State of the City: Mayor Wright, Chief Brooks report on achievements, future of Antioch

Mayor Wright shared this satellite map of Antioch and the surrounding area during his remarks to show all the open space in and near Antioch, compared to the small Sand Creek area (just northeast of “West Hartley”) planned for new homes. Source: Google Maps

“We want this to be the place that people want to live, not move away from.” Mayor Sean Wright. Speaks of balanced, conservative development

By John Crowder

On Friday, May 11, the Antioch Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual State of the City luncheon for 2018 at the Antioch Community Center at Prewett Park.  While attendees dined on a lunch buffet provided by Celia’s Mexican Restaurant, they heard from Chief of Police Tammany Brooks and Mayor Sean Wright in a presentation that lasted just over an hour.

Richard Pagano, CEO of the Antioch Chamber, welcomed everyone to the event, then introduced Chief Brooks.

Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks offers his remarks. Photos by Antioch Chamber of Commerce

Chief Brooks: Department Using Technology to Prevent, Reduce Crime

Brooks began his presentation by providing an update on the latest crime statistics.  The data he presented included statistics for the past year and trend information for the last five years.

Brooks went beyond the simple reciting of statistics, however, providing details that he said were being used to help law enforcement take a more proactive approach to community policing.  He shared that the information he was providing could also be used by members of the public to take actions that would substantially reduce the likelihood that they would become victims of crime.

Brooks noted that violent crime was down 20% over the past year.  Digging deeper into the data, he explained that, of the ten criminal homicides that had occurred, eight involved criminal activity, one involved a robbery, and one involved a family dispute.

Two-thirds of robberies, Brooks said, occurred at night.  Of the aggravated assaults that took place, in three-fourths of the cases, the perpetrator was known to the victim.  While there was a significant reduction in residential burglaries, he noted that in one-third of these crimes, the house itself or a window to the residence had been left unlocked or open.

Newer key technology, according to Brooks, contributed to the fact that almost 80% of car thefts were of cars that were 10 years old or older.  He noted that in 90% of these crimes, the stolen vehicle was recovered.  Brooks attributed a portion of this success to the installation of cameras equipped with license plate readers.  He emphasized how his department was continuing to seek ways to leverage technology to fight, and prevent, crime.

Other highlights shared by Brooks were that crime has been in decline over the past five years, that the City has had a net gain of fourteen officers since the passage of Measure C, and that response times have been significantly reduced. (Editor’s Note: The City has only had a net increase of seven officers since Measure C was passed, using the correct figure of 89 sworn officers as the base, not 82 that the council and staff are using).

Future priorities for the police department include a focus on gang and drug enforcement, increased collaboration with neighboring law enforcement agencies, and continuing engagement by officers and staff with members of the community.

Community volunteers, according to Brooks, continue to make substantial contributions to reducing crime and blight.  He highlighted the Volunteers In Police Service, the Police Explorers, and made special mention of Antioch resident Tim McCall, who led an effort to raise funds for additional K-9’s, which Brooks called a “force multiplier.”

He concluded his remarks by saying, “Antioch is already a safer city,” as he pledged to work to continue moving citizen safety in a positive direction.

Wright shared this satellite image of the Highway 4 interchange with Laurel Road, showing how it will connect with the other section of the road once the homes are built in that area. Source: Google Maps

Mayor Wright Highlights City’s Achievements

Mayor Sean Wright followed Brooks and began his remarks by thanking his fellow council members for working together, as he acknowledged each one of them individually.  Referring to the positive results that had been related by the Antioch Chief of Police, Wright said, “This all comes as we work together.  It’s all of us coming together.”

Mayor Sean Wright speaks about Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown during his remarks as Antioch Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Pagano looks on.

Wright then highlighted some of the major economic development successes over the last year, including Best Buy moving to Antioch, the new Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill restaurant opening soon on the waterfront, BART operations beginning on May 26, the opening of the $15 million Rocketship School on Cavallo Road this coming fall, and the creation of four Opportunity Zones in the city.

Wright continued discussing economic development as he touched briefly on regional collaboration, and the desalination project that was a result of a major grant received by the City of Antioch, one of only three such grants in the state of California.

“This will help our community create jobs and create water,” he said. “This is huge for our community.”

Wright emphasized that there are many ways, now, for residents to become involved in Antioch and help the city move in a positive direction.  He noted that the City was providing information through Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor, Antioch on the Move, Join the Conversation, and especially emphasized the SeeClickFix app. (Available for download on Android GooglePlay marketplace and at the Apple iTunes store.)

“There is no time to rest,” Wright continued. “We just finished districting.  Decisions on cannabis are coming up.  We’re hiring an economic development director, hopefully on board in the next two months.”

Addressing the homeless situation, Wright discussed the Care Center that was being built that would, “help the homeless get the services they need.”  Wright also thanked Council Member Lori Ogorchock and District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, who he said, “worked together to bring a Family Justice Center to Antioch.”

Wright shared this satellite image of the Sand Creek Road/Highway 4 interchange and the east end of the Sand Creek Focus Area in Antioch, where the road will be extended. Source: Google Maps.

Says Sand Creek Will Take Antioch Into the Future

After discussing the “Four Corners” of Antioch, Wright turned his attention to the Sand Creek Focus Area. He said, “There’s a petition right now around Sand Creek,” which he noted was seeking support to curtail development of the area.

Showing a series of slides to put the issue into perspective, Wright said that development around Sand Creek of estate homes and senior housing was part of a long-standing plan to take Antioch into the future.  With respect to estate homes, Wright said, “These are jobs, these are people with money to invest.”  He also said that, without this development, “we get no connection,” referring to the fact that there are currently two off-ramps that take people into Brentwood and Oakley but go nowhere into Antioch.

When questioned further about this issue at the end of the presentation, Wright said, “Balanced, conservative development to help finish building infrastructure around the Laurel and Sand Creek exits should bring about senior and estate housing that does not exist in our community.  This development is vital if we are to attract those willing to make the investments in our community that will result in the high-tech jobs that we desire.”

Concluding his remarks, Wright said, “If you want to help, get involved.  Drive us to the future that we need.  We want this to be the place that people want to live, not move away from.  Thank you for coming today and thank you for your help.”

Antioch Chamber CEO Pagano, closing the event, encouraged everyone in Antioch to work together to improve the City.  “If there is an issue that you care about, please, step up and let your voice be heard,” he said.

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Mayor Wright Rivertown


Chief Brooks


Laurel Road Hwy 4 FUA2


Sand Creek Road Hwy 4 interchange


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