Fight Crime, But Don’t Close Roads

On August 11th, I came across a Notice of Public Hearing stating that the Antioch City Council will hold public hearings on September 13th in regard to the temporary closing of McElhenry Road and Empire Mine Road. The reason for the adoption of a resolution to authorize the closure of both for a period of 18 months being to reduce criminal activity in those areas.

In addition, the resolution would allow closure of McElhenry Road from 6th Street to Fulton Shipyard Road for 8 additional 18 month periods and closure of Empire Mine Road from Deer Valley to Mesa Ridge Drive for 5 additional 18 month periods, each extension requiring a noticed public hearing.

While I applaud the city police dept for conducting a curfew sweep on August 5th and 6th, detaining 35 minors whose parents were abrogating their responsibilities, I’m appalled that our city leaders and police department would condone the closure of ANY street in our city in order to reduce criminal activity.

Folks, that’s like saying we can’t control the crime in those areas so we’re giving up and letting the thugs take over. Retreating from the enemy is admitting defeat. The only way to prevent civil disobedience, rampant, random crime and violence is to clamp down on the problem and STAY TOUGH.

On the Antioch Police Dept. website, new Police Chief Allen Cantando states “ I realize that, in order to truly bring about positive, long-term results, the police department can not do it alone. As President John F. Kennedy said, “The level of crime in a city is in direct proportion to the will of its citizens and law enforcement officers who tolerate it.”

I’m sure most readers will agree, we’re all happy to help whenever possible but it is the responsibility of the police department to serve and protect. We understand you’re a little understaffed at the present time but, if members of the Antioch Police Officer’s Association had agreed to pay more into their generous health and retirement benefits, perhaps you wouldn’t be.

In the interim, try looking at alternative ways of allocating staff, such as the way they are doing it in San Francisco. Allowing the closure of any street in this city in order to reduce criminal activity, is the wrong thing to do.

3 Comments to “Fight Crime, But Don’t Close Roads”

  1. Arne Simonsen says:

    I’ll just have to disagree with Barbara regarding the closure of McElhenry Road which does go through a flood zone and a narrow passage under the BNSF tracks; and the continued closure of Empire Mine Road.

    Empire Mine Road is not a main thoroughfare. With the former Higgins Ranch property undeveloped and the previous problems with “cow tipping” and wild parties in that desolate area, the road should remain closed until development takes place on the Higgins Ranch and adjoining properties – but that is a very long ways off.

  2. Martin Fernandez says:

    Closure of both these roads is appropriate. They have turned into dumping grounds and party areas both costing the taxpayer money. Property owners in the areas have also suffered damages. Totally agree with this request.

  3. Sheila White says:

    Closing McElheny Rd. is not about fighting crime. Closing the road is about saving our waterways from all the garbage that is dumped on McElheny and finds its way into the Delta. Our police dept. definately does not have the time to sit and watch this road. I own a restaurant bordering this area and I can assure you the dumping happens almost daily and the copper has been stripped out of the power lines leaving my business without alarm or phone service on many occasions. The road is unmaintained and closing it will be a good thing.

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