devastation.  Generally, these were otherwise good people.” 



Q. What will be the police department’s priorities in 2011?

A. “The Turlock Police Department will continue focusing on crime reduction through preventive policing strategies, expand community preservation efforts designed to abate nuisance conditions and activities – striving to further enhance the quality of life in the community.”   


Q. What significant hurdles do you see the police department facing in the new year?

A. “As the City of Turlock continues rightsizing fiscal costs to eliminate deficit spending, the police department will likely face a third consecutive year of budget reductions.  To date, the police department has achieved operational cost reductions through elimination of vacant staff positions, multitasking, eliminating non-essential supplies/materials and obtaining grants.  These reductions were achieved with little to no impacts on basic service levels experienced by the community.  However, the police department budget has reached a point wherein further reductions can only be achieved through further staff reductions.  Identifying service areas for these reductions will certainly be challenging, which will undoubtedly reverse the progress made in serving the community over the past five years.”       


Q. In one sentence, summarize your outlook for 2011.

A. “2011 will be a year wherein the police department will focus on enhancing and expanding community partnerships and volunteerism, serving to offset the impacts of increasing service demands and shrinking resources.”